There’s something funky coming from the West Country…
It comes in the form of KonSoul. Made up of Tom Derryman, David Spicer and Sarah Binney, it’s one of the freshest takes on drum & bass, reminiscent of Roni Size’s live Reprazent. It’s funk heavy, vocally soulful with a tastefully modern approach to the production.
They recently released their first single, two cheeky tracks Circular / The Automatic. Dropping on Symmetry, their clean cut riddims work perfectly on the label that’s known for it precision beats. Both tracks are amazing pieces of work fusing influences from all manner of places, which coupled with their unique style and raw recordings makes for a cracking debut leaving us crying out for more!
We had a chat with the trio behind KonSoul to find out a little more of their influences, first coming together and what we can expect in the future…
Hey, how are you guys?
We're all good thanks, the sunshine is really helping with motivation at the moment, and of course the mission is always to write more music and just keep the ball rolling.
What are you up to this summer?
Between the 3 of us a combination of festivals, gigs, family time and relaxing in the sun whenever possible.
What is KonSoul's ethos?
To produce raw, real, drum and bass that's got the warmth of an old soul or dub record.
You're a brand new, three part dnb outfit out of Devon bringing a truly unique edge to drum & bass, when did you start working together and what drew you drum & bass?
Tom; Around the end of 2016/ early 2017, when I started using Dave's studio to record some drums, originally with Jay DLR and Jack Hart who came down from Bristol to do a session for a Labsamples drum sample pack (which is still yet to be completed). Off the back of these recording sessions I started cutting up some of the beats and naturally Dave got involved putting down some bass and guitar parts and before we knew it we had the bare bones of our first track down, Circular. I then asked Sarah if she was up for getting involved as I knew her vocal style well, and knew it could bring an interesting, classy and mature edge to the sound we had created. Soon after our first track 'Circular' was born. The draw to producing drum and bass came from my long standing obsession with the genre and the want to produce it, but with a difference, drawing from my band orientated background. The whole concept of the project was very much just a daydream I had in my head of what I wanted to try and do, and what's come out as a result has been amazing, all credit to Dave and Sarah for what they brought to the table for me to work with. As a producer it's been incredibly satisfying to work on this project with them, now I'm just looking forward to finishing more tracks together.
Where do you all come from musically? How do you fuse all those elements together?
Tom; Growing up I played in many bands and wrote songs, originally playing guitar at school but then drums became my focus at the age of about 18, but my want to produce music came later. I have been hooked on the drum and bass scene for 15 + years and have always wanted to be a part of it, specifically as a producer.
Dave; My bass playing background is one of vast experience and too many bands and sessions to mention, but my style is firmly rooted in funk, dub and reggae.
Sarah; I taught myself to play guitar and keys whilst writing songs that started off with just a couple of chords and gradually became more complex, I played my material solo acoustically and also with a full band but I always knew I wanted to do more electronic music and so I studied sound recording, synthesis and mixing so I could produce my own tracks. I think having the live background while being interested in dance and electronica is why we've gelled so well-as it's the commitment to using real instruments and warm analogue sounds that has really brought this project to life.
The melting pot of the three of us has formed the sound we hear in KonSoul, it wasn't forced, it just emerged.
Your debut single is out now on Symmetry and is truly incredible, we can only imagine how much fun you all had in the studio together!
Thanks, and yes we did, some laughs were had for sure. You can clearly hear some of the studio chat in the tracks, specifically left in the mix, along with lots of hiss and analogue noise, to really emphasise the DIY recording approach we've taken to create this release
Your sound suits the Symmetry brand pretty much perfectly, is this the beginning of a blossoming relationship?
We'd like to think so, we have a great working relationship with Charlie and Isha at the label and we're really excited about future projects with them and Symmetry.
Have you got anything in the pipeline, any big things brewing?
Yes, we are currently working on several new tunes, the mission at the moment is to write, produce and release as much D&B as we can and really try to develop a place inside the scene, doing our thing.
Are there any acts that have influenced you all, and guided you to where you are now?
Tom; We have all undoubtedly been influenced by soul, funk and reggae music, acts like The Meters, Lee Perry and James Brown display the sort of colour and vibe that we aspire to get into our music but in a modern D&B context.
Sarah; Lyrically I'm interested in including a poetic edge to the tracks without becoming fussy, I'm influenced by people as disparate as Saul Williams, Bill Withers, PJ Harvey and Fink to name a few.
What are you most in love with musically right now?
Tom; Always D&B, new and old, but really I'm into old soul music in a big way at the moment, I just love the sound of it.
Dave; Jazz Funk from the likes of Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten.
Sarah; I always look to Motown for incredible song construction and think how I can keep the hooks within the tracks simple. But recently I'm really enjoying Andreya Trianna, Bellatrix and looking forward to new material from Imogen Heap.
If there was anywhere in the world you could play, where would that be and why?
The Sun and Bass festival in Sardinia would be amazing, partying/ playing in the sun on beach, sounds perfect.
5 tracks that sum up the KonSoul sound? (sorry we done 6 tracks)
Break and Kyo – Simpler Times London Electricity feat Elsa Esmeralda – Elektricity will keep me warm The Meters – Cissy strut Lee 'Scratch' Perry – Curly Locks Massive Attack feat Horace Andy – Spying Glass Quantic Soul Orchestra feat. Alice Russell – Pushing On
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