Ben Khan’s music is nothing if not considered. With last year’s 1992 laying out a clear statement of intent, this follow up treads very closely along a path than Khan is aiming to call his own. At such an early stage of his musicianship, its not to detract from Khan’s vision to say that these two are EPs are decidedly similar both sonically and structurally. It’s a trait that points to an artist meticulous in formulating their own distinctive output.
Leading with its most immediate offering, 1000’s title track is a Rolls-Royce of pop production, if only such a commodity was as accessible as these tracks. It carries this robust exterior, but it’s one that shimmers alongside a grand, showy elegance that we’ve quickly become accustomed to. ‘Red’ shows off a more seductive side, playing off crunching beats and samples with delectable funk licks, whilst the woozier backdrop of ‘Zenith’ is dragged in ever-changing directions by its sharp intricacies and the unassuming soul of Khan’s vocal.
This is carefully constructed, out-there pop, with Khan’s up front three-minute formula remaining undeniably on point within the realm of a four-track release. Khan’s able to pull off such bombast whilst maintaining an assured sheen, and its testament to his craft that he should tie together these disparate influences with crunching, angular and gloopy elements to produce such a streamlined pop showcase.
The biggest question to take from 1000 is just where Khan will take things next. This is a release that shows off a level of progression and consolidation, with the tracks sounding both more dense and infectious than on 1992. It falls a little short if we were to start discussing evolution, and to take things to the next level there’ll need to be an exploration of some of the deeper crevices that sit within the sphere of Khan’s work. With the innovation shown in creating this solid foundation from which to build though, you know that such a task is well within Khan’s reach.
Listen: Ben Khan – 1000