SPEAKERS CORNER QUARTET Further Back Than The Beginning 12″ EP LQ 001
Release date 11th July 2009
Speakers Corner Quartet started as the house band at the infamous hip-hop/spoken-word open-mic
Speakers’ Corner in Brixton, London. In the beginning the prerequisite of the quartet was to
beats to emcees/lyricists at the all-night open-mic sessions. Imperceptibly the quartet started
writing their autochthonous compositions. It was instantaneously envisaged that the quartet had
extended aptitude that transcended backing lyricists.
The anomalous line-up (cello, flute, contrabass and drums) required an aberrant approach to
composition – using single lines en masse to create chord structures rather than utilizing a
committed harmony instrument. Influences include Zakir Hussain, Olivier Messiaen, Sun Ra, MF
name but a few; the unique sound of the Speakers Corner Quartet is almost impossible to
An amalgam of Asian-classical-jazz-hip-hop, this is true mulatto music. For this reason, the
Speakers Corner Quartet are part of a new movement of musicians who call their music 12tone.
“Further Back Than The Beginning” is the incipient E.P. from the Speakers Corner Quartet. This
is the anterior project for the quartet, a precursor to the album for prospective release later
the year. The product was recorded and mixed by Ahmad Dayes and Jesal Padia in a contemporary
grown savoir-faire and elucidates the philosophy of the quartet and 12tone C.I.C.
1. “Angkor Vat” set’s the scene, composed in 5/4 it is a true east and west fusion, with rotund
grooves it moves with omnipotence; the cello creates a foundation for the affecting flute to
over, the bass then brings solidity to the composition.
2. “Chichen Itza” is another amalgamation the world over with echoes deep in Asia; there is a
certain hip-hop feel to the groove despite being in 7/8.
3. “King” is the hiatus of the E.P. a welcome break from the two previous hard-hitters. “King”
from the beginning to the end dynamically, a nice halfway point to the release.
4. “9/8” is a J Dilla-influenced Saharan swinger in the time signature of 9/8. After the initial
hip-hop groove it drops into a ride groove with an expeditious descending flute line. The
composition then breaks down into a chord-based breakdown that finally mushrooms into a solo
just before the outro.
5. “Simply Put…” was originally written to support the legendary Herbie Hancock at the Royal
Festival Hall, one of the most distinguished venues in the capital. A highly melodic piece with
strong concept, a palpitating rhythm section breakdown which then flows into another ebullient
section. The track was fundamentally composed around a Herbie Hancock sample that was then
for copyright purposes, although the name of the piece came from this sample “…simply put…” This
E.P. is a taster of things to come, the genesis of something astronomical.
This ensemble is playing music to help people. Music is a public service and the quartet are firm
believers in the mental, physical and spiritual power of the idiom. The main aim of the group is
relay truth, wisdom and energy to the listener and allow inspiration to flower. Speakers’ Corner
Quartet trust that through expression, universal transcendence can and will take place.