Keshavara wear bold headpieces and speak an adventurous patois of English, Hindi, German and Gibberish. On their new album „III“, the Cologne-based outfit led by German-Indian musician Keshav Purushotham creates music in a way other people mix their cocktails after they’ve already enjoyed three drinks: Washed-out kraut-pop and diasporic dub-not-dub excursions are roughly measured out and then shaken wildly.
Sweet and mesmerizing melodies, borrowed from a fantastic no man’s land in the border region between exotic library compositions and psychedelic soundtracks, merged with the grooves of a rhythm section that would have felt right at home in the recording studios of mid-seventies’ funky Beirut. The outcome is a seductively colourful cocktail with the dazzling effect of hallucinogenic Jell-O, topped with a surrealist sugar rim. Music that shimmers and flickers like a mirage in the desert.
While Keshavara’s debut was a solo album and its follow-up „Kabinett der Phantasie“ essentially a duo’s work, with their self-produced third album, simply titled „III“, Keshav Purushotham, Niklas Schneider, Benedikt Filleböck and Christopher Martin have finally grown together into a four-piece band.
With „III“, Keshavara prove themselves to be shrewd sound alchemists and accomplished travellers between worlds, a soft power whose strength is fed by the band’s members’ enormous musicality, their love of storytelling and their surrealistic wit.

Kabinett der Phantasie (Cabinet of fantasy)

Keshavara’s journey from a solo project to a band collective and then a traveling musical theater took an unexpected turn due to the pandemic. In response, Keshav Purushotham and drummer Niklas Schneider conceived a film adaptation of their Vaudeville-inspired stage show, „Kabinett der Phantasie,“ accompanying the eponymous album.
This film is a lavish, avant-garde production intertwining music, dramatic performance, and dance into a transcultural spectacle. Clocking in at almost twenty minutes with four songs, „Kabinett der Phantasie“ features a richly staged world with multifaceted characters. Keshavara experiment passionately with perspectives, capturing surrealistic humor, Dadaistic elements, and influences from Indian myths to 90s music television, creating narrative miniatures as colorful as Russian Matryoshka dolls. In this hallucinatory experience within an experience, Keshavara blends faded synth-pop, hip hop, krautrock, and classic Indian music, shaken quite wildly. The surrealistic humor acts as the sugar rim, enveloping the film in a phantasmaorgiastic bacchanal of transcultural clashes.

© Niclas Weber

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