Elephant Gym builds worlds through a bass-driven, jazz-and-funk-inflected writing style that teems with agile, articulate excitement. While commonly associated with the subgenre of math-rock, Elephant Gym employs their own unique technical candor, with rhythms and melodies that never cross the line into uncomfortable angularity.
Based in Taiwan, siblings KT and Tell were taught classical music by their mother before meeting drummer Chia-Chen in high school through a music club. Shortly after discovering they all shared the same taste in music, they formed Elephant Gym, solidifying their shared affinity for all varieties of math- and post-rock.
Their second full-length, Underwater, is an expansive cohesion of diverse songs which flow in and out of one another like water. Vocal cameos by international collaborators provide another compelling dimension to the record, emboldening a group usually known for their instrumental compositions.
Ever-active and melodious, bounding in arpeggios and other odd intervals, featuring infrequently-seen techniques like tapping, it's easy to see why the band have been able to stand out.
The rhythms and time signatures are complex and constantly changing, their music is primarily instrumental, and everyone in the band absolutely plays the hell out of their instrument....They’re adventurous with their structures and textures, and their most recent album, Underwater, dives into a world with constantly shifting borders, anchored by the band’s singular vision.
Musically, the trio have never stopped looking for common ground between Western rock music (math rock in particular) and traditional Eastern music. They see many similarities between the complexities of math rock and traditional music from Japan, India and Indonesia, as well as music from the indigenous Taiwanese, which is often filled with unusual time signatures and counterpoints.
-South China Morning Post