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Red Horse is the blistering free-post-everything project of drummer/multi-percussionist Eli Keszler and guitarist/mad-scientist Steve Pyne. While both musicians are active in a number of different projects (you probably wouldn’t believe Pyne’s day job even if we told you), Red Horse catches them working with a distilled sense of focus and is for many their breakthrough project. ‘Red Horse’ (not to be confused with the similarly titled debut) is the duo’s second album, and follows the rush of critical acclaim for the first which saw thick-skinned musos wowed by their blistering combination of rhythm and dissonance. As you’d expect in a sequel, the budget is higher and the production more widescreen, and a far cry from the near lo-fi grind of its predecessor this new full-length is exposed to the miniscule detail. The production technique might scare some, but the crisp sound of Keszler’s innovative drumming and Pyne’s complex instrumental destruction has never sounded better or more fitting.
Garnishing Keszler’s well-worn patented hyperactive splatter-beats, Pyne experiments with a veritable arsenal of home made equipment – from gargantuan electrified, automated string sculptures to confusing sequences of reclaimed speakers (taken from a very well known Eastern-themed music box) wired together creating a wall of screaming feedback. In the wrong hands their sound could easily be stuffy and academic, but Red Horse inject their experiments with a punk spirit rarely heard in the avant garde. Sure, the instruments are being handled by a couple of the best musicians in their field, but it hardly matters – this is the sound of beautiful cacophony, and like Supersilent before them there’s something undeniably attractive about that concept. It’s not your average noise, rock, improv, jazz or experimental record – it’s all of the above and a great deal more. Just make sure you listen loud, there’s a lot to hear.
Release/catalogue number: TYPE094