If there's one thing that's most apparent with BEN KHAN's return to music, it's everything to do with the word transformation.
His sudden disappearance out of the spotlight was transformative in a nourishing and much needed sense - he wasn't feeling his sound and to rectify that, he took a break from creating. I think the greatest and most difficult ability an artist can teach themself is the ability to be critical about oneself and their work.
Self-criticism and reflection potentially two of the most damaging and destructive aspects of creation, but how do we learn and grow as people and creatives if we don't take a step back and try to be objective about ourselves and our environments?
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Ben Khan did just that. After releasing two stunning EP's '1992' in 2014 and '1000' in 2015, he bowed out for a hot minute to reinvent, reconnect and rediscover what it was about creating that he was passionate about.
Fast track three years on to 2018, and he's back. Armed with his self-titled, hotly anticipated debut record, there's something inherently purposeful and weaponised about this record. He's back with a vengeance, and that's something that remains entirely apparent throughout the duration of this record.
The record touches on moments of minimalism and ambience; pop anthems are hidden by textured layers of sound and brought forth by layers of effects; subtle jams are given interest through Khan's highly distinct vocals and finally, it's all wrapped up by an expert application of the world around him.
A year ago, he travelled to Kashmir, the home of his father, “and I just walked around and took sounds on my daily rituals, and tried to put that in there somehow, so it felt like a journey through places.” He hopes to call the result "magic realism", which I think sums up the record perfectly.
In celebration of his record's release, we got him to put together a mix for our radio show on FBi Radio. Titled 'Eating Peaches In The Park', the mix evokes familiar senses of dewy grass, hot sunshine and the sweet taste of spring peaches ready and ripe.
The mix aired on Saturday night, however you can experience it in its entirety below. You can catch Purple Sneakers on FBi Radio every Saturday night live from 5-6pm at 94.5FM, DAB+ or stream online at fbiradio.com.
Celebrity Funk - Chris Thomas
Dream Girl - Cookie Do
JaKKi - Got Me Burnin’ Up
I Can’t Stop This Feeling - Osbourne and Giles
It’s Got To Be Right - Sypher
Ben Khan's self-titled debut is out now.
Words by Caitlin Medcalf