Eli Keszler/Keith Fullerton Whitman: Split LP of Experimental Electronics and Drums

I opened up the separate Soundcloud links for both tracks by Eli Keszler, which is all percussion, and Keith Fullerton Whitman, which is all electronic improv, and played them at the same time.  After hearing that, I think the Split concept is less interesting than an actual collaboration may have been, just because the wild and unrestrained array of sounds both musicians create seem to blend really well and compliment each other. 

But, alas...  This is a split LP.

It would difficult to classify the music herein as anything but "noise," but being drawn to such oddities, I felt compelled to listen.  Keszler, I would say, is definitely more of the traditional musician in this pairing, his rattling taps and booming percussion revolving around some idea of rhythm and form even if it does sound erratic.  He at least deals in instruments, which is an interesting contrast to Whitman who basically follows Keszler with a machine.

   Eli Keszler-Drums, Crotales, Installed Motors, Micro-Controller Metal Plates by NNA Tapes

Whitman twists knobs and comes up with a series of bloops and bleeps that seem the stuff of dysfunctional sci-fi or arcade schizophrenia.  In some ways, I felt like I was listening to an electronics geek that had gone two days straight on no sleep listening to nothing but Kraftwerk, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Machine, Albert Ayler and Cecil Taylor while under the influence of Red Bull.  There's really no structure to speak of and an A.D.D.-inducing rapidity. 

   "Occlusion" (Excerpt) by Keith Fullerton Whitman

All info and links are courtesy of Life or Death PR & Management.   




NNA is very excited to announce a split LP between world-renowned electronic music composer Keith Fullerton Whitman and multi-instrumentalist composer Eli Keszler. This LP is a conversation in sound between two prominent artists, one working in the electronic realm (Whitman), and the other in the world of live acoustics (Keszler). In fact, Whitman's piece was inspired and created as a direct response to Keszler's signature frenzied percussion style. Both sides of the record are full of incredibly detailed nuance-driven music. These artists work with sound on the microscopic level, deliberately placing each individual molecule of sound in it's intended location. Whitman's piece "Occlusion" is automated "machine music" warfare, utilizing rhythm as a textural tool, while Keszler uses live percussion, bowed metal, and other acoustics to act as a humanized response to Whitman's machine-regulated assault, solidifying this record as a fantastic document of Human vs. Machine call and response. Original artwork by Eli Keszler.
Eli Keszler
 Eli Keszler is a composer, artist and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. In performance, he often plays drums, bowed crotales and guitar in conjunction with his installations. In his ensemble compositions, he uses extended strings, motors, crotales, horns and mechanical devices to create his sound, balancing intense harmonic formations with acoustic sustain, fast jarring rhythm, mechanical propulsion, dense textures and detailed visual presentations.

Eli has toured extensively throughout Europe and the US, performing solo and in collaboration with artists such as Phill Niblock (performing Asheli for crotales and soprano saxophone with Ashley Paul), Aki Onda, Joe Mcphee, Loren Connors, Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Coleman (recording Lapidation, New World Records), Joe Morris, Steve Beresford, C Spencer Yeh, Greg Kelley (Nmperign), T Model Ford, Ran Blake, Ashley Paul and Steve Pyne (Red Horse). He has recorded solo releases for labels such as REL Records, ESP-DISK' and Type (Red Horse), in addition to his latest record on PAN "Cold Pin". His installations have appeared at the Boston Center for the Arts and Nuit Blanche NYC and the Shreveport MSPC New Music Festival. He has most recently won the Mata composers competition for the 2012 season. Eli Keszler is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Anthony Coleman and Ran Blake. Eli recently spoke with NPR about his work in sound installation, check it out here.

Keith Fullerton Whitman
Keith Fullerton Whitman one of Boston's most consistently innovative electronic musicians. Keith's music references everything from mid-century musique concrete to contemporary lo-fi electronics and drone. He has releases on Kranky, Room40, Arbor, and Planet Mu. In 2012 Whitman will release "Generators" on world renowned electronic music label Editions Mego.

Eli Keszler interview with NPR - http://www.npr.org/blogs/allsongs/2011/10/24/141668688/who-controls-the-machine-eli-keszlers-motors-and-piano-wires 
Listen: Keith Fullerton Whitman - "Occlusion" (excerpt) - http://soundcloud.com/kfw/occlusion-excerpt

Listen: Eli Keszler -"Drums, Crotales, Installed Motors, Micro-Controller Metal Plates" -

Eli Keszler video - http://vimeo.com/22512629

Keith Fullerton Whitman video - http://vimeo.com/34965069

Eli Keszler/Keith Fullerton Whitman 
Split LP
April 3rd, 2012
(NNA Tapes)
Eli Keszler

1. Drums, Crotales, Installed Motors, Micro-Controller Metal Plates
2. Bowed Crotales, Snare Drum
3. Drums, Guitar, Crotales
4. Cymbal, Bass Drum, Clarinet

Recorded in Boston, May of 2011; Ashley Paul plays clarinet on "Cymbal, Bass Drum, Clarinet"

Keith Fullerton Whitman

1. Occlusion

Real-time music for analogue/digital modular synthesizer

Recorded at Much Wenlock, June 1st 2011, between 11:42 am and 4:31 pm.

Letters From A Tapehead


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