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Keser Reviews

Check out the new album: Esoteric Escape out NOW!

Keser :Esoteric Escape

FANTASTIC to get some electronica through the Sound Check mailbox, especially when it's of such high quality. The debut album from duo David Reid (bass) and Kevan Whitley (guitar /keys/ programming/ vocals), it's music for Sky HD - expansive, lush and colourfully hypnotic.

While much of the ethereal soundscapes would be perfect for watching sunsets in Ibiza or travelling on a bus through the Highlands in winter, at its heart are melodies.

Esoteric Escape isn't all about beats and layers of synths. There are great songs holding the tracks together.

So 4_Cycles conjures up a vision of crystals with its warm guitar. The album's highlight, Frozen Fireworks, has a trance beat, Kevan's repeated vocal samples and laughter, and a Keane-style melody.

A must for anyone who likes chill-out.

Rick Fulton :The Daily Record / Soundcheck :Friday 8th Dec 06


This is an album that will take you to heaven. If you have an ear for Sigur Ros or Ulrich Schnuass this is another recording to add to your collection.Simple electronic melodies glide you through the whole experience,then with the introduction of heavily distorted guitar riffs you can`t do anything other than go with the music and kaleidescope to a euphoric high .Try listening tp Page 21 with your eves closed.
**** itunes

Inspired by Glasgow's Underground guitar music scene, David Reid (bass) and Kevan Whitley (guitar, keyboards and vocals) founded post-rock electronic duo Keser. Fear not though, as they are not just another fake Mogwai, but they actually manage to achieve in their tracks a new sound drenched in guitar-based electronica. From the soothing rhythms of 'FM Rocker' to the angsty and mournfully elegant electro-cirlicues of '4_Cycles', Keser prove they are able to explore the syntax of electronica with awe and excitement. Sounding like a cross between a softer version of Macrocosmica with a touch of Aereogramme, Keser combine electronic tenebrous dissonance, bass-heavy rhythms and a dose of vitriol with contemplative guitars. 'Lost for Days' switches from the ghostly to the spaced out while 'Destination:Destiny' is definitely the best track on the album thanks to its crescendo of sophisticated charming sounds and its noisecore ferocity. A band worth investigating.

Is This Music (AB) Dec 06


Esoteric Escape" (Alex Tronic Records)

One of the main reasons for starting this blog was to find and help promote great Scottish music. Although I have posted on a handful of acts already, I thought it was time to step it up a gear. First up is Keser, who were recommended to me by New York based blog I Work At Initech.

I am preplexed at how I managed to let a band such as Keser slip under my radar, and it took an American based blogger to point them in my direction. The Edinburgh based duo create a sound that masses together the intesity of Mogwai, Boards of Canada style synths and inventive programming. They also share some similarities with Glasgow based Errors.

"Esoteric Escape" was released in late August through Scottish indie label Alex Tronic, and is a thoroughly enjoyable affair. It kicks off with the pulsing keys of "FM Rocker", before their electronica influences come to the fore after a minute or so with glitchy beats forcing their way into the mix.

"4 Cycles" continues this trend, although this time it contains a more prominent guitar melody that gives an almost Four Tet aura. However, the duo show they are a big fan of shoegazer bands such as My Bloody Valentine as a huge wall of guitar distortion hits around the 3 minute mark. The track ends with crazy Aphex style programming.

The first real highlight occurs on the fifth track, "In The Next Beginning". Starting with obscured and intertwined vocal samples, the duo portray a satisfying ability of combining euphoric synths, huge wall-of-sound guitars and solid chunky beats.

Being form Scotland, it is hard for bands not to be influenced by what has gone before them. Keser have certainly studied the dynamics of bands such as Mogwai and Aerogramme, but also retain their own identity.

"Rolling V2" would be more at home on a Boards Of Canada album than a Mogwai release, while "Frozen Fireworks" is introduced with pounding Rich Hawtin-esque beats and a sample of someone talking in A Scottish accent, that is a lot less harsher than my Glaswegian dialect.

Again the duo mix those strings, beats and guitars to great effect. If anybody knows, n5md artist, Bitcrush they will know what I am talking about. "Frozen Fireworks" would have been my favourite track on the album, if it wasn't for the next one.

"Destination:Destiny" immediately made me take notice as soon as I heard it. This one I recommend playing at full volume to get the greatest impact. It is a slow-burner (around four minutes of build up) but it is well worth the wait. As mammoth sounding guitars are unleashed around after the 4 minutes . It is as forceful as anything Mogwai have ever recorded and is certainly one of those 'hair on the back' of the neck moments.

Things are toned down slightly for the remaining three tracks. Album closer, "Kontrol/ Kaos" is an apt name for the track, as it starts calmly beofre descending into the chaos of those signature guitars.

"Esoteric Escape" is an album that can be listened to with headphones (where you will hear the intircate programming and subtle vocal samples) or you can also play it at full volume to annoy the neighbours with huge distorted guitar chords. Either way you will get a lot from Keser. A welcome edition to the scottish music scene.

Boring Machines disturb sleep -web


Keser - Esoteric Escape
Keser are a 2 piece electronic outfit from Edinburgh, and this is their 12 track debut on Alextronic records.
They cite Mogwai and Aerogramme among others in their influences, as may be expected, but on this release things are mainly kept below the raucous level and more on a chilled out plane. The opening track ‘FM Rocker’ is a prime example of this, though it does give way, Orbital style, to the slightly more menacing ‘4_Cycles’.
‘Page 20’ has an intro not unlike The Postal Service, maybe at a push Dntel, but definitely Jimmy Tamburello sounding. Which believe me is no bad thing.
The production is slick, as is the whole presentation of the band. The 12 tracks could have been slimmed to 9 or 10 without much grief, but I’d listen to it again and on the whole it’s a thumbs up for Keser. Would be interesting to catch their live show.


Keser hails from Scotland, and you can tell that almost immediately from listening to their debut release “Esoteric Escape.” A one-sentence review of this album would be that it sounds like Slint or My Bloody Valentine playing a group of songs by the likes of Boards of Canada and Of Montreal. The two-piece band, comprised of Kevan Whitly (guitar & electronics) and David Reid (bass), manage to pull off a sound that at times reminds me of Air (“Lost for Days”), and Aphex Twin (“4_Cycles”), with slightly more pronounced guitar riffs.
While much of the album does not contain vocals, in keeping with most post-rock (Scottish) outfits, when there are passages with vocals they blend in nicely and add to the overall mood of the music.

Overall the album is more than just an interesting listen throughout, as Keser manage to make shoe-gazer style music in a mostly electronic/keyboard driven medium.The album is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for some electronica-fed post-rock!

Sean Clancy tech .com

Keser explode onto the Scottish scene with their debut album 'Esoteric Escape' and bring forth a new progressive form of guitar-based seraphic electronica from the sublime Edinburgh imprint Alex Tronic Records. Ambient and ethereal sounds elevate subtly, building up into crushing waves and returning back again. The vaporous instrumentals and melodic chimings are only anchored by the electro beats and unconditional ambience throughout. This 'music as a metaphor for life' mentality is evident on every track. 'Esoteric Escape' has captured both their live feel and refined recordings into 12 tracks and diverges into the realms of post rock melodic electonica. You can hear samples of '4_Cycles' and 'Teach' on


KESER are a Scots post rock duo who, like the best artists of the genre, mix their guitar leanings in equal part with electronica. Bold to enter such an arena, as there are so many skilful exponents not only in Scotland but also Scandinavia, which I'll extend to include Finland and Iceland. (Be sure to understand that I love the music, simply. Geography interests me far less, although I am beginning to wonder if there isn't some magic in the North Sea water!)

There is something rarified about this ambitious debut. High altitude, far-reaching, call it what you will. This is a polished, sophisticated release -- an aural panorama in twelve parts, bound together by a retro-futuristic ambience evocative of airports, cities and technology. A high speed, wide-screen dream. I think we may need our passports.

The music itself blends Boards of Canada sentimentalism with the romantic imagery of The Blue Nile. Add a dash of the cheerier side of Mogwai's guitar pickings and you've pretty much got Esoteric Escape. (That's the Young Team rather than the Come On Die Young Mogwai. Think mischief rather than melancholy.) Reading back, I realize all three of those luminaries are themselves also Scottish. No escaping shadows of such magnitude, I guess? And frankly, why would you want to?

The album opens with a couple of mood-setting pieces. All the aural cues are there. Sit down, strap in and pay close attention to the safety demonstration. Guitars come to the boil nicely but it's KESER's brave beats that ties it all together. Third up, a track to luxuriate in. The lulling hypnosis of Lost For Days pours out of my speakers like dry ice, and begins to envelope me slowly from the ankles upwards. Narrated by its bass and flirting with dub sensibilities, this could almost have been a Seefeel track. Lovely.

In the next beginning marks the start of the album's defining phase. This searing epic drops me nicely into Rolling V2, a modern spin on the gentle, early works of Durutti Column executed with panache. Teach could have been a Stafrænn Hákon and Ulrich Schnauss collaboration . Considering it is also one of the less notable tracks on the album, I think that shows the quality of what we're talking about here. Teach does however lead nicely into another of the album highlights, Frozen fireworks. (You know it's going to be a standout from the title!). Pure Schnauss again, but with a twist in the form of a neat voiceover.

Destination destiny is a mere formulaic lull in proceedings - another rocketing climax. I prefer the KESER that isn't afraid to explore their quieter side. Yet on Page 21, guitars twinkle like a Christmas Eve sky. The atmosphere is of joy and starry-eyed wonder. A track M83 would have been proud to call their own. It shows though, how effortlessly KESER can step from one guise to the next. One moment they are a soundtrack for 70's Boeing Documentary, and the next they are Richard Dreyfus entering the Mothership in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind!

On this slick debut they've proven they can fly anything. Now, where will they take us?

Review by Brett Spaceman




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