“I really hope people don’t say that we are a math rock band!” doubleneck guitar/bass virtuoso Kristian Dunn exclaims while discussing his duo, El Ten Eleven’s, new album Transitions. Acoustic and electronic drummer Tim Fogarty adds, “We get labeled all kinds of things from post-rock to ambient to experimental... all of those make us cringe. So far my personal favorite label for the band has been 'Power Duo'... it's kind of ridiculous but I like it.”
Despite the absence of lyrics, their latest release, their fifth studio full-length album, may be the most personal to date. “Tim and I have been through a lot in the past couple of years,” Dunn reflects. “We’ve both been divorced, moved to different cities, Tim went through some really dark times, I got remarried and had a kid … for a while things were uncertain and we threw ourselves into the new record and it called for more than just short pop structures.”
Thus, the title track, “Transitions,” which clocks in at over ten minutes long, is a twisting journey of sublime unpredictability. But the band’s ability to write catchy, emotional hooks hasn’t been lost.
“The problem I have with most math rock bands or prog rock bands is that they are usually just showing off for other musicians. ‘Ooh! Look what I can do!’ We’re just not interested in that. We want girls to come to our shows, too!”
And they do. The band has been touring almost non-stop for the last eight years. 2012 has already seen them headline their own tours as well as play big festivals such as Capitol Hill Block Party, Camp Bisco, Osheaga and more.
Armed with merely a doubleneck bass/guitar, drums and a dizzying array of foot pedals, the band creates complex, deeply felt music, from scratch, onstage, with no help from laptops, click tracks or additional musicians. They utilize multiple looping pedals to create songs that sound as though they are being played by at least six people. Most first-timers to an El Ten Eleven show are stunned that the band is a duo.
Growing up in both NY and Miami, Michna (real name: Adrian Michna) is that unique breed of artist that draws from both the urban and the tropical. As a youngster, Adrian started DJing parties with cassettes and playing trombone in a band on the NYC bar circuit including the infamous Lion's Den and CBGB's.
After moving to Miami in the mid-90's, he co-founded the pioneering Secret Frequency Crew, who deftly mixed instrumental hip-hop and electronic into a coherent whole. Their appropriately titled 12" "Miami Eyes," became an underground hit and caught the attention of a then-unknown Diplo who would ask him for production work. SFC's debut LP "Forest of the Echo Downs" also put Adrian on Ghostly's radar as it was one of label founder Sam Valenti IV's top LPs in 2004.
Currently based in Brooklyn NY, Adrian Michna (aka DJ Egg Foo Young) has become a staple in the NYC club scene, known for his chameleon like abilities. Outside of the club, he has been able to pursue a few hobbies such as building furniture, bicycles, photography, skeeball, and gloss lustre collages. While working on his solo album, he also found time to remix the mysterious Jandek (the only artist ever to do so) and produce on Brazilian group Bonde Do Role's debut LP for Domino/Mad Decent.
It seems Adrian has found his stride as a solo artist, bringing together his myriad influences into a succinct sonic personage. His debut LP "Magic Monday" and the elevating single "Triple Chrome Dipped" are works of distinction and taste, getting asses on the floor in style.