Kahn & Neek

As you may or may not be aware, every time we release an artist's CD on either of our ongoing mix series (fabric/FABRICLIVE) there happens a lot of behind the scenes conversations that are all part of the preparation. One of these is a tailor constructed artist biography that's written to give the press extra background information on the artist in question: where they were born, where they grew up, how they got into music, etc etc. In truth, these biographies often become quite enlightening documents in their own right and from now on, in the week before we release the mixes to the public, we'll be publishing the biographies here to give you, our faithful readership, the exact same additional insight.

Kahn & Neek (FABRICLIVE 90)

Kahn: I was born in London but mostly grew up in Bristol, though my family travelled a lot all through my early childhood for my Dad’s work.

Neek: I was born in Bristol and lived all over the city whilst at school.

Kahn: My parents love music and we always had music on in the house. They would take me and my brother to music festivals more or less every year and I was exposed to lots of different types of music from a young age. I’ve wanted to be a musician ever since I as a little kid so I’ve been lucky to have the support from my family to follow this path.

Neek: I was always around music as a kid, my Mum loved to play Motown, Funk, Soul and Reggae in the kitchen to dance around to. My mum bought me my first Hip Hop cassette, The Fugees - The Score when I was 8! Uncle Simon, my Mum’s brother, was a DJ so I always saw decks as a cool thing that I hoped to grow up and own one day. He used to be playing everything from Acid, Chicago House, Hip Hop to Reggae and Dancehall in his flat when we would go over to play Super Nintendo.

Neek: I really loved Hip Hop from a young age, as a teenager I was into lots of different stuff (Punk, Grunge, Rap, UK Garage). So Solid Crew and Heartless Crew were really influential in shaping my interest in club music. Also having Kazaa and LimeWire opened me up to all this music from pirate radio in London. I went to some Hip Hop shows, but from the age of 16 I mostly went to clubs in Bristol to watch D’n’B, Jungle, Grime and early Dubstep DJs.

Kahn: I’ve always been into a variety of music since I was a kid, from artists like The Smiths and Kate Bush to traditional folk music from around the world and music from the renaissance and baroque period.

From going through my parents old records I got heavily into post-punk and music from Jamaica as a teenager. I began experimenting with music software at school and got my own setup when I was around 16. I was going out more or less every night during that period, going to gigs and club nights hearing all the newer sounds coming out of Bristol and beyond. That’s really how I met Neek and lots of other people in the Bristol music community.

"I’m personally really proud of this mix as I feel we’ve put together a relatively broad spectrum of music from artists we work with or have a personal connection with in some way. We kept it as a more traditional DJ mix in certain sections but it also moves outside of what we would usually play in a club setting." - Kahn

Neek: I bought my first turntables in June 2005, I was 17 at the time. Around 9 months later I was playing out in Bristol, just lots of small clubs and random parties, but it was my first taste of that world. 6 months after my first gig I started my own club night (The Sureskank Convention) to promote the Grime, Dubstep and Reggae that my friends were all playing at the time. We just celebrated our 10th anniversary of the night! That was what really set me on the path I am still on to this day.

Kahn: Much like Neek described, my earliest experiences of playing out were at house parties and the small, sporadic club nights that our mates put on around Bristol. Later on I became part of the Sureskank residents and began playing more regularly, it was a really formative period and I think it was a crucial component for us in honing our craft as DJs.

My first release came out at the end of 2010 on a label called A Future Without, which was followed closely by my first vinyl release in 2011 on the legendary Bristol label Punch Drunk Records, run by Peverelist. I began playing out more and more off the back of my subsequent releases and have been doing it full time ever since. Neek and I started our label Bandulu Records in 2012 and we tend to DJ together at the majority of our gigs nowadays.

Neek: I started to play around with production software whilst at University in Brighton, maybe 2007/8. The first tracks I made with Kahn were in 2008 when we were playing out together a fair bit, but we started writing together more seriously around 2010.

In April 2012 we had our first release as Gorgon Sound on Bristol's Peng Sound Records, then in June we started Bandulu Records and began releasing our own Grime instrumentals on vinyl.

Kahn: Since then we have released singles and remixes (together and individually) on labels such as Deep Medi Musik, Warp Records, Tectonic, Punch Drunk Records, Hotline Recordings, Terrorhythm, Keysound, Sector 7 Sounds and Idle Hands.

Neek: I first went to fabric in 2007 to one of the earliest line ups in Room Two of purely Grime and Dubstep. The highlights of the night for me were Mala and Virus Syndicate, and ever since that night I couldn’t wait to play there myself one day. We finally got the chance when we were asked to play at a Butterz party many years later and have since done our own Bandulu Records takeover of Room Two, which was a momentous event for us. As big clubs go in London it is definitely the bench mark for how it’s meant to be done, it is such an important venue to so many underground music scenes from the UK and around the world.

Kahn: I’m personally really proud of this mix as I feel we’ve put together a relatively broad spectrum of music from artists we work with or have a personal connection with in some way. We kept it as a more traditional DJ mix in certain sections but it also moves outside of what we would usually play in a club setting. Certainly including music from artists like Jabu, chester giles, Rider Shafique and ManonMars (who are all part of the Young Echo collective, as we are) has allowed us to craft the mix into a richer offering as it gives us an opportunity to showcase music from other projects we’re involved in outside of Kahn & Neek.

Neek: We put the mix together at Kahn’s house, which has been a crucial place for us for rehearsing, doing radio shows and writing tunes in various rooms over the years! It took around 6 months to get all the material together for the mix, including exclusive tracks from artists we have become good friends with over the years. I hope it sounds different to other mixes we have done in the past and maybe delves a bit deeper into our musical tastes than a straight-up club mix normally would.

Kahn: In the immediate future we are starting a new Young Echo record label which will be based out of Bristol, featuring music from everyone in the collective and beyond. We’re all really excited about it and we have the first release coming out before the end of the year so keep a look out for it. Apart from that, we have new music dropping on Bandulu Records soon and we’re touring all over the place.

Neek: Really the plan is just to keep on making music and growing artistically, exploring new things. Also building our label, putting out quality music and sharing that with the people through playing out all over the world.

FABRICLIVE 90: Kahn & Neek is out now.
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