There is no doubt Oxfordshire musician Ben Khan is proving himself to be one of the most exciting artists to break out in 2015. Following on from the innovation of the ‘1992’ EP released last year, he prepares to release ‘1000’ which is once again a demonstration of this young artist’s other worldly commandment of genres including electro, neo-soul and R & B.
From the immediate nature of title track ‘1000’ you begin to feel the highly produced melody permeate your being and demand your attention. The repetitive beat that resonates beneath the surface throughout is reminiscent of Kelis – ‘Millionaire’ and becomes an equally, achingly cool piece of alt-dance. It is clear that Ben has been inspired by the guitar led R & B greats as we move on to ‘Red’ which has the appearance of a Prince off-cut with dramatic synth, a recognisable undertone juxtaposing an unpredictably breathy vocal.
‘Zenith’ contrasts nicely, this track is so much more dramatic and assured of itself. The deep vocal, the gospel-like clapping bridge and more warped guitar all merge brilliantly to create a sound that is soaked in 70s production values and has a bass line that shakes the ground achieving a cathartic, anthemic experience in just over two minutes. ‘2022 Zodiac’ could be described as an outro of sorts, a textured little piece of rhythmic guitar and a vocal similar to James Blake that discusses love, solstice and the stratosphere which is interwoven with cinema dialogue. It may have a feel of slight pretension yet I believe it successfully concludes a strong EP and encapsulates Ben Khan’s mission statement.