Top Menu View Cart
ESP 4054 ESP 1002
ESP 1021
ESP 1027 ESP 4053 ESP 4065
"You have never heard such sounds in you life"

Main Menu
Browse Catalog by
ESP 4061

Eli Keszler - Oxtirn
ESP 4061


Add to Cart

CD includes bonus track, graphic notation score to Oxtirn and 13" x 9.5" Full Color Poster featuring original artwork by Eli Keszler

2 CD version
Add to Cart


180 gram high-quality vinyl
Limited edition of 300
Hand silk-screened poster with original artwork by Eli Keszler
Only 5 Copies Remain!
320 kbps MP3
$8.99  Add to Cart
View Cart
ESP 4065
ESP 4065

Download 2.99
7" 5.00


Also Available:  Oxtirn Limited 2CD Edition Includes Unreleased REL Recording of Oxtirn Live

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 back euro improv, the confined roar of late 70’s no-wave/art punk, and various aspects of post-war compositional 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 Oxtirn available.

   Originally designed poster by Eli Keszler included in Oxtirn CD



    Graphic score included in Oxtirn CD




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

Personnel CD Release

Eli Keszler : drums, bowed metal, crotales, guitar, prepared/riveted 4 x 10 foot sheet metal, contact microphone, spring harp, bass board, motor, prepared piano
Ashley Paul : clarinet
Andrew Fenlon : trumpet, tuba, french horn, trombone

Eli Keszler : crotales, snare drum, configurations
Ashley Paul : clarinet o

Eli Keszler : piano, motors, cymbal, crotales, snare drum, microphones
Sakiko Mori : prepared pianot

Personnel LP Release

Side A
Eli Keszler : drums, bowed metal, crotales, guitar, prepared/riveted 4 x 10 foot sheet metal, contact microphone, spring harp, bass board, motor, prepared piano
Ashley Paul : clarinet
Andrew Fenlon : trumpet, tuba, french horn, trombone

Side B
Eli Keszler : piano, motors, cymbal, crotales, snare drum, microphones
Sakiko Mori : prepared piano


Track Listing

1. Oxtirn 1
2. Oxtirn 2

Press Quotes

"...fantastic solo percussion and dark matrixes of strings from this past collaborator with Jandek, with aspects of Scelsi and Dumitrescu, , Keiji Haino and Biota..... straddles 20th century avant garde thought, sound sculpture, free jazz and contemporary drone and is one of the most lovingly assembled packages to have passed through VT of late" - David Keenan (Volcanic Tongue, Wire Magazine)

"It's hard to envisage that this music has been made by just one person...the music slowly builds..the slower more textural sections are particularly striking: bowed cymbals, bells and fender rhodes give track 2 a chamber music intimacy." - Mike Barnes, Wire Magazine August 2007

Upcoming Live Dates

May 25th, 2011 Oxtirn CD Release at the Gathering of the Tribes New York, NY
7PM 285 East 3rd St, 2nd Floor (between Ave C & D)


Eli Keszler is a composer/multi-instrumentalist based in Providence, Rhode Island. He primarily uses percussion, bowed crotales, guitar as well as invented instruments (his harps which use strings and motors) to create his sound that balances droning harmonics with shaterring acoustic sustain and fast, free rhythm, all working in balance with his integrated installations.

In addition to his solo releases, installations, visual art and performances, Eli has performed, recorded or collaborated with artists such as Phill Niblock (performing on a new work of his for Crotales and soprano saxophone with Ashley Paul), Aki Onda, Loren Connors, Jandek (I.C.A Boston and at NYU), Roscoe Mitchell (Art Ensemble of Chicago), Anthony Coleman (recording Lapidation released by New World Records), Joe Morris, Greg Kelley (Nmperign), T Model Ford, Ran Blake, Bryan Eubanks, Ashley Paul and Steve Pyne (Redhorse).

He performed in the United States premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s Der Schall at Merkin Hall in 2008 led by Anthony Coleman. He has toured internationally finishing a 6-week European tour in December of 2009, performing at Colour Out Of Space Festival in Brighton England as well as Sound-Body-Movement in Ostrave in the Czech Republic. In addition to performing over 25 other gigs in England, France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Serbia. He has recently completed his second CD and his 7th release titled Tilt, which received a feature in Wire Magazine along with his duo 'Aster' LP with Ashley Paul (saxophone/clarinet/strings).

His compositions have been performed at Jordan Hall, the 1st and 2nd Church of Boston, and Boston Conservatory. He also runs the label rel records, which releases hand-made art edition LP’s, CD’s and Cassette designs. Rel has received features in Wire Magazine, Arthur Magazine, The Boston Phoenix, Spex (Germany), The Sound Projector and Blow Up Magazine (Italy). It is distributed internationally by Metamkine, Art-Into-Life, and Volcanic Tongue and in the USA by Forced Exposure and Mimaroglu Music Sales.



LP Edition Images

ESP 4059
ESP 1067
ESP 4047
ESP 4049
ESP 4045
ESP 4044
ESP 1098
ESP 4060

ESP News The Artists New Releases Discography Live Shows The LoungeSubscribe to feed Subscribe to feed Store PolicyESP History Contact ESP Links Retailers