London Spotlight: Jeen Bassa


As musical dynasties go, there are many family names that hold more recognition but, in their own small way, the Deenmamodes have made a sizeable impact on London music in recent years. Brothers Mo Kolours, Reginald Omas Mamode IV and Jeen Bassa, alongside their extended 22a family, have all helped craft a sound that traverses the jazz and lo-fi beats continuum, heavy on percussive elements and informed by countless non-Western musical cultures. Bassa’s three releases have all been housed on 22a, including a split EP with Henry Wu and two albums of Al Dobson Jr-esque proportions, full of idiosyncratic jams, sketches and beats. Also a regular on 22a’s monthly Worldwide FM residency, Bassa’s crates go as deep as his samples, on full display in this mix below.

Catch Jeen Bassa at Gottwood Festival 2017 (8th-11th June).

First, our usual ice-breaker. What’s your first musical memory?

Being entertained by my grandad playing the spoons and singing.

Much has been made of the bond that exists between you and your fellow 22a family and, with you all popping up in each others’ bands it’s clear the mutual support is there. With you being around each others’ work so much, is it ever challenging to put some distance between your individual creative outputs?

Not really. Some of us use to live in the same house, and make music individually, then play it back to each other. 

If so, how do you see your own work as distinct from the others?

A bit more boom bap! 

Your monthly Worldwide FM sessions can go pretty deep. Do you ever come out from them and head straight to the studio, inspired by something you’ve heard?

That has happened a few times. Those sessions are nice. One of us always brings a little surprise.

What was the last risk you took in the studio that paid off?

Deleting everything and starting again. 

Away from music, what do you look to for inspiration?

Nice people, food, books, art. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and in any form. Sometimes you can look to hard for it.

Now for some London-focussed questions…Where’s your favourite place to buy records?

Rat records it pretty good. There’s a few in south London that are coming through strong. I like to rummage for bargains in car boot sales. 

Is there somewhere you like to go, to step away from music and refresh head?

Nowhere in particular, I’ll go and see family and other loved ones. Sometimes just closing my eyes and breathing deeply for half an hour or so can be a refreshing get away. 

Where do you like to enjoy a medium of art other than music?

All sorts, from fine art to photography to graphic design. All art forms have something good within, Someone pushing boundaries.

Outside your immediate circle, what new / young talent is exciting you at the moment?

Kankick is dope. 

Could you tell us about the mix you’ve made for us?

It’s a mix of music I’ve been listening to recently. Some stalwarts, and some that I’ve overlooked in the past, like the Vangelis track, it’s a beautiful song.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

Eating some delicious food, and making music!

And finally what can we expect from you release-wise in the near future?

Got an old project I made with a good friend Mr Slipz (go check him out on Soundcloud) that could see the light of day. Also a little 22a project in the pipelines.


Jeen Bassa intro
Cedric “im” Brooks – Silent Force
Wayne Shorter – Beauty and the Beast
Roland Rashaan Kirk – Freaks for the Festival
Daeshongba (rice song)
Temple de Chidambaram – Va Va Velava
Niney and the Observer – Kingsgate Version
24 Carat Black – Ghetto_misfortunes Wealth
The Individuals – Sorry Sorry
Don Blackman – Never Miss A Thing
Leon Ware feat. Minnie Ripperton – Comfort (Come Live With Me)
Airto Moriera – Track 1
Vangelis – Sex Power
Jeen Bassa – With In
Capoeira Batucada – Ritmo de Brazil
Azymuth – Corcoran Marimbondo
Sun Ra – Rome at Twilight
Jeen Bassa – Freak Out

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