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 released their debut eponymously titled EP digitally and on vinyl via celebrated Zurich record label Ikarus Records in the Summer of 2016. The EP was produced at Michael Gallusser’s QFLM-Studio in St. Gallen. The EP release in the UK was met with some glowing reviews and airplay, including Tom Ravenscroft featuring the track Arnold on 6Music Recommends, a live concert film Waiting ForArnold premiering with Loud and Quiet, and winning an award at the prestigious industry festival Austin Music Video Festival in 2016.
Lord Kesseli And The Drums create involved soundscapes with drums, guitar, electronic bass synthesizer and pre-produced samples, which explore stories of human manipulation through consumption, and economics, politics and religion. Drawing from as diverse influences as Beethoven, Portishead, Nirvana, Bon Iver and Radiohead, the band’s sonic output has much in common with the international scene of kraut/psyche/cosmic space cadets such as M83,Connan Mockasin and The School of Seven Bells.
In terms of describing their music, mastermind Dominik Kesseli defines it as “slowed downelectronic club music, or in other words synthetic Science Fiction sound worlds with analogueraging 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 has 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 are on the road in the UK this November: