Rapid beats, quirky percussion, drifting bass and unusual tones, Eli Keszler's 9th solo album was inspired by his move from Brooklyn into Manhattan, as the creative drummer fuses environments of avant-jazz and electronica into 12 understated pieces, developing embraceable and warm soundscapes over which he reveals an astonishing stream of restless, rhythmic dexterity.
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Label: Shelter Press
Catalog ID: SHELTER 099CD
Squidco Product Code: 26531
Packaging: Glass-mastered CD housed in silkscreened jewelcase.
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• Show Bio for Eli Keszler
"Eli Keszler is a New York based artist, composer and percussionist. Keszler's music, installations, and visual work have appeared at Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, 67 Ludlow, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, South London Gallery, Hessel Museum, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Luma-Foundation, Centraal Museum in Utrecht, Barbican-St. Lukes, Walker Art Museum, LAX Art, and Greater New York at MoMa PS1. His work has been featured in Frieze, Bomb Magazine, The New York Times, Wire Magazine, The Washington Post, Gramophone, Modern Drummer and Modern Painters among others. He has released solo records for Empty Editions, Esp-Disk', PAN and REL records. As a composer Keszler has received commissions from the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, ICE Ensemble, Brooklyn String Orchestra and So Percussion. Keszler works and collaborates with oneohtrix point never, laurel halo, Rashad becker and david grubbs amongst many others. he is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and was a 2016 New York Foundations for the Arts fellow."-Eli Keszler Website (http://www.elikeszler.com/page-cv)
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1. Measurement Doesn't Change The System At All 4:19
2. Lotus Awnings 4:55
3. We Live In Pathetic Temporal Urgency 7:26
4. Flying Floor For U.S. Airways 3:53
5. Simple Act Of Inverting The Episode 3:50
6. Which Swarms Around It 2:44
7. Fifty Four To Madrid 3:18
8. French Lick 4:11
9. Was The Singing Bellowing 3:34
10. The Driver Stops 3:35
11. Fashion Of Echo 4:44
12. Bell Underpinnings 4:50
sample the album:
"As his ninth solo record, Stadium reflects his move from Brooklyn to Manhattan, where he produced the album. The constant motion and ever-changing landscapes of the island helped him modify and shape his sound into a new kind of film noir. There is a startling amount of expression at play on each track, where intersections of melody, restraint and rhythm are used to challenge the idea of memory, impression and space. Keszler is often mistaken for an electronic musician, but in fact his sounds are raw and natural, produced by hand.
His performance with drumset and acoustic percussion are central to his work. He produces almost impossible textures through self-realized methodologies: cascading melodies, a shadow of voices, and a unique pointillist materiality. Although playing with the intensity of digitally-created music, his communications are done live with no processing; this is what gives Stadium its depth and warmth.
On Stadium, Keszler uses lived experience to realize the most wide-ranging sound he's created to date, drawing out textures from overlapping geographies and transforming these recordings into starting points for composition. He then builds on these environments to create subliminal spaces for his music, which is pushed to new levels with string and brass arrangements.
Is this the "stadium" referred to in the title: a larger network of sound and bodies moving continually, oscillating and turning in on itself? Keszler has explored these ideas before with notable projects such as his Manhattan Bridge installation Archway (2015) Stadium takes these long-running ideas to new depths.
Keszler states: "The recordings on Stadium are inverted. They are landscapes scaled for the singular, like a mass collecting in one arena, this music compresses city spaces, genre and instrumentalism into an amorphous form. On the record, there are ruptures of information and happenstance. Like a game, it could go any number of ways." "-Shelter Press
Also available on vinyl LP>
"For more than a decade, experimental percussionist and sound artist Eli Keszler has dismantled the idea of what a drum can be and how it should sound. He’s done this on enormous scales, turning Boston’s Cyclorama building and a Louisiana water tower into makeshift monolithic instruments. When Keszler pares down to just a drum kit, even those massive installations begin to feel small. For 2016’s Last Signs of Speed, he rendered a seemingly infinite array of sounds—hits, taps, scratches, rattles, creaks, clinks, thuds—from a kit, the results skirting the edges of techno, jazz, and modern composition. That adaptability has made him a stellar collaborator for experimental greats, from Keith Fullerton Whitman and Oren Ambarchi to Laurel Halo and Oneohtrix Point Never. On Laurel Halo’s Dust, for instance, he sounded as excellent melting into her electro-symphonic vision as he did joining her in a stripped-down duo. Keszler’s intricate playing suggests he could take on an army of Aphex Twin’s computer-controlled acoustic instruments, barehanded.
On Stadium, an album inspired by his recent move from south Brooklyn to Manhattan, Keszler makes music as expansive as the borough itself. Though geographically close, the areas are worlds apart, and the record matches the latter’s bustle at every step. Listening to Keszler’s music in a place like Manhattan has previously seemed daunting; try navigating overcrowded streets and clogged subways while hearing the disorienting “Sudden Laughter, Laughter Without Reason” without getting the spins. But Stadium begins with the feather-light jazz of “Measurement Doesn’t Change the System At All,” where cool drum leads and synth splashes that recall Bitches Brew glide like a subway leaving its stop. For an hour, his dynamic highs and lows match the unpredictable velocity of a place where something wondrous, tragic, hilarious, or simply frustrating seems to linger behind every corner.
Even as moments skew lively or contemplative or purely abstract, pieces like “Flying Floor for U.S. Airways” and “Lotus Awnings” reveal subtle complexities in flux. The latter lifts things early with nimble polyrhythms and a sprightly Mellotron hook, but Keszler shifts between tension and release as uneasy pianos and percussive drones drift into focus from behind. By the end, the piece flirts with atonality, that melodic loop now outnumbered and swallowed. Those two tracks bookend Stadium’s devastating epic, “We Live in Pathetic Temporal Urgency,” where Keszler’s percussion spreads out like a skyline. The drums are restrained for most of the song’s seven minutes, hanging still to let the layers of synths and horns haunt. It’s a bleak passage, capturing the daily communal that traveling strangers share in their “pathetic temporal urgency.” This triptych is only one example of the album’s brilliant sequencing. The delicate trio of “Which Swarms Around It,” “Fifty Four to Madrid,” and the horn-dappled “French Lick” rest in the center of the album like a valley. Those constant shifts in velocity align Keszler perfectly with Manhattan’s coherent chaos and place Stadium’s elastic rhythms comfortably between Autechre’s Confield and the free jazz odysseys of Milford Graves.
For all the complexity of Stadium, its true genius lies in understatement and how a thousand small sounds build into a larger vision. The album ends on its lightest note with “Bell Underpinnings,” where vibraphones twinkle over a submerged bed of subtones. Recalling exotica king Martin Denny at his most atmospheric, this is Keszler at his most playful. It should blend perfectly with the winter New York streets when jingling bells from charities soundtrack busy sidewalks. It’s one of the many instances where you can picture this music adapting to any season, city block, or neighborhood. That’s ultimately Keszler’s greatest accomplishment: He doesn’t try to make sense of a subject as cacophonous as Manhattan so much as he simply frames it."-Miles Bowe, Pitchfork Media
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