Virtuoso percussionist Eli Keszler offers up a defining opus with 'Last Signs of Speed', appearing on the freshly minted Empty Editions to follow his previous solo LP for PAN, and interim collaborations with Keith Fullerton Whitman, Oren Ambarchi and Rashad Becker, who is also among Keszler’s most sympathetic sound artists and the mastering engineer for this record.
Summing up Keszler’s percussive style is like trying to describe the mechanics of a haywire swiss clock, or, in fact, a repair shop full of ‘em, with each chiming to an alternate meter whilst a swarm of nanobots attempt to get them all in synch. However, subtract the clocks and ‘bots and you’re left with one man and his rarely paralleled, utterly captivating twitch spilling from drums to fender rhodes, piano, mellotron, celeste, Vibraceleste, glockenspiel, rocks and gravel without missing a beat, or even doing so and making an amazing virtue of it in the process.
Building on the foundations of his previous releases, which have variably included installation work, improvisations and collaborations, Last Signs of Speed finds Keszler blending his preternaturally fluid patterns of scurrying, brittle small sounds and resonant pulses with subtly layered overdubs of keys and strings, ebbing and swelling with a plasmic schematic that works to laws of physics and rationale perhaps best compared with Rashad Becker’s notional species, and which serves to add a whole new dimension of interest to Kessler’s already remarkable soundspshere.
It’s music that seems to exist in a state of quantum flux, folding the structures of jazz, dub and minimal techno into avant garde anomalies that defy the rules of established practice whilst simultaneously resonating with their underlying, intuitive truths. Between Last Signs of Speed, Rashad Becker’s Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. II, Les Graciés’ Low Doses, and Valerio Tricoli’s Clonic Earth, you have some of the most involving, adventurous sonic perceptions to be revealed in 2016.