“If God had a band, they would sound like Lord Kesseli and The Drums.” – Sonntags Zeitung
“The listeners think they are in heaven or in the vastness of the universe.” – St. Galler Tagblatt
Lord Kesseli And The Drums are a band comprising of St. Gallen, Switzerland based maverick multi-instrumentalist Dominik Kesseli and drummer and producer Michael Gallusser. The duo have put together their debut eponymously titled EP, released digitally and on vinyl via celebrated Zurich record label Ikarus Records in March 2016. The EP was produced at Michael Gallusser’s QFLM-Studio in St. Gallen.
Lord Kesseli And The Drums create involved soundscapes with drums, guitar, electronic bases, synthesizer and pre-produced samples, which explore stories of human manipulation through consumption and economy, politics and religion. Reminding of the cinematic majesty of Sigur Ros and M83, and sonically akin to the output of artists such as Bradford Cox (Atlas Sound/Deerhunter), the band has much in common with the international scene of kraut/psyche/cosmic space cadets such as The Cult of Dom Keller, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, Thee Oh Sees, Heron Oblivion and Temples.
In terms of describing their music, mastermind Dominik Kesseli describes it as “slowed down electronic club music, or in other words synthetic Science Fiction sound worlds with analogue raging textures”. There is certainly a sense of a mix of blissed out electronica and jarring, harsh guitar noise. This is reflected lyrically, with abstract, dystopian musings set in contrast with heartfelt declarations of love and hope.
Dominik explains how he is intending to create a record that is “an emotional roller coaster, illustrating humanity’s desperate hope for sense in a senseless world”. It begins with Arnold, a forceful anti pop song, that celebrates fragile beauty in contrast with furiously distorted guitar sounds. Fade manifests itself as a cosmic hymn of desperation and the journey goes on through the valleys of desire (Kid), the seas of helplessness (MDMA), steppes of despair (Pure Emotion) and climaxes in the urban jungle of ignorance (Siri).
The whole EP is conducted by / connected with an underlying theme of religious/mystical reverence. Whilst in some of the lyrics and imagery, there are direct criticisms of major religious institutions and their widespread corrupt use of power and influence, there is a simultaneous acknowledgement of the need for exploring and striving for salvation through the experience of the Holy. Theirs is a secularized search for the sacred and profane, reflected musically by the use of a “choral echo chamber” of mellotron choirs and guest female vocals from St Gallen act Lou Ees.
Lord Kesseli and The Drums’ reputation continues to grow across mainland Europe, and, with a forthcoming UK tour in the Autumn, it is only a matter of time before the UK will listen up to one of Europe’s best kept cosmic secrets.
Lord Kesseli & The Drums website
Lord Kesseli & The Drums facebook
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