Formed in 2012 in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, the experimental trio Elephant Gym interlace threads of jazz, electronic, and classical into a singular patchwork of contemporary math- and post-rock. At once evoking the towering, boisterous essence of elephants, and the acrobatic, dexterous nature of a gymnast, Elephant Gym’s sound feeds off tension and unlikely contrasts.
World, a commemoration of their 10th anniversary as a band, expands on their signature elements, the combination of which Pitchfork describes “as close to jazz as rock: virtuosity not as a means of showing off, but approaching the sublime.” World also features a host of international and local collaborators, tapping the varied talents of Seiji Kameda (Tokyo Jihen) Shashaa Tirupati, ?te, YILE LIN, Hom ShenHao, and the Kaohsiung City Wind Orchestra.
Elephant Gym songs often find bassist KT Chang as the lead voice, her nimble, expressive playing style a signature imprint of the Elephant Gym sonic character. Sibling Tell Chang meshes deftly on guitar and occasionally keys, with Chia-Chin Tu’s elastic drumming as a malleable anchorpoint between his bandmates’ funk-and-jazz-infused chops.
The trio’s tenure has seen the release of a handful of EPs and three previous full lengths, Angle (2014), Underwater (2018), and Dreams (2022), as well as a number of collaborations that span the spectrum of the arts, ranging from theater productions to traditional percussion ensembles.