Keser - Esoteric Escape
Mike Mantin 27/08/2006
'Esoteric Escape', the debut album from Scottish duo Keser, is an impressive stab at fitting in with the genre of chilled-out post-rock electronica mastered by fellow countrymen Boards Of Canada. Though difficult to enjoy in one sitting (it's just too damn blissed-out!), it ticks every box to ensure post-rock success: most songs are built around a hypnotic repeated guitar line, the album's smothered in floaty noise, and there's even the standard Godspeed-esque apocalyptic spoken-word vocals on 'Frozen Fireworks'. When it works best, like on gentle opener 'FM Rocker' (surely the most misleading song title of all time) or the Explosions In The Sky-style 'Page 21 (Reasons To Believe)', it's up there with their dauntingly brilliant influences.
The album's main problem, like many post-rock albums, is that it takes a lot of focus to treat it as an album rather than really lovely background music. Too often the album simply floats off with little to hold your attention. In places, it also lacks the memorable tunes and innovation which helped bands like Mogwai and M83, two very clear influences on Keser, overcome this. But while you shouldn't expect anything new, it'd be unfair to dismiss some of the divine work on here. Post-rock and electronica conniseurs will find much to love, plus of course it's always good to find chillout music which has no intent to cynically cash in on the Mondeo market.