El Ten Eleven

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El Ten Eleven are an instrumental post-rock duo originating from Los Angeles and consisting of bassist/guitarist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty. Dunn plays fretless bass or a double-neck bass/guitar combo and Fogarty alternates between acoustic and electronic drum kits, and they utilize looping stations and effects pedals rather than preprogrammed rhythms, ensuring that their dynamic live performances require a considerable amount of stamina. El Ten Eleven are notable for creating inventive, complex music with limited instrumentation, and their chiming, heartfelt melodies combined with upbeat rhythms result in songs that are touching yet energetic, even danceable. Their music often has a bittersweet tone, and several of their songs are named for departed friends or family members. The duo have seemingly toured nonstop since the release of their self-titled debut in 2004, with subsequent albums including the dance-leaning These Promises Are Being Videotaped (2008) and Fast Forward (2015). While most of the duo’s albums were issued through their own label, they signed to Topshelf Records for the release of 2018′s Banker's Hill, then moved to Joyful Noise for the release of 2020′s three-part Tautology.
El Ten Eleven formed in 2002 and recorded their self-titled debut full-length in 2004; Bar/None Records released it in 2005 to critical acclaim. Since then, nearly all of their recordings have been issued on their own Fake Record Label, starting with 2007′s Every Direction Here Is North, which was also given a Japanese release (including a bonus track) by Xtal Records. This was followed by These Promises Are Being Videotaped, a more dance-leaning album recorded solely using fretless bass and drums (both electronic and acoustic), in 2008. The duo’s fourth album, It's Still Like a Secret (named in tribute to Built to Spill’s Keep It Like a Secret), arrived in fall of 2010. Following a split 7″ EP with Girlfriends in 2011, El Ten Eleven’s fifth full-length album, Transitions, landed in 2012. Transitions Remixed, containing Transitions tracks reworked by Com Truise, Slow Magic, Max Tundra, and several others, followed in 2013. For emily, an EP dedicated to the passing of a friend who preferred to spell her name in lowercase, was released in early 2014.
Following an online fundraising campaign in order to re-press some of their recordings on vinyl, El Ten Eleven released Fast Forward, their sixth full-length album, in 2015. Two years later, the duo issued the four-song EP Unusable Love, which featured vocals by Emile Mosseri of the Dig, and was easily the most pop-minded El Ten Eleven release to date. The duo’s seventh album, Banker's Hill (2018), was the first to feature an outside producer (Sonny DiPerri), as well as their first for Topshelf Records. In 2020, Joyful Noise issued El Ten Eleven’s Tautology, a three-part concept album about life, aging, and death. ~ Paul Simpson