Updated May 2011
ESP-Disk' has released some far-out albums in its 47 years, but Eli Keszler’s Oxtirn raises the bar. Keszler is a percussionist and composer like no other; some connoisseurs of outside music will know him from his work with the singular guitarist Jandek.Oxtirn is Keszler’s ESP-Disk' debut and most widely distributed album after prolifically self-releasing micro-edition CDRs, tapes, and vinyl via his label REL Records.
On Oxtirn, Keszler plays drums, guitar, piano, prepared piano, motors, cymbal, crotales (bowed and unbowed), snare drum, prepared/riveted sheet metal, spring harp, bass board, and microphones. He’s joined by clarinetist Ashley Paul (his partner in Aster) on two tracks, plus Andrew Fenlon (trumpet, tuba, French horn, trombone) and Sakkiko Mori (prepared piano) on one track each.
There are few musical analogies to what Keszler is doing here. It might sound like freely improvised noise, but it’s actually meticulously composed – and if you don’t believe it, you can check out his graphical-notation score for all three tracks, included on a six-panel fold-out. The Italian Futurists of the 1920s would have loved this magnificent din, so full of startling timbres and arresting textural combinations, like a cross between Xenakis and free jazz.
The LP received rave reviews:“a major work; for once i agree with the supplied hyperbole - this really does transcend genre, equally incorporating theareas-of-interest that fuel eli’s quest; brutal free jazz, scaled backeuro improv, the confined roar of late 70’s no-wave/art punk, and various aspects of post-warcompositional dictates …”–Mimaroglu Music Sales, which also named it one of the top 20 releases of 2010“Oxtirn is an excellent introduction to Keszler's work and, if Steven Stapleton ever updates his Nurse With Wound List, Keszler's name should be on it.”–Clifford Allen, Paris Transatlantic Magazine
ESP-Disk's initial limited LP release of Oxtirn sold out immediately, prompting the label to issue Eli’s masterwork for the first time on CD for global distribution. The beautifully packaged CD recreates the original album art executed and designed by Eli. Additions to the gatefold package include that six-panel foldout showing the intricately detailed musical score to Oxtirn; the other side features a new piece of original art dedicated to the CD reissue, one of Keszler’s beautiful abstract artworks. Musically, Oxtirn has never sounded better, as it was remastered for stunning high-quality digital sound. Oxtirn now includes not only the two tracks originally released on the vinyl but also the rarely heard third movement featuring Keszler plus Mori on prepared piano, making this CD the most complete-in-one-place edition of Oxtirnavailable.
Play the samples
|Digital download||320 kbps MP3|
|Compact Disk||Includes regular Oxtirn CD plus limited bonus disc Oxtirn Live|