Techno Tuesday: Khen on growing up immersed in the Israeli dance sphere
Despite his relatively short time in the spotlight, Israeli native Khen has carved out his niche among top progressive talent. Looking into his extensive past as a musician, however, his swift ascension in the underground makes total sense: having showed immense talent as early as age 6, he was already producing his own music and learning his way around mixing by 11 years old.
By the time he hit 22 years old, Khen dove deep into the Israeli progressive realm, catching Guy Mantzur’s attention and subsequently signing onto his Plattenbank imprint. This move sparked his overwhelming success locally and internationally, leading him to his current mainstay labels of Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat, and more recently, Guy J’s Lost&Found, where he recently released his highly-anticipated debut LP, One Day Of Independence on October 28.
In celebration of the album’s release, we sat down with Khen to discuss his artistic background, and what gave way to his entrancing, technical brand of progressive that has earned so much praise from his more established peers. In addition, Dancing Astronaut is hosting the exclusive premiere of his new album single “Authentica,” a mysterious clip with a simple, yet intriguing topline accented with dissonant synths, crisp bass, and driving percussion.
Purchase Khen’s new album here.
What has your musical journey been like leading up to this point?
Thanks to my older brother electronic music was around from a very young age. I haven’t really had the traditional path towards finding the electronic sound in that sense as it has pretty much been there since I was born. House, trance and in recent year techno and ambient. I like progressive rock too.
That journey is a little unusual I guess, at least it used to be. Most have process of going through a variety of other non-electronic styles first. You mature your palette and then start gravitating to electronic. I like that I’ve had the journey that I’ve had . It’s allowed me to have a long time to learn.
How would you describe your sound?
House and techno mixed together with some elements for 90s trance? I used to be really into trance back in the day and certain aspects of that style from when it used be really good has stuck with me.
How was the scene In Tel Aviv growing up? Who did you look up to?
Tel Aviv is small city bit with a lots of passionate people in different scenes. Especially when it comes to music. People here have always been very supportive of my music. I owe everything to the local scene, they’ve built me up and made me ready.
I’ve also been lucky to have people paving the way and showing that it’s possible to come from a smaller place like Tel Aviv and create name for yourself in other countries. Guy Gerber, Chicola, Sahar Z, Mantzur, and of course Guy J, who I look up to so much, are just a few examples.
How did you meet Guy J? What does he mean to you?
The scene here is small and the group of people that make music and are really into it us even smaller. Bumping into each other and forging relationships with others that are passionate about the same thing as you, like Guy, has happened organically. Sahar Z introduced us.
People are also really helpful here.
If you hear about someone that’s particularly good at doing this one thing in Cubase or whatever, you get in touch on more often than not that person is willing to help out. That’s what the community is like here. Everyone is close and push and help each other.
He means the world to me. Guy is an incredibly warm and supportive person. He’s an amazing producer and DJ and he’s very generous with advice and his knowledge. I can’t really wrap my head around that my debut album is coming out on his label and that he’s given me complete creative freedom. I’ve worked hands-on developing the graphical concept and he’s not once told me no when I’ve presented him with an idea.
I’m very happy to be a part of the Lost&Found family.
What’s progressive house music to you? Where do you see it going?
If I have to define it I’d say it’s house music with spacey and atmospheric elements. It’s really hard to put a label on music these days as all the style draw so much inspiration from one another. On a broader level there’s still house, trance, deep house, techno and so on, but a lot of the characteristics that people associate with progressive has found its way to most of these genres.
Lots of artists are going that direction in the underground these days. It definitely feels like the style, or elements maybe, are coming back in a big way as of a few years ago. You hear it a lot more in the clubs and on the charts on Beatport. It’s fun that I’ve stuck with it I guess.
Khen’s ‘One Day Of Independence’ is now available digitally through Lost&Found. Order it here.