Published Jan 04, 2017The two solo LPs that New York percussionist Eli Keszler released for the Pan imprint featured the artist/composer's installation work: both Cold Pin and, later, Catching Net were centred on installations of motorized implements striking strings and other objects, the seemingly random movements organized by micro-controller programming. With Last Signs of Speed, his first solo LP in four years, Keszler's drumming takes centre stage, the rapid-fire arm movements and cascading stabs of wood attacking skin, metal and more wood having been assembled into a snarling maelstrom accompanied by a host of other instruments and field recordings.
According to Keszler, the 12 pieces found here are heavily influenced by his immersion in club environments and sound systems, and the deep bass throb and urban spookiness of modern dub has audibly affected his music. Spinning a fantastic yarn describing the unlikely meeting of a multi-limbed drum deity and the folkloric origins of thunder, Last Signs of Speed is both hyperactive and surprisingly unhurried. Keszler has somehow managed to forge an alliance of complex rhythm and dense tonality that ultimately works in his — and the listener's — favour. (Empty Editions)