Live upbeat live dance music with flavours of Funk, Afrobeat, Highlife, Chimurenga and Dub
A1: Trois Etages 7:20
A2: Fassirimar 4:58
B1: I Farati! 6:35
B2: Bamana 5:40
Soundspecies is the alias of brothers Henry and Oliver Keen, London-based producers, musicians and DJs who have grown up making music together. Their collection of musical instruments for toys set the tone for a playful approach to music and sound manipulation that continues to be at the heart of their creative process.
Their self-titled debut album was released on Burnt Progress Records, London. ‘Can We Call It Love’ from their follow up 12″ EP topped record of the week charts on various polls and was included on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Bubblers vol.4. They also recorded for Gilles Peterson at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studio and count Mary Ann Hobbs and Ras Kwame among their supporters.
Oliver Keen wrote the music for the Bamana Project after a musical pilgrimage to West Africa in 2006.
“I arrived first in Dakar, Sengal and spent a month in that crazy, hot, dusty, choking, diesel-fumed air, chilling by day and waiting for the nightly feasts of Mbalax and Salsa,” he says. “Amongst other adventures I got to sit in on bass a few times with a top Dakar band and somehow ended up as a backing singer at the famous St Louis Jazz Festival! After Dakar I crossed overland to the famous musical metropolis that is Bamako (Mali) where I stayed for another two weeks before moving onwards down to Accra (Ghana) where my trip ended.”
“It was in the majestic, colourful city of Bamako that the Bamana Project was born. My brain was constantly buzzing with inspiration, my guitar and ideas pad locked in my hand, fed by nightly trips around the city on the back of a scooter to the music clubs for more nightly musical feasts of ancient beats and the never-ending ngoni riffs. Always heavy, HEAVY grooves!”
On his return to the UK, Oliver wrote and developed the material and then got his brothers Nathaniel and Barnaby on board, along with drummer and friend Dave De Rose (Mulatu Astatke, Mark Ronson, Moloko) to create a live record as a Soundspecies side-project. “The name was chosen with respect to the people who shared with me the music that inspired me. The Bamana people are part of the Mande ethnic group that make up part of the population of Mali and various west African countries”
Oliver Keen – Bass, synths, percussion
Nathaniel Keen – Guitar
Barnaby Keen – Rhodes and percussion
Dave De Rose – Drums
Rhodes on ‘I Farati!’ – Adam Hughes
Moog and analog delay on ‘Banama’ & ‘I Farati!’ – Henry Keen
Recorded by Ahmad Dayes at MIDI Music Centre, Deptford, UK
Mixed by Oliver Keen
Mastered by Stuart Hawkes at Metropolis Mastering, UK