New York based percussionist and composer Eli Keszler is set to release his new album Icons on June 25 via LuckyMe. Icons is an immersive work in perpetual motion, evoking a glorious and dystopian western world. Known as a frequent collaborator to Oneohtrix Point Never, Laurel Halo, Kevin Beasley, and Rashad Becker, Keszler’s latest solo venture offers up a latticework of melodic percussion, drum set, and electro-acoustic instrumentation, built upon fragments of American abstraction, ancient scales, industrial percussion, and jazz-age film noir to achieve its feeling of imperial decay. Keszler’s instrumental performances are framed by panoramic recordings of New York City and the Odyssey Cave, along with other on-location audio from his global travels, defining an expansive music that takes on hyperreal forms difficult to describe outside of the loss and wonderment that defines our age.
“Icons is the music I made during a time where travel and trade were effectively suspended,” states Keszler. “I spent nights wandering around Manhattan collecting recordings of the empty and silent city where a car alarm was audible from blocks away, where the hum of the electrical grid and the clash of bicycle gears suddenly occupied a massive amount of space. I spent the entirety of that year in Manhattan, probably the longest I’ve stayed in one place in over a decade. The island was essentially shut down and running at an erratic pace. The speed of the city seemed to oscillate from intense speed - ambulances, protests, helicopters — to near stasis — a sort of beautiful, strange, serene stillness. I saw something strange and beautiful happening: power cracking and people changing. With Icons, I was working with these mythological tropes that are deteriorating and decaying before our eyes to create a music that finds beauty in our fragile and unstable reality.
Keszler has released music on Shelter Press, Empty Editions, ESP Disk and PAN. His 2018 album Stadium was awarded Boomkat’s Album Of The Year. Most recently, Keszler wrote the original score to Dasha Nekrasova’s feature The Scary of Sixty First (which made its recent premiere at Berlin Film Festival) and contributed to Daniel Lopatin’s original score for Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems. Keszler’s music, installation, and visual work have appeared at the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, MIT List Center, Victoria & Albert Museum, Sculpture Center, The Kitchen, South London Gallery, Hessel Museum, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Luma-Foundation, Barbican, Walker Art Center, and MoMA PS1.
Eli Keszler - Icons
Release Date: 25 June 2021 Format: Vinyl & Digital
1. All the Mornings in the World
2. God Over Money
3. The Accident
4. Daily Life
5. Rot Summer Smoothes
7. Static Doesn’t Exist
8. Late Archaic
9. Civil Sunset
11. We sang a dirge, and you did not mourn