ELI KESZLER – Catching Net (2 xCD PAN)
Composer and percussionist Eli Keszler before releasing on ESP-Disk, now seems to have found a home at the Berlin-based label PAN. On his latest release, Catching Net, 2 disks are just offering space enough to release some great sound installations Keszler & friends performed in recent history.
As with most of his output, don’t expect laidback listening when experiencing Catching Net, Eli Keszler’s latest. On 2 disks Keszler experiments as always within his own universe and this double CD gives us an opportunity to become part of that universe, at least for a short while.
On the Cold Pin disk (disk 1 contains 3 versions of Cold Pin). Keszler is accompanied by Ashley Paul on saxophone, Geoff Mullen on prepared guitar, Greg Kelley on trumpet, Reuben Son on bassoon and Benny Nelson on cello. The first 2 versions were released as an LP on PAN last year whereas the 3rd, longer version, is a live rendition of Cold Pin sounding much more expansive, rightfully getting its deserved release on Catching Net.
The 2nd disk also (comprises) of 3 long works of improv, with once more a Cold Pin version registered at an installation in the Boston, but the main work here is Catching Net. The title track is a live recording leaning heavily on improvisation using a piano and strings to make probably the most creepiest score ever performed by these instruments. 16 minutes of improv-noise that gets under your skin and once there it still won’t rest. The atmosphere is dark, not unlike the sinister & sultry atmosphere that the US based noise scene of the last 10 years seemed to have a patent on. Think of Wolf Eyes’ River Slaughter revisited or Hair Police on stage together with AMM.
For me the aspect that justifies the release of a double CD is not primarily variation or even fantastic compositions but merely the quite unique identity Keszler steadily is building and confirming. According to Keszler he prefers to work with raw materials in order to capture the purest of sounds possible. Because of this approach, the 90+ minutes Catching Net offers indeed sounds predominantly timeless, ancient almost. The resonance of long piano strings connecting water towers being struck with hammers and empty water purification basins acting as amplifiers on Collecting Basin has a primitive feel that is unprecedented. PvdG