Natural Self is a Brighton based producer
who makes excellently funky music. He also goes by the name
of Keno-1, depending on type of sounds he's making.
Despite being relatively new on the scene (he began making
music in 2000), Mr. Self has put out many quality releases,
starting with a 7", 'Shake Down' 7" on Tru-Thoughts in 2001.
More recently he released his debut full length album 'Let
Peace Be The Ruler' on Breakin Bread in Feburary 2006, and
it's a stonker. Although Natural self is generally speaking,
a solo venture he doesn't shy away from doing collabos with
artists such as Nostalgia 77 (together they are Keno-1 And
The Hermit) Alice Russell and John Styles of Quantic Soul
Orchestra. Not to mention a whole shed load of remixes ranging
from Oscar Sulley and the Uhuru Dance Band to Nicole Willis
And The Soul Investigators.
Nat's music is soulful, wide-ranging, intricate and certified
fresh. He loves those big bad funky drum beats and bass lines
but there's a whole lot more to it than that. Nat has a knack
for absorbing Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Brazilian and African influences
and creating a monstrously good new sound. He says "Even though
Hip Hop has been my primary influence, by the time I got round
to making music, somehow I didn't feel like I could do solely
that and make the music I wanted to make."
Listen to 'Let Peace Be The Ruler' and the drums and percussion
will be the first things that hits you. This album represents
a slight shift in the way Nat makes his music, veering more
towards live instruments rather than exclusively using samples.
There's live guitar, Latin percussion (congas and timbales),
flute and vocals all working together to build Nat's trademark
rich sound. "It's a new thing for all of us' says Nat '[Breakin
Bread have] reached a point where they're trying to expand,
out of the first 7"s, which were really kind of cut-up club
gear. They started putting out hip hop 12"s, and now I think
they've broadened and want to try something new. It makes
a lot of sense for all of us,"
We could go on, but why not check it out for yourself by visiting
his various release pages on this site.
Natural Self's influences include Eddie Bo, Alice Coltrane,
Large Proffesor, Madlib, Pete Rock, Cut Chemist, Cedric 'Im'
Brooks, Anti-Pop Consortium, Bosco Mann and The Dap-Kings,
DJ Krush, Anti-Con, Malcolm Catto, Beastie Boys, QSO, Edan,
Digable Planets, MF Doom, heavy Roots music, East European
Gypsy Folk, and a whole bunch of other stuff...
Mr. Self is also a prolific DJ who's sets bring together all
the genres that influence his own music. He says "Hip Hop
and Funk are mainly what I play when I DJ, exactly the Breakin'
Bread style, and are arguably the two strongest influences
in the Natural Self stuff".
To get an idea of what a Natural Self DJ set is like (and
its certainly something to behold), check out his mix CD 'The
Ritual'. Just over an hour of excellent up tempo tunes, spanning
multiple genres and time periods but all rooted in that heavy
Natural Self has recently joined forces with Nostalgia 77
to form 'The Broken Keys', who's debut album 'Gravity' will
be out now on Tru Thoughts. It continues the huge drum sounds
and wicked grooves, but adds a slightly more of a rock element.
A few twanging guitars and gruff vocals are thrown in the
mix to great effect.
Nat is planning to recruit members for his soon to be realized
live band. The Natural Self sound lends itself very well to
being played live as it's based on heavy drum and percussion
sounds layered with rich horns and bass.