El Ten Eleven is a looping duo whose patient and focused instrumental vamps are built and performed without the help of tracks or samples. They've been writing and playing for over a decade with the same line-up, building and maintaining a relationship that lets them continually evolve a unique sound. El Ten Eleven released their first material in 2005, creating the resilient fan favorite, "My Only Swerving," which continues to find its way into nearly every live set. From the onset, El Ten Eleven has been a hard act to categorize; they draw comparisons to instrumental bands as wide-ranging as Ratatat, Explosions in the Sky, and Dan Deacon. The two themselves shrug off the post-rock connection, favoring innovation in textured beat creation and catchy riffage. They're more like pop artists in an instrumental guise, whose song structures mimic the verse-chorus-bridge-chorus structure more than the swelling, constant build-and-release of their often mis-affiliated peer group.
El Ten Eleven's sixth and most recent full-length, "Fast Forward," is an energetic and emotional album about the relationship between father and son. Romantic, reserved grooves give way to oblique chord structures and bright, cyclical riffs to map a story that's content is only limited by the listener's imagination. This capstone of their current discography outlines the band's vast, explorative career as a duo. With every release, El Ten Eleven seems to somehow cover new ground in a genre they might have invented.
Watch them play tracks from the new release and a few old standbys here on Audiotree Live.