Soundspecies is the alias of brothers Henry and Oliver Keen, London-based producers, musicians and DJs who have grown up making music together. This new live project is led by Oliver Keen inspired by his travel to West Africa. Joined by his other brothers Barnaby and Nathaniel (Andreya Triana) with honorary brother Dave De Rose (Mulatu Astatke, Mark Ronson, Moloko), they created unique live upbeat music with strong influence of West African rhythms and grooves.
Oliver Keen wrote the music for the Bamana Project after a musical pilgrimage to West Africa in 2006.
"I arrived first in Dakar, Senegal 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 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."
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