Kessoncoda

Outerstate

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Gondwana’s newest stars are West London’s Kessoncoda, aka drummer Tom Sunney and keyboardist Fil Sowa. Standing firm between acoustic tradition and electronica, they are founded on a unique blend of melodic ostinato-laced piano and unwavering drums. Drawing on their array of musical interests, Fil and Tom take influence from rock, electronica, ambient, breakbeat and soundtracks for film and artists such as Squarepusher, Radiohead and Clark all hot-housed in their unique studio set-up, a shed at the bottom of Tom’s garden.

Like former and present Gondwana Records label mates such as GoGo Penguin and Portico Quartet there’s something strongly cinematic about Kessoncoda’s music, like a narrative arc which unfolds through different themes and moods, with an ebb-and-flow of intensity, as breath-taking swells of melody burst into being, eventually to resolve in a wondrous climax.

There’s also a deliberate undercurrent of post Covid unease which is encapsulated in the title Outerstate. “this feeling of being within a group of friends, and you're chatting, and you’re physically there but mentally you're not at all – you're somewhere else, a really weird state of being.” The murmured lyrics on Talk To Me I’m Sleeping are Tom’s poem about this dislocation, and it’s voiced by their friend/photographer Siân O’Connor. Elsewhere, there’s a fabulous moment on Dreambend, when further collaborators pop up – Gondwana label-mate saxophonist Jasmine Myra, violinist Krystyna Pęzínska and on cello Fil’s music teacher from school, Andreas Manoras. Outerstate is also subtly textured with synths and tech-noize, reflecting their interest in electronica (think Warp Records, Erased Tapes) – “the warm, warbly side of synths right through to the really shrill Squarepusher sound.”

It’s the perfect union of complementary personalities that gives Kessoncoda their unique drive, of headlong sticksman Tom with his extraordinary offbeat pummel, together with thoughtful keysman Fil, with his ostinato melodiousness. The title Outerstate also reflects their location on the metropolitan outskirts of West London, and equally their existence at a distinct remove from any scene, as they dreamt up their soundworld in hermetic isolation. Now, though, they’re ready to go public and something tells us that Outerstate is just the beginning of something. From Tom’s shed to the world, Kessoncoda are ready to go global! 

TRACK LISTING

A1. The Sum Of All The Parts
A2. Greyscale
A3. KTO
A4. Hammers
A5. Talk To Me I'm Sleeping
B1. Spaceliminal
B2. Dreambend
B3. X Is Closer To A
B4. Reverie
B5. Amaya 

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