El Ten Eleven

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El Ten Eleven
EL TEN ELEVEN-EL REY-DEC 14, 2013-40.jpg
El Ten Eleven at the El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, December 14, 2013
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Post-rock, Experimental music, Ambient, Indie, math rock
Years active 2002–present
Labels Fake Record Label (US)
Xtal (Japan)
Website www.elteneleven.com
Members Kristian Dunn
Tim Fogarty

El Ten Eleven is an American, Los Angeles-based, post-rock duo, known for combining guitar/bass doubleneck or fretless bass, with heavy looping, or vamping, and the utility of an effects pedal, over acoustic or electric drumming. They have released six full-length albums, 2 EPs and a remix album, earning generally positive reviews.

The band has earned some attention due to many of their songs being featured in the soundtracks of Gary Hustwit's design documentaries Helvetica, Objectified, and Urbanized.

The name El Ten Eleven is derived from the name of an airliner, the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.



Bassist and composer Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty formed El Ten Eleven in 2002 while living in the Silver Lake community of Los Angeles.[1] They released their eponymous debut album, El Ten Eleven in 2004 on Fake Record Label, and through Bar/None Records on September 20, 2005. Many reviews of the album garnished the band with positive acclaim. Comparisons have been drawn to Sigur Rós and The Mercury Program, though reviews have heavily emphasized the duo's utilization of a limited number of musicians to create complex instrumental works. The Dallas Observer called them the fourth best instrumental band in the last twenty years.[2] Spin, which awarded them the title 'Band of the Day', September 29, 2005, describes their work as "experimental instrumental music that's both highly skilled and deeply felt."[3]

2005 also saw the band embark on their first US tour. This was the beginning of the band playing for years, almost non-stop, around the country. SF Weekly[4] remarked of their live show, "Watching El Ten Eleven play is something like watching two superheroes do their thing.” Regarding their live show, Kristian commented to the Scenestar[5] in 2012, "We refuse to use prerecorded tracks or click tracks live, so getting through one of our shows is quite difficult!"

In 2007, the movie Helvetica was released with original music by Kristian Dunn, and much of the contributed music performed by the duo.[6] Their second album was also released that year, on CD format July 9, and then available later for download that August. A music video was also shot that year for the song "Hot Cakes", directed by video producer and writer Adam Hauck.[7][8]

In late 2007, Xtal Records released the band's second full-length album, Every Direction Is North in Japan, a version which included the bonus track "Jumping Frenchmen Of Maine." In a January 28, 2008 blog post on their website, and MySpace page, the band released "Jumping Frenchmen of Maine" as an online download, stating that the song was from their forthcoming album. A PayPal link was included for listeners, giving them the option to pay any amount they wished for the song, much like what Radiohead had done with In Rainbows in 2007.


On July 15, 2008 the band released their third album, These Promises Are Being Videotaped, a more dance oriented outing. The record was recorded using only fretless bass and electronic and acoustic drums.

The band released their fourth studio album, It's Still Like a Secret, on November 9, 2010.[9][10]


Their fifth album, Transitions, was released on October 2, 2012.

Transitions Remixed was released on April 2, 2013. It features remixes of songs from Transitions by electronic artists Com Truise, Slow Magic, D33J and Steed Lord, among others, and reached #13 on the CMJ college radio chart.


On February 4, 2014 the band released For emily, a three song EP dedicated to a friend who died the previous year.[11] The word Emily is purposely not capitalized as that is the way she would write her name.[12]

On July 18, 2014, the duo announced an Indiegogo campaign to fund the pressing of new vinyl records for their original album El Ten Eleven, Transitions, and a new pressing for For emily. For this fundraiser, fans could order any of vinyls for these three albums, the original test pressing records for these albums, or pay to be on the band's official guest list for life. Also, the For emily EP included an additional bonus track not available digitally called Favrile. The fundraiser ended on August 3, 2014.[13]

After three years since the release of Transitions, the band announced the release of their sixth studio album, Fast Forward via social media accounts.[14] The album was released on August 21, 2015. Coinciding with the album's release, the band also planned a tour across the United States in support of the album following its release, including locations across the United States such as New York, Atlanta, California, and more.[15] In 2017 and 2018, the band has been supporting Peter Hook and the Light on some of their concert dates.[16]

On June 1, 2018, the band announced their new album Banker's Hill, to be released on August 10, 2018.[17]


Band members[edit]

  • Kristian Dunn - Wal fretless bass, 1977 and 1978 Carvin guitar/bass doublenecks, Schecter Robert Smith UltraCure VI six string bass, Shergold six string bass
  • Tim Fogarty - electric drums, acoustic drums, drum pads

Side projects[edit]

Dunn and Fogarty used to be members of the San Diego-based band Softlightes, the first American band signed to the Australian label Modular Records.[18]


  1. ^ "El Ten Eleven". Bar/None Records. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  2. ^ Darryl Smyers (February 13, 2014). "The Seven Best Instrumental Bands of the Last 20 Years".
  3. ^ Miller, Kerry (September 29, 2005). "Artist of the Day: El Ten Eleven". Spin. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Daniel Levin Becker (October 13, 2010). "El Ten Eleven Is Made of Superheroes; Baths Scratches Beats Like a Mosquito".
  5. ^ Cheryl Cheng. "Interview: Kristian Dunn of El Ten Eleven".
  6. ^ "Helvetica (film) Original music by Kristian Dunn". Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  7. ^ "Other works for Adam Hauck". Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  8. ^ "YouTube - El Ten Eleven - Hot Cakes". Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  9. ^ "Help us make our record!". elteneleven.com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  10. ^ "Tour Started + CDs Shipped + Album Details". El Ten Eleven newsletter. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "El Ten Eleven releases new EP, coming to The New Parish". Thebaybridged.com. February 13, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  12. ^ "El Ten Eleven Announce Feb/march 2014 Tour Details". Contactmusic.com. February 5, 2014.
  13. ^ "New El Ten Eleven Vinyl Pressings". Indiegogo.com. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  14. ^ El Ten Eleven (June 15, 2015). "El Ten Eleven releases new album". Facebook.com./
  15. ^ "El Ten Eleven Tour Dates". Facebook.com. June 19, 2015./
  16. ^ "Photos: Peter Hook and the Light perform 'Substance' at the UC Theatre - The Bay Bridged - San Francisco Bay Area Indie Music". Thebaybridged.com. May 2, 2017. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  17. ^ "El Ten Eleven". Facebook.com. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
  18. ^ "{title}". Archived from the original on February 22, 2009. Retrieved May 18, 2009.

External links[edit]