Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising star

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Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starKhen Live Credit Facebook

Khen‘s name is synonymous with quality. Throughout the last half decade or so, the progressive house magnate has proven himself to be one of the greats after being taken under Guy J’s wing and releasing on virtually all top labels in the subgenre including Lost&Found, Bedrock, Vivrant, Sudbeat, and beyond. His track “Children With No Name,” which Dancing Astronaut premiered, ended up becoming an anthem that was has been rinsed far and wide across the progressive sphere. His releases on Jeremy Olander’s Vivrant and John Digweed’s Bedrock have earned similar success, earning him further acclaim in the producer sphere. Outside of that, he’s well-proven his excellence behind the decks, continually hypnotizing his audiences with complex mashing and bootlegging on the fly through Ableton—and of course, with his keen curatorial and storytelling ear.

The end of 2018 brought along a particularly momentous occasion: the release of his highly sought-after “Closing Doors,” which Anjunadeep had been fighting for since the track emerged in his and others’ sets well over a year ago. It’s a hugely emotive and melancholic piece, simultaneously catalyzing introspection and somehow, joyful nostalgia underneath its bittersweet melodies. “Burgundy,” a sultry afterhours weapon, follows. No surprise here as to why James Grant and his associates wanted to snag both for a landmark output that broke the label’s status quo.

Obviously, Khen produces from the heart and soul; the passion he pours into his work is palpable in each of his tracks. However, there’s a certain technical brilliance to each as well, and we were determined to get a glimpse at this side of the spectrum as well. We sat down with the Tel Aviv native to discuss gear, with him kindly pointing out some of his favorite studio pieces that help make his releases so well-rounded and ethereal.

 

Order a copy of ‘Closing Doors’


Roland JUNO 60
Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starJuno 60 I 2 2
My precious baby. Warm and overall amazing sound that I use for basslines, pads, and crispy leads. I used it on both ‘Pecas’ that came out on Lost & Found and ‘Closing Doors’ that just came out on Anjunadeep. I use it to layer melodies to make them sound warmer; this is another thing it’s really good for. In essence it’s a very simple synth, but the sound is very rich, even to the extent that that I usually don’t need to add any delay or reverb.


Dave Smith Prophet 12
Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starProphet 12
My main studio hardware synth. Analog and digital hybrid. This one has a very broad and varied capacity in terms of sound output. I mainly use it for melodies, pads and as a sequencers. It sounds different from any synth in the world I’ve tried, and you can find a very different, crazy sounds with relative ease without the use of distortion and modulations. This one was key in the making of ‘Closing Doors.’


MFB Tanzbar
Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starMFB Tanzbar Drum Machine
The Tanzbar is an analog drum machine and one of the best I’ve every worked on. This is where I get a lot of my kick drums from. I actually like it so much I sometimes use it to make a bassline out of a kick drum. Sometimes I add a second bassline on some tracks for that added groove.


Pedals(Strymon Tape Delay and DOD Envelope Filter)
Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starPedals
I use two different pedals. One is the Strymon tape delay and the other is a DOD Envelope Filter. Both usually work great with the top loops to make them more sparkly in sound. Also, using the delay with a long feedback on different sounds, recording it and then chopping and cutting it up can make for cool FX using existing parts from the track.


Padshop Soft Synth (Steinberg)
Exploring the studio with Khen — progressive’s rising starPADSHOP SYNTH
Very much my go-to synth for pads, atmospheric and hypnotic sounds. It’s a granular synth that used samples of stuff like strings, guitars, vocals and other stuff and transform them to make them sound way cooler. I also use it to layer melodies, which gives added depth to the regular lead sounds.

Photo credit: Facebook/Khenmusic

Lunar Lunes: kramder brings the funk, WAVEDASH and QUEST continue their tour de force, Chris Lorenzo and Taiki Nulight deliver new Night Bass heat + more

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Lunar Lunes: kramder brings the funk, WAVEDASH and QUEST continue their tour de force, Chris Lorenzo and Taiki Nulight deliver new Night Bass heat + moreLunar Lunes E1540831560592

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

In this week’s installation, WAVEDASH continue their run on SLANDER and NGHTMRE‘s new label, Gud Vibrations, by tapping frequent collaborator QUEST. Maurice West is bringing big room back with his latest, “The Kick,” and Chris Lorenzo teams up with Taiki Nulight on the latter’s new album, Murky Manor, for “Sinner.” Robbie Rivera‘s new album recently hit the airwaves, dishing up the fine house music he’s been generating for decades, and he thrills with the carefree “We Don’t Care.” Vintage & Morelli have returned with a gorgeous trance rework of Aly & Fila‘s “Paralyzed” with Hailene — and that’s just skimming the surface of the array of selections we’ve gathered this week.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Premiere: Khen – Evergreen

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Premiere: Khen – EvergreenLF055 PecasBeatport 1

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen the prodigious Khen on his home label of Lost&Found. Following the immense success of his debut album, One Day Of Independence, he’d since seen a succession of heavy touring, and an expansion of his horizons onto Vivrant and other imprints. That said, his upcoming Pecas release something special.

We got a hold of its closing track, “Evergreen,” which is stripped-down brilliance. Subtle chords breeze through a driving foundation built of strong bass and crisp percussion, placing the mind in a state of trance. It doesn’t need a multitude of bells and whistles to accomplish its mission of controlling the dancefloor; its nuanced, yet effect construction does the trick. “Evergreen” is certainly a fitting closer to an overall powerful EP.

Pecas is slated for a November 9 release. Order a copy here.

 

#FBF: 10 iconic Lost&Found releases ahead of the label’s Detroit showcase

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2012 marked the year that Guy J left the Bedrock nest to form his own label, Lost&Found. It’s since become one of the top labels within the progressive arena, with its owner and his colleagues showing impressive curation skills through their choice of artists to work with. The label only continues to grow in this regard thanks to its keen tap on forward-thinking music and its fervent fan base that grows by the day.

Lost&Found is nearing its sixth birthday, and Guy J is currently on a brief jaunt to North America. He’ll be stopping my Detroit during Movement Weekend to host an afterparty of his own: a label showcase. He’s brought his friends Khen, Eagles&Butterflies, and more in tow, making for a night of quality and highly melodic music.

As he kicks off his North American adventure and prepares for his label’s historic day, we thought it a perfect time to share some of our favorite releases on Lost&Found. It’s all things ethereal, sentimental, and hypnotic.

Purchase Lost&Found Detroit tickets here


1. AMbaassador – The Fade (Guy J Remix)

2. Redwood – Brian Cid

3. Guardian – Cid Inc.

4. Ego Tripping – Pedro Aguilar

5. Modular Memories (Guy Mantzur Remix) – Blusol

6. Indian Stories – Visnadi & Matteo Bruscagin

7. Sahar Z & Navar Temporary Sanity (Guy J Remix)

8. Khen & Guy Mantzur Ft Kamila – Children With No Name

9. Airborne – Guy J

10. Helena – Roy Rosenfeld