I recently caught up with Drum and Bass extraordinaire, Keeno to talk about his latest EP ‘Nocturne’ which landed upon Med School at the end of last year. Pioneering a new sound for Drum and Bass, it didn’t take long for Keeno to make his mark on the underground and as 2014 rolls in, we can only expect big things from the young producer this coming year.
The end of 2013 marked the release of your EP ‘Nocturne’ upon Hospital’s sister label Med School. How did you find the journey of creating your EP and are you pleased with the end result?
I have to say I was pretty chuffed with the response with it hitting #13 in the iTunes Dance Charts in only a day and all the positive feedback I’ve been getting since. It was a long time coming for me so I was really excited to have it out there in the open – although I was nervous to see what the reaction would be. There isn’t an awful lot of orchestrally based drum and bass out there at the moment so it could have gone either way – thankfully it went the right way!
In ‘Nocturne’ you’ve created your own brand of orchestral, cinematic and beautiful Drum and Bass. Which artists, if any have helped influence this sound?
I think most of the orchestral influences have happened over my whole life – from composers like Rachmaninoff and Debussy right up to the modern film composers like Thomas Newman and Hans Zimmer. The drum and bass influences come from all over – unsurprisingly mostly within the Hospital Records camp.
You are well renowned for creating incredible remixes, from artists such as London Grammar, Jakwob, S.P.Y and Reflekt. Are there any artists out there you would really want to work with and why?
There are a few vocalists I really want to work with at the moment like Anne Marie who sings withRudimental – am obsessed with her voice, Frank Carter III (who sings with Ivy Lab) and also Alex Vargaswho I’ve just stumbled across. He’s American and has the most amazing voice – check him out singing over the acoustic sessions Above & Beyond are doing at the moment, amazing stuff. There are plenty of producers I want to work with too, probably too many to list!
Last year we heard your excellent remix of Hospital classic ‘By Your Side’ by S.P.Y played upon the Hospital Podcast. We have sadly been informed that this won’t be released. Can you say why this cannot be released?
Actually, it’s getting a release very soon indeed on strictly limited 12″ vinyl over on Spearhead Records – they’re selling out very quickly so go grab one. Hybrid Minds & BCee have done a remix too which I love for its simplicity, so if you haven’t heard that go take a listen. Sadly, there’s no news on a digital release just yet but we’re working on it.
What is it about Drum and Bass that makes you want to produce it? Could you ever see yourself getting involved in any other genre?
Drum and Bass is the most versatile genre I know of – perfect for both dancing and chilling to. I love the energy you get up around 175bpm and how you can be really creative with such a simple idea. I find it really difficult to produce at other tempos at the moment but I’m hoping that’ll change as I gain more experience as I don’t want to limit myself too much.
Now that ‘Nocturne’ has dropped, what does the future hold for Keeno? Can you give our readers any hints of what to look out for over 2014?
Well, I’ve got a couple remixes dropping soon which you’ll hear about in the near future but mainly I’m really excited to be playing some amazing gigs with Med School in my home away from home, Manchester and also down in Bristol in March. If you live near either cities come check it out – I love DJing live and it’d be great to see some of you there! As well as Med School/Hospitality nights I’ll be playing at some Liquicity events and some other bits and bobs around the country (of course in between studying Classical Music at University…).