Kahn is the latest hot young producer to come out of Bristol — they must put something in the water down there — and on his new EP he really evokes the spirit of the south-west city's rich musical heritage. He also hangs with the Young Echo kru, who broadcast U-Stream sessions from their underground bunker and who are a kind of 21st century version of the Wild Bunch that birthed Massive Attack, Tricky and Nellee Hooper. Kahn tells DJ Mag that he's really proud to come from Bristol.
“The music I make feels to me like a continuation of the music culture that has come before,” he says. “The only hindrance that the past holds for new musicians in Bristol is the media's need to refer back to it at every opportunity, to give context to new music from the city. It must be the same for street artists and Banksy's legacy.”
Ahem, yes. Making the point that some producers don't always feel connected to the past, or feel that they can't escape being compared to artists from 20 years ago, he nevertheless says: “I see myself and my contemporaries here simply as components of the current chapter in the musical history of the city.”
Kahn knew that he wanted to be involved in music from an early age. “I began using music software when I started secondary school,” he says. “I used to spend my lunchtimes in the music block experimenting with Cubase and getting my head around sequencing and sampling.”
Kahn tells DJ Mag that hearing the Nine Inch Nails album 'The Fragile' was when he first became aware that a producer could be as much a musician as someone who played the guitar, and that “the use of sound and understanding of production could take music to different places”.
His first releases came on Punch Drunk, Idle Hands, Hotline, Deep Medi and his own Bandulu Recordings, and he's also worked up some beats for Bristol legend Mark Stewart, of Pop Group and Maffia fame, who knew Kahn's parents back in the day. Talking about Bristol's penchant for producers to mutually nurture each other's talents across the generations, and how this has helped him, he says:
“I think an important part of the culture here is that musicians from different generations are aware of and work with each other, and there's a general feeling of support for younger people coming through.”
On his new self-titled EP he moves beyond grime and dubstep and into the smoky world of Bristol's trip-hop legacy. “It feels like my most complete piece of work to date, as I have tried to combine the different styles that I work in.”
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.