DJ Aaron Byrd gives us the lowdown on a recent addition to KCRW’s Music Library — Soundspecies:
“People ask me all the time “where do you get all the music for your show?” A simple question without a simple answer considering all of us here listen to each others shows and swap music while also checking blogs, compilations, music listeners send, random recommendations, live shows… With the amount of music we receive, things are bound to be lost in the shuffle to be discovered at a later time…hopefully.
To remedy what I like to call “one of greatest problems to have,” I have an iTunes playlist titled “I’m Digging It.” So, sometimes while I’m cleaning the house or I know I’ll be in front of the computer for a while, I’ll put that playlist on or just put my library on shuffle (by the way, I highly recommend doing this every now and then. You’ll be absolutely amazed by what you’ve forgotten you have and equally as surprised by what you didn’t know you had). Such was the case for a recent discovery called Soundspecies.
I came across a track called “Mas Del Bos” by Soundspecies a few months back and of course I couldn’t tell you where or how, but I remember liking it a lot! It’s soulful, jazzy with some distinct world music influences and overall very well produced — just my kind of tune. Late one night while going through a bunch of emails, I put “I’m Digging It” on shuffle and it came on. I was like “oh yeah…I forgot about this!” I immediately stopped what I was doing and started snooping around the internet to find out more information, possibly even more music, and I was able to find both! Soundspecies was formed by the brother duo of Henry and Olly Keen. Based in London, the Keen brothers look to be in their early to mid-20s, but they certainly don’t sound like it. Their website says “they grew up with a jamboree of musical instruments for toys” and their self-titled debut on “Burnt Progress” clearly exemplifies their mastery of, well, being kids.
Soundspecies LP features tracks with appearances by Black Spade, spoken word artist Ventriloquist and an amazing up and coming jazz vocalist by the name of Deborah Jordan. The record cleverly navigates from jazz to trip-hop to downtempo to sultry R&B and beyond. These are some bad brothers. I highly recommend you checking out one of my February DJ Picks, Soundspecies, which is avaible online on both iTunes and Amazon.”