- Drummer and composer Eli Keszler creates environments out of sound. Sometimes he does this literally, in space-filling installations like those documented on his last album, 2012's Catching Net. Releasing that record on PAN, the label run out of Berlin by Bill Kouligas, led Keszler to frequent the European club circuit, where he played his drums through sound systems designed to shake dance floors.
That experience informed the atmospheres on his new album, Last Signs Of Speed. None of its 12 tracks are dance music per se; this is experimental percussion with lots of rhythmic surprises and sonic abstractions. But there's a hint of body-moving thrust in Keszler's rattling, dubby compositions. His kinetic songs share a mood with the bubbling concoctions of Rashad Becker, an artist with whom Keszler has collaborated frequently.
The most striking thing about Last Signs Of Speed is its near-microscopic clarity. You can hear even the tiniest clicks and pops from Keszler's drums, as if you're standing inside them as he plays. His drumming style is filled with short, sharp sounds, giving his live performance the feel of synthesized electronics. So when he plays fast and busy, as on cascading tracks "Sudden Laughter, Laughter Without Reason" and "The Immense Endless Belt Of Faces," the effect can be dizzying—the percussive equivalent of a strobe light.
Yet all the tracks on Last Signs Of Speed are spacious rather than crowded, thoughtful rather than rushed. Keszler's playing is so patient and exact that it seems to slow time down, and the accents that he adds to his drumming—with piano, cello and field recordings—expand his songs into three dimensions. The result is an album that continually crafts its own spaces, carving out sonic territories that are fascinating to explore and move around in.
01. Sudden Laughter, Laughter Without Reason
02. Corresponding Probably To Quanta
03. Streaming Down. Streaming Down.
04. The Immense Endless Belt Of Faces
05. No Iodine, No Breeze
06. Breaches Breaches
07. The Next Day, In The Afternoon
08. Is Strategist
09. Is Stage Director
10. Holes, Parts Missing
11. Willing To Be Open
12. Fusillade Of Colors