by Natalie Liechti in New Music on Thursday 12 July 2007

It’s the final, sultry day of Barcelona’s experimental sound-fest, Sonar, and weary punters are gazing listlessly at an empty, smoke-filled stage. Before long, a vocalist, beatboxer and grand pianist stride on, and what follows is a startling and, at times, deeply melancholic cabaret-electronic hybrid, prompting jaws to drop and delighting the drowsy. Meet Khan of Finland: ‘I tell stories about my everyday life; they are songs about love, pain, party and spirituality. I would call it bionic blues’.

‘We recently played a poetry festival in Rotterdam’, he says. ‘And the soundman didn’t know how to put a microphone in front of us. It was a technical disaster but we managed okay, thanks to vodka and the audience screaming and dancing — and I think that’s the blues thing. You can make people feel and understand the moment music is created’.