Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Eli Keszler

Rare Youth RY-010


Fantastic LP of austere solo percussion and dark matrixes of strings from this past collaborator with Jandek, with aspects of Scelsi and Dumitrescu, Chris Corsano, Keiji Haino and Biota: “Debut LP by drummer/multi-instrumentalist Eli Keszler. A distinct composition in four parts, Livingston is a brooding and dark meditation for drums, crotales, guitar, clarinet, bowed percussion, Fender Rhodes, nail violin, and tapes. This is a rare kind of solo record, in that Eli's obvious instrumental virtuosity is tempered with a refined sense of composition and emotional space. You don't get the sense that this is the work of a single musician. Furious outbursts of raw percussive energy are kept in check by floating, distended melodies, and moments of silence are interrupted by the jarring clarity of high-pitched bells being bowed at close intervals. At times sounding like an Indonesian gamelan being put through the wringer, and at others like the massive drone of an aeolian harp being played by the wind -- Livingston effectively combines the influences of composers like Giacinto Scelsi and Iannis Xenakis with the improvisational energy and atmosphere of an artist like Keiji Haino. Clocking it at just over 23 minutes, this is a potent piece of music and an auspicious debut by a very talented young artist. Limited edition of 300, with hand-screened covers. Definitely recommended to fans of Mirror, Organum, ESPdisk, nmperign, Jandek, Evan Parker and Paul Lytton, Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, Phil Niblock, etc.” – RY. Recommended.


Rel Records REL-016

one-sided LP

First in a series of live documents from Rel Records with the duo of Eli Keszler and Ashley Paul recorded live at Great Scott in Boston in May 2009. Released in a hand-numbered run of 135 copies and packaged with the usual stunning attention to detail we’ve come to expect from Eli/Rel, the set sees the duo apply drums, cymbals, alto saxophone, guitar, ‘green box’, banjo and bow to a series of instant settings that exist somewhere between The Revolutionary Ensemble, Iancu Dumitrescu and Einsturzende Neubauten. The compositions are complex, string and percussion heavy, generating bisecting lines of breath and collapsing rhythms that have a stately grandeur and an industrial weight while confusing sound art and avant composition with raw free jazz. Still the most thrilling inheritors of the whole underground/outside ESP-Disk aesthetic currently active. 

Things That Just Happen

Rel Records REL21


New edition of 350 copies LP from the duo of Ashley Paul and Eli Keszler: Things That Just Happen is the second album from these two and it is a stunning amalgam of subtle sound art, fragile folk/psych stumble pop and beautiful freely improvised drones.   Using no electronic processing whatsoever, the pair draw harmonically dense sustained tones from saxophone and crotales, with a beautiful sound-in-stasis feel that could almost be Harry Bertoia. The songs cross the kinda fragile poetry of the Reiko Kudo ot Ai Aso recordings with a blasted Jandek 1980s ‘feel’, moving from twin chiming guitars through dynamic sax/drums face-offs. Hard to think of anyone else who so convincingly blurs the line between sonic art and gently beating pop moves. Pressed on 200 g vinyl with insert and printed drawings, comes with a digital download.

Paul & Maurey

Rel Records REL-019


Another set of peerlessly out song structures and dazzling psychedelic improvisation that tie together Corwood Industries and the work of Biota with nothing but the spontaneous breath of two humans, Ashley Paul (Aster/Eli Keszler et al) and Sakiko Mori: Satellite is an extended edition, complete with new and unreleased material, of what was originally a micro-edition cassette released on Wagtail in 2010. Sakiko plays keyboards, percussion and harmonium while Paul plays guitar, green box, reeds and tuba, often swapping instruments mid-stream. This is delicately complex string-think and spontaneous songcraft that would somehow reconcile the brain-buzzing density and conceptual smarts of sound art with psychedelic femme-fronted folk and radically dilated improvisation. Imagine Reiko Kudo sings the Harry Bertoia songbook with an all-female Einsturzende Neubauten and a feel for textural spontaneity that is post-Incus and you have yourself a dream date. Comes pressed on clear vinyl in a custom hand-painted and silk screened jacket in an edition of 340 copies. Recommended.