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Oxtirn is a truly unique and powerful blend of free energy, modern composition and mechanical music that defies genre.
With two proper full lengths and an array of self-releases under his belt, Eli Keszler has turned to ESP-Disk for the release of Oxtirn, his third, most composed and large scale effort to date. Capturing Keszler and crew at their most frenetic, Oxtirn abruptly spills out into a cacophony of tuned brass, squeaking rust, and electrically shorting contact mics, taking the detritus of post-industrial existence (sheet metal, spring boards and motors wrenched from their initial hearths) and transforming that refuse into a twenty-first century musique-concrete orchestra.
On the album’s initial track, motors tumble across prepared sheets of metal as expertly placed squalls of bowed string and what could only be described as the sounds of a phantom brass band (courtesy of multiple horn player Andrew Fenlon and Keszler’s longstanding partner Ashley Paul on clarinet) mesh transcendentally with Keszler’s precise percussion and bursts of controlled chaos. Side B sees Eli and sonic artist Sakiko Mori on both prepared and installed pianos; as the two furiously scrape and agitate strings with a mix of switch-operated motors, contact mics and suspended preparations, slowly undulating resonant clusters float on top of the underlying din, creating a striking contrast. Here, the eerie timbre of Keszler’s bowed crotales recall Italian futurist Luigi Russolo’s Intonarumori and the string quartets of Dumitrescu.