Eli Keszler/Keith Fullerton Whitman :: Split (NNA Tapes) LP
Eli Keszler/Keith Fullerton Whitman :: Split (NNA Tapes) LP
NNA043: Eli Keszler / Keith Fullerton Whitman split LP
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.
NNA Tapes proudly yield a split side between world-renowned electronic music composer Keith Fullerton Whitman and multi-instrumentalist composer Eli Keszler. Both artists approach the record from unique yet complementary angles. New York City's Keszler has amassed a vital and critically acclaimed arsenal of experimental, diffuse and highly disciplined work both solo, and as part of Red Horse with Steve Pyne over the last half decade. Here, he proves to be just as equally adept with frenzied, almost impossibly-detailed percussive workouts as he is with inquisitive noise sculptures and longform micro-tonal drones. There's a filigree tension between haphazard improvisation and cool-handed compositional suss at play with Keszler's work here, skewing the line between automated music and instinctual systems with a microscopic appreciation for texture, tone and detail. KFW's side is an utterly f*cked, brilliantly direct, machine-made reaction to Keszler's call-and-response, Human vs. Machine manufactures, splitting atoms with a precise, incisive unpredictability.
april 2012 release ; ... originally conceived as part of the “split series” of live recordings (i.e. the lp’s forno fun, amethyst sunset, amish, and dekorder with my formative experiments in live hardware synthesis on one side ... then considerably more elegant work(s) by carlos giffoni, mike shiflet, ben vida, and alien radio on the others, respectively) the proposed split with eli keszler (a musician whosework i’ve long been in admiration of, despite never actually working together on anything) for nna tapes actually took on a different shape entirely ...
... i had something of an epiphany while watching eli play music last spring ; as someone who’s long beenenamored with the “free” style of drumming (and someone whose hands / motor skills often fail /betray him on the regular) i had the idea to devise a sub-patch to “generate” completely arbitraryclustered rhythm-events, which i then used to control the spacing of randomly-derived soundevents, automated by a similar (yet, discrete) set of “bucket-brigade” values that were applied to thepitch, panning, length, shape, wave-shape, and frequency modulation of a continuous stream ofanalogue / digital sound ...
... the results, heard here on record for the first time (recorded in one afternoon, shortly afterdiscovering the patch, presented here as a pair of continuous, overlaid takes captured a few hoursapart) form the basis on a new piece that i’ve titled “occlusion” ; the same that i’ve been performingfor the last year & will continue to hone & complicate for the remainder of the year ... here’s anexcerpt of the very recording heard on this lp ::
... eli’s side is incredible for a multitude of reasons, but ultimately what makes it unique is the “calling card” nature of it ; gone are the side-length explorations of bowed-metal, spastic snare-drumcrackle, or stand-mounted / stick-played “no wave” lineage electric guitar sizzle ... instead, we getfour digest-length pieces incorporating each of these approaches, culminating in (a first) an extendeddrone piece (sourced to an interference setup used to animate the sounding head of a large bass drumvia feedback) cut with some low clarinet growl (c/o ashley paul) ... the first track also shows offsome of his recent work with arduino-based, automated rhythm aggregates (listen to the first part of the sound-sample ; the high transients floating above his hyperkinetic snare drum blister) ...
... comes in a nice sparse sleeve, with one of eli’s “works on paper” recreated as the cover, another morepointillist figure on the front of the printed inner sleeve (detail below) and a third on the a-sidelabel ; this came out beautifully, both in sound (natch, we both insisted on a d&m cut) and sight ...
ps. to make the parallel clearer, you can actually overlay both the first few tracks by eli (via the sound-sample player to your left) & the first few minutes of my side (ditto the soundcloud player above)yourself ; doesn’t that sound nice ...
Tiny Mix Tapes
The world is corrupt with injustice. The examples are everywhere and abundant: the misconduct of police toward peaceful Occupy protesters, lobbyists in D.C. enabling the momentum of evil corporations, Pitchfork Media dictating taste to impressionable children, the band Fleet Foxes being a band, etc. Now and then, however, justice is served, and justice has manifested itself as a new release of actual good music from NNA Tapes.
NNA Tapes has announced a split LP between world-renowned electronic music composer Keith Fullerton Whitman and multi-instrumentalist composer Eli Keszler. According to the press release, the LP (due out April 3) 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). This exciting event in musical history may perhaps be the first recognizable step toward a brighter future in decades. And the revolution willbe televised, or at least broadcast on NPR in an interview with Eli Keszler.
Yes, my children! A new dawn is born on the horizon! The streets will run with the blood of capitalists! CEOs will dangle from nooses! Fleet Foxes will disband!
01. Drums, Crotales, Installed Motors, Micro-Controller Metal Plates
02. Bowed Crotales, Snare Drum
03. Drums, Guitar, Crotales
04. Cymbal, Bass Drum, Clarinet
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Experimental percussion master Eli Keszler teams with Keith Fullerton Whitman, wielding what sounds like a mammoth Modular Synth setup, for a split LP on NNA. At first this may seem like an odd pairing, but both musicians draw from the same musical language, albeit at different angles. The general focus is on flurries of staccato chaos — or controlled chaos — a swarm of synth, drum, and “Micro-Controller Metal Plates” that is balanced by the calm, understated eeriness of Keszler’s “Cymbal, Bass Drum, Clarinet” track. Whitman’s side is more relentless; a 17-minute freak out that, through its sheer dexterity, recalls minimal shredders like Orthrelm or cosmic free-jazz. Really, it’s just a fine display of the synthesizer’s capabilities when pushed to the edge by a savvy handler. The standout for me, though, is the brief “Drums, Crotales, Installed Motors, Micro-Controller Metal Plates,” which unifies a shrill metallic buzzing with precisely orchestrated drum clatter. That may sound like a contradiction, but the piece is deceptive like that. It drifts between the aforementioned staccato chaos and finely layered rhythms; just when you think it might lose control, Keszler dramatically pauses or plays a familiar rhythmic pattern, making clear the tension between composition and improvisation that pervades most of this record. – Keith Rankin, Experimedia