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Everyone has ways they prefer to be perceived or depicted. For Kristian Dunn of L.A. duo El Ten Eleven, avoiding at least one genre is crucial to properly pitching his band. "I really hope people don't say that we are a math rock band," the bassist/guitarist said in a quote captured as the first line of a press release for 2012's Transitions, the group's fifth record.
Formed in 2002, the combo of Dunn and drummer/keyboardist Tim Fogarty crafts nimble, labyrinthine instrumentals in the post-rock/math rock mold and then releases them into the wild in a low-key, un-intimidating package. The self-proclaimed "power duo" relies on Dunn using strings and a heap of pedals to build layers of sound that are temporarily stored in a looper pedal and re-utilized to generate a full song. In concert, the images produced by a small camera trained on Dunn's pedals are projected on a screen so that audiences can get an idea of how the magic is made.
This emphasis on approachability also means El Ten often give its tunes memorably off-the-wall titles such as "I Like Van Halen Because My Sister Says They Are Cool." In a 2011 interview, Dunn tossed up an alternate stylistic lens through which to see his group, saying, "People don't think of us this way, but we're kind of a pop band, really." -- Reyan Ali
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