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Kahn – Margeaux review

As highlighted in the Young Echo feature we ran recently, Kahn stands aside from his co-conspirators in that he doesn’t want to segregate his output into different monikers, whatever the style might be. True enough, already his releases have spanned varying shades of the bass music spectrum, from the technicolour lilt of  “Helter Skelter” to the dark and pounding “Tehran”, and there’s a strong sense that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now Kahn is making an appearance on one of the key current pillars of Bristol music, Idle Hands, and his sound once again swerves towards a whole new mood. There’s always an essence of garage that courses through his music, but it comes on perhaps most explicitly here in the rhythm section of “Margeaux Pt 1”. The beat is a dynamic one, reaching from light-as-a-feather hats to crisp woodblocks down to the tight kick, while the bassline stabs in a thoroughly subby frequency without ever getting too boomy. However it’s the rest of the content that really sets this music apart, as Kahn uses his voice for nearly every part of the melody. Between repeated verbal phrases and wordless croons, a complex harmony emerges to create a pastoral heart-wrencher for the sensitive souls out there.

In the intro of “Margeaux Pt 2”, Kahn goes further into his vocal performance with a vignette of discernible words, before the track kicks into action with a spacious drum pattern that strips back the intricacies of “Pt 1”, while the melodies equally pare down to a more reflective refrain. It’s utterly arresting and yet quite simply delivered at the same time. With his presence in many places it’s easy to forget that Kahn has still only released just a few singles to date. With a repertoire that seems to grow with each release, it’s thrilling to wonder where he will head from here.

Oli Warwick


1. Margeaux (part 1)
2. Margeaux (part 2)