Welcome to My Block—a new series, part of the Levi’s® Music Project, where we take you to the block, estate, ends (or semi-detached—we don’t discriminate) of some of the UK’s brightest music talents. Here, we’re given first-hand accounts of their musical backgrounds and how their area and their community helped shape them into the musicians they are today. For our third trip, we head over to Bristol to meet production duo Kahn & Neek. Get to know.

Over the past few years, Joseph “Kahn” McGann and Sam “Neek” Barrett have found success exploring the intersection between grime, dubstep and beyond. One of their earliest singles, “Percy”, was an instant classic that married classic grime synths with a spacious, industrial dub edge. They’ve released heavy hitting singles and EPs through esteemed labels like Mala’s Deep Medi Musik, fellow Bristolian Peverelist’s Punch Drunk and of course their own Bandulu Records. Besides their work as Kahn & Neek, they also DJ and produce as Gorgon Sound and involve themselves in a number of collectives and projects, including the more experimental Young Echo collective. Alongside Boofy and Hi5Ghost they also comprise Bandulu Gang and run Bandulu Records, the former providing an outlet for their passion for dubplates and soundsystem culture—an interest they were able to put to good use when they brought Bandulu to Red Bull Culture Clash in Bristol against Pinch, Jah Tubby and T.Williams in 2014.

Kahn & Neek took us around their block, the centre of Bristol, to see the local record shops they spend their free time in, the studios they’ve worked in and some of the venues that have been so crucial in shaping their musical paths. At the heart of our conversations, and the city, is a strong sense of open-mindedness and inclusiveness. The pair are quick to note the pace of life in the city, noticeably slower than somewhere like London and more conducive to cultivating long-term scenes and communities. As we explored the various settings they grew up in, we discussed the Bristol they knew as teenagers and how it compared to the city as it stands today—from soundsystem culture to DJing in converted police cells.