Soundspecies is the alias of Producer/DJ brothers Henry and Oliver Keen, based in London, UK.
Soundspecies have performed/DJ'd at festivals and venues worldwide including Bestival (UK), The Big Chill (UK), Latitude (UK), Boomtown (UK), Wilderness (UK), Sonar (Barcelona), Fengaros (Cyprus), Rockit (Italy), ReReRiga (Latvia), Sunsplash(Turkey), Respect festival (Prague), Latino Power (Bogota), Cargo (London), Red Bull Music Academy (Seattle), BBC Maida Vale Sessions, Manana (Cuba) and many more…
As Dj's, their sets will happily bounce between 70's Afro-Funk, Jazz and Samba, alongside some Broken-Beat, House, Techno and Hip-Hop. As producers, their discography of releases, built over a span of nearly 15 years, reflects their eclectic tastes and open-minded approach.
Their musical journey started out in a middle-of-nowhere village in Dorset, UK, with the brothers raised in a musically encouraging and outward looking family, surrounded by instruments for toys and little else to do! Sounds and rhythms were building blocks for creative construction and a taste for the music of the world was developed at an early age.
One brother (Henry) took a DJing route in music, grabbing on to irresistible sound of the growing Jungle/Drum and Bass scene in nearby Bristol at an impressionable age, later getting into production and beat-making. The other (Oliver) started out playing in bands, carving out an early career playing bass and later studying music, recording and acoustics at university.
The brothers reunited in London around 2004 and set about messing around with computers, drum machines and synths and combining their myriad influences into a sound of their own.
In 2007, Soundpecies had a track included on the Burntprogress 1.1 compilation, on Burntprogress records - a offshoot of the seminal club night CDR at Plastic People, which the brothers had been attending religiously for years.
In 2009 – Soundspecies' debut album came out on Burntprogress records.
The album was a mix of studio produced material, some Hip Hop, some Deep House, Broken Beat and Electric Soul, created over a period of almost 5 years, featuring worldwide guests including Ahu, Foreign Beggars, Black Spade, Deborah Jordan and more. Accompanied by a 6-track vinyl E.P of some of the floor fillers from the album plus a couple of bonus tracks.
Celebrated and praised by the likes of Mary Ann Hobbs, Ras Kwame, Max Reinhart and Gilles Peterson who selected 'Can We Call It Love' feat. AHU for his 'Brownswood Bubblers' compilation vol.4.
In 2011 came The Bamana Project E.P, released on Round in Motion records. The music consisted of interpretations of Malian bass and guitar riffs picked up by Olly during his travels in West Africa and also featured the instrumental talents of younger brothers Nathaniel and Barnaby, as well as friend and drummer Dave De Rose.
Over the last 5 years – the music Soundspecies have been producing has explored the territory between traditional African and Afro-Latin rhythmic percussion music and electronic dance music. Hard disks full of beats and tunes, very little of which has been released. ‘Balafon Jam’, released as a single in 2015 is representative of this collection. Another Soundspecies E.P in this vein is a forthcoming project re-working the recordings of UK/Gambian Sabar/Jazz ensemble Outhouse Ruhabi.
In May 2016, Soundspecies were invited to take part in Manana Cuba, ‘the first ever electronic music festival in Cuba’. They are currently working towards a release of the recordings they made at EGREM studio in Santiago de Cuba with the local Bembe band with whom they collaborated, Achi Meyi.
An off-shoot of the Soundspecies live band started when the brothers crossed paths at a festival with Moroccan master musician Simo Lagnawi. They spawned a new band fusing the deep rhythmic trance music of the Gnawa tradition with a arsenal of deep rhythmic beats and sounds of their own. The name given to the band is Electric Jalaba. www.electricjalaba.com
The Room Below is an outlet for Henry’s long time love of Detroit Techno. The Room below sessions - a remix album of all Paul White productions was well received by record buyers and the clickerati alike!
Selected discography Soundspecies
2000 - 'First Species' E.P (Vinyl)
2009 – Soundspecies debut album on Burntprogress records (CD)
2010 - Soundspecies E.P (Vinyl) on Burntprogress records
2011 - Bamana Project E.P on Round in Motion records
2015 Balafon Jam (single) – Beauty and The Beat records