In a corner of suburban South London, four musicians are hunkered in a dark room, sinking deep into a groove. On Moog synth and violin, Raven Bush is processing a drone while trading mellifluous melodies with flute player Ross Harris, aka Biscuit. Over on the drum kit, Giles Kwakeulati King-Ashong, aka Kwake Bass, is thumping out a head-nodding kick and snare pattern, interlocking with bassist Peter Bennie’s weighty, rooted lines. Onto the mic steadily drift their collaborators: poet and writer Kae Tempest, MC Confucius, and singer Tawiah.
This group of instrumentalists are Speakers Corner Quartet, and they have been creating open, collaborative spaces like these for the better part of the last 20 years. First forming in 2006 as the house band for Speakers Corner, an infamously raucous hip-hop jam night in Brixton from which they took their name, the quartet has gone on to cultivate a remarkably impressive network of artistic partners in their native South London. King-Ashong has worked as musical director for Tempest and Mercury Prize winner Sampha, as well as the group backing everyone from composer Mica Levi to MF Doom, vocalist Tirzah, artist Chris Ofili and even supporting Herbie Hancock.
Read the feature in Bandcamp Daily
[This piece was published on 20/09/23]