Interview: Project Karnak

Project Karnak

We’re big fans of London duo Project Karnak, here at Twistesoul.

Comprised of Sam Ouissellat (drums) and Dominic Canning (keys, bass, production) the pair caught our attention back in 2017 with their debut track ‘Fellowship’ a heady blend of spirited drums, gorgeous bundles of jazz chord progressions and a healthy dose of funky bass synth.

Last year London label None More Records released their 5-track EP called ‘Equinox’. The idea behind the band is to create synthesised, electronic sounds and bring them into a “jazz” realm accompanied by tight, energetic and fresh drums.

Across the project the duo meld influences from drum & bass, jazz and funk. If you’ve not heard the EP, you can check out ‘Cats Of Nunhead’ our favourite track that provides the perfect snapshot of their fresh electronic jazz soundscapes.

Ahead of their show alongside PYJÆN at Corsica Studios tonight we’re keen to find out more about them..

For those who might be new to you. Tell us about how Project Karnak came together?

Dominic and I first met six years ago in secondary school. We used to jam together and always wanted to start a project. Fast forward to the end of 2016, and we randomly decided to meet up and record some music in my studio. There was a moment where we listened back to the stuff and thought “yeah this is wavey”. Alex Blake (Guitar) and Martin Stephens (Bass) joined us shortly after, and the rest is history.

From the outside, it seems like it’s an exciting time for young artists in the London jazz scene? Do you feel that same sense working within the community?

Yeah definitely. It’s really awesome to see friends and fellow musicians all working and pushing their craft forward. It’s definitely creating a buzz and energy that’s amazing to be a part of.

What does the recording process for PK look like? How did you come up with the five tracks on the Equinox EP?

Either I come to Dominic with a drum idea, or he’ll lay down some chords, and I would put a beat to it, and we’d build on it from there. When we were making Equinox, we would record and send ideas to each other back-and-forth. Each time we’d add a little bit more to what the other one had just put down. That was fun and really sick to vibe off each other’s ideas.

What are you working on at the moment? Do you have any specific projects in the pipeline that you can talk about?

We’re currently working on a new EP and have just recorded a single that will be released in the near future.

You recently made a mix for Clash, firstly, we’d love for you to do one for us 😉 and secondly, what are you guys listening to at the moment?

Haha yeah, we’d be down. We’re listening to a bunch of stuff right now. Ichika Mo, 5tatic- world of sosai, Butcher Brown, Chaka Khan – Through the fire, to name a few.


Lastly, you have a gig coming up for Supreme Standards. What can we expect from a Project Karnak live show?

Maximum waves.

Thanks for your time, guys and have a brilliant show tonight! Blessings.

Grab a ticket for Supreme Standards present Project Karnak & PYJÆN here.

CF Smith

Permeating your ears with good music.

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