Beautiful soundscapes that become conduits to otherworldly realms and penetrate deep into one’s emotional core are something that Brighton drum ‘n’ bass duo Spectrasoul does incredibly well. Their productions chart the emotional course of the journey guiding listeners to a deeper vibe.
Dave Kennett and Jack Stevens both started out DJing and “dabbling in music theory” before being introduced to one another by a mutual friend. They hit it off, conversing and swapping tracks and began working on collaborations in the studio together. Two of those ended up being signed by DJ Friction to his SGN:LTD label.
Kennet discovered raves and early jungle via a “Dreamscape tape from a friend at school. I guess that started my lust for bass music, which fuelled a record buying addiction, ultimately leading to the discovery of D’n’B a few years down the line.
“I was a massive fan of Good Looking Records and distinctly remember the first time I heard ‘The Western’ by PFM around ‘96. That was, and still is, a huge influence on me.” Kennet also lists DJ Friction as a mentor, Cinematic Orchestra as an influence and Bon Jovi as a guilty pleasure (who doesn’t?)
Kennet and Stevens have no other agenda in mind but making tracks that they enjoy with the hope that others will as well. Kennet says with a dose of British understatement: “Luckily for us, a few people do. When you hear stories of everyone’s individual introduction, it makes you realize how what we do in the studio actually reaches people on a global scale. I guess that’s one of the great things about modern music, how accessible it really is and how it can resonate with someone on such a personal level, enough for them to become a follower of your work,” adding how fortunate they feel to have been able to have a career in music.
Spectrasoul’s ability to captivate an audience is based in their seemingly effortless and consistent ability to find the perfect vocals for their music. However, Kennet points out that it is often the result of cultivating long-term working relationships and relying on networking with friends and colleagues rather than using a session vocalist. Although time consuming, Kennet adds that “it’s a great feeling when we nail it.” In the case of their latest release Play the Fool, they struggled with finding the perfect vocals, but when they heard Jamie Jooste’s demo, they knew she was the right fit.
Breaking down the rolls of the duo, Kennet says that Stevens is more of the musical technician in the studio, while he, Kennet, hunts for the “sound palettes” to bring the tracks to life. They then share the creative input.
On music production and collaboration Kennet offers a piece of advice to all newbie producers: “Reference, reference, reference, take risks, and be experimental.”
With their stunning full-length album Delay No More out now on Friction’s Shogun Audio label, the boys are back in the studio working on upcoming projects and remixes, and will be here to lead Calgarians on a beautiful, light-filled musical journey.
Spectrasoul will be touching down in Calgary on Friday, February 7th at The Republik and Saturday, February 8th at the Red Room Ultra Bar in Vancouver.
By Marisha Shegda