Arrivals: Ben Khan – 1000


Ben Khan, London’s produ-singer-writer, one of the most promising new talents to emerge in 2014. His addictive debut EP,1992, scored number 2 on NoSnobsAllowed Best EP’s of 2014 list and Youth, one of its tracks, landed at 26th position in NSA’s Top Tracks of 2014.


Khan emerged from a circle of artists, hailing mostly from UK, who are making their own bass based future version of r’n’b. You don’t have to be a genius to spot some serious borrowings from Jai Paul’s scant output in Khan’s material. With Paul’s bone crushing beats and smeared and rough guitar riffs all over1992 the comparisons were unavoidable. But Ben Kan put his own twist on the genre with a serious injection of soul, thanks to his sensual voice and the vague melodies he writes so well.

Being less of an enigma than Jai Paul, Khan is not staying in hiding this year. He is gearing up for the release of his second EP, entitled1000. Perhaps to shake off any comparisons even further, or more likely out of pure need for artistic evolution, the title track sees Khan bringing some new elements into play. The groovy drum machine beat à la Arthur Russell injects the song with refreshing giddiness and joy. Needless to say,1000 is one of the hottest tracks at the moment and Ben Khan an artist we all should keep an eye out in the future. 

And check out Khan’s previous stuff while you’re at it:

March 12, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . 2015, Arrivals. Leave a comment.

NSA’s Selection Box: Future Skool

Not trying to create yet another meaningless buzz word here. Leave it to the guys at NME. And ‘cos they haven’t done so yet, for own convenience, I’ll use the term Future Skool to describe the contemporary sound of the electronic r’n’b and soul delivered by an increasing number of artists clearly influenced by Jamie Blake, Jamie Woon, Burial, Jamie xx and the murky aesthetics The XX. A small legion of new talent infusing 90’s influenced electronic music with the urban sensibility, exhausting a minimal formula made up of scarce beats, bouncy drum’n’bass basslines, minimalistic production, soulful vocals, often creepy or incredibly hollow. Their output is as sparse as the beats they lay out in their tracks, mostly limited to EP or single releases or Soundcloud uploads. And you can hardly call it a scene as these artists aren’t unified by a label or location but enough unifying elements not to ignore there’s something in the water.

There’re any shades to this wave, from the comforting and sexy to plain creepy, from tracks based purely on restrained vocals and vague melodies to near-club-bangers and everything in between, unified by their simplicity and influences.

Selection Box: Future Skool will collect these tracks from the near past and the future. Here’s the first serving of tracks by these very young and very talented people. 


Shamir – If It Wasn’t True



RAJ – Let Me Love You



BOOTS – Dreams (feat Beyonce)



FKA Twigs vs inc.



Movement – Ivory


Ben_Khan (1)

Ben Khan – Savage

May 22, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Playlist, Selection box. Leave a comment.

Arrivals: Jesse Boykins III – Plain (produced by Machinedrum)


Jesse Boykins III (singing-songwriting) and Travis Steward aka Machinedrum (production) tandem has proven on several occasions to be a winning combination. Machinedrum produced and remixed a handful of Boykins’ tracks [here’s a fine example] , who in returned a favour by appearing on Steward’s work. Plain is yet another example of their bona fine take not the contemporary soul/urban music. It’s a smooth and sensual track thanks to Jesse’s slightly flamboyant performance but the moment the off kilter organ kicks in hints something out of this place and time.

March 4, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Arrivals. 1 comment.

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