bio

Ken Peel is a music producer from the UK who has been releasing ambient electronica, jazz-influenced records since 2004.

Classically trained in piano and euphonium, Ken became interested in music technology during the Acid House revolution and acquired his first sampler in 1989.  During the 1990s he played keyboards in funk and soul bands in Basingstoke and Bristol, before emerging as a solo artist and producer early in the 21st century.

In homage to the 1980s BBC sci-fi series, Blake’s 7, Ken released the CD-only long player Salary Man under the name Avon in 2004.  Its critical reception lead to a live performance of the album on London’s X-FM show Flo-Motion, presented by Nick Luscombe.  At the same time, Classic FM producer Ben Eshmade asked Ken to create the audio branding for The Chiller Cabinet, a weekend midnight show of ambience, movies and minimalism. 

The next 6 years saw the release of 3 EPs, the album Marginal and the folktronica collaboration Ogonblick with Swedish multi-instrumentalist David Stiernholm.  In this period, Ken wrote TV soundtracks for documentary series on BBC2 and ITV and his music was licensed for The Arts Council England, BBC Alba and TV and cinema commercials in the USA.  A national USA commercial for Axe by agency BBH New York, scored by Ken, received a Gold Medal at the Cannes Lions Advertising Awards.

2011 saw a digital re-release of Salary Man, the 23-track album Bristol Left Overs 1999-2009 (a collection of ‘half-baked rolls’) and the launch of an Internet radio Live365 channel, Departure Point Radio.  Unexpectedly, Ken’s music has proven to be particularly popular in Peru and Ecuador.  In the summer of 2014, Spotify selected Ken’s track Ashes and Snow for their Ultimate Chill Out playlist.  Ashes has since notched up over 850,000 plays.  2015 saw the release of two new EPs: A Tune a Day: Synthesizer Book 1 and I Am Not Ken Peel.

Ken is currently a creator of music and sound art, a collaborator, photographer and field recordist.  In 2017 he was awarded a Masters with distinction in creative sound and media technology by Bath Spa University.

Discography

2004 – ‘Legs’ (as Avon) on The Abduction of the Art of Noise (compilation) [CD], Karvavena/Iris Light Records

2004 – Salary Man (as Avon) [CD], Karvavena/Iris Light Records

2005 – Marginal [CD, digital], Karvavena Records

2005 – The Cut (e.p.) (as Avon) [CD, digital], Departure Point Recordings

2007 – The Cloud of Reason (e.p.) [CD, digital], Departure Point Recordings

2010 – ‘EP7’, on 14 Versions of the Same EP [4x CD boxed set compilation], Front and Follow Records

2011 – Ogonblick, (with David Stiernholm) [digital], Departure Point Recordings

2011 – Bristol Left Overs 1999-2009 [digital], Departure Point Recordings

2011 – Salary Man (re-issue) [digital], Departure Point Recordings

2015 - I Am Not Ken Peel (e.p.) [digital], Departure Point Recordings

2015 - A Tune a Day: Synthesizer Book 1 (e.p.) [digital], Departure Point Recordings

Print reviews have appeared in:

  • Decode
  • Future Music
  • The Bristol Evening Post
  • The Wire
  • Venue
  • Electronics and Music Maker

  

Online reviews

  • Calmscape
  • Electro-Trip
  • Electronic Music
  • The Big Chill
  • Untitled Music

 

As played on:

  • BBC Radio 1
  • BBC Radio Bristol
  • Chill DAB
  • Classic FM
  • Flo Motion
  • Soma FM
  • XFM

  

Broadcast Commissions and Licensing

  • Arts Council England, documentary, Cultural Cargo
  • BBC Alba, documentary, Balaich Eileen
  • BBC2, documentary, The People Detective
  • BBH New York, TV & cinema commercial, AXE Residue
  • ITV, documentary, RAPID

Occaisional live performances and DJ sets in the 21st century have taken place at:

  • X-FM, London
  • The Tobacco Factory, Bristol
  • Notting Hill Arts Club, London
  • The Whitechapel Gallery, London
  • Bocabar, Glastonbury

As heard on:

              

Ken has also produced music for The Arts Council England and his music been used for TV and cinema commercials in the USA.

In the late 20th century, Ken played keyboards with some wonderful bands: Blah Blah Cafe, C-EYE-5, Central and The Gathering Crowd including gigs at:

  • Sainsbury's Social Club, Basingstoke (now closed)
  • The Carribean Club, Basingstoke (now flats)
  • The Purple Turtle, Reading (?)
  • The Rock Cafe, London (a rip-off venue then)
  • The Fulham Greyhound, London (sticky carpet)
  • The Rummer Basement, Bristol (fantastic)
  • The Tropicana, Weston-Super-Mare (terrible)