Passport (Matador Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Passport , a collection of Khan's best work, most of it out-of-print, previously unavailable in the US, and/or previously unavailable on CD, reflects the numerous styles and sub-genres of electronic music he has toyed with over the years. Quite the composer/musician/producer, Passport takes you on a ride through Khan's past as it educates and entertains.
Cube 40, Khan's attempt to be the Ramones of techno by reproducing/recreating the same song over and over and wearing a very recognizable outfit. "10, 9, 8, 7 Launched," described in the bio as being "pretty much the only exceptional song they ever did," is a repetitious techno ditty that lasts four minutes, but amazingly enough keeps you interested throughout.
H.E.A.D.'s "EEFFSS Number 4" is an ambient cocktail of radios and surface noises produced in Khan's Brooklyn kitchen. Spicy and enduring, it strikes you with yet another repetitious beat, while mixing in various other sounds from its surrounding.
Then there is Black Sabbath Riot's "Suck Blood," the track that first got me listening to this album. Lary 7 and Khan formed this two-piece band after hearing a cassette tape of a Black Sabbath concert in Milwaukee in 1980. The concert never took place because the audience, after getting really pissed at the band, destroyed the venue. Deciding to record a couple of songs that could have been played that night as if Black Sabbath were still alive and real cool, Lary 7 and Khan came up with this. Definitely not anything Black Sabbath-esque. Though, a heavy metal hand trembles through the industro-techno beats.
4E's "Career Councelor" and "Stay Fresh" are two more prime examples of Khan's electronica creativity. Pulsating rhythms, danceable grooves, and echoing beats all shape throughout both songs.
Khan is definitely a mainstay in the electronica genre and sub-genres. His innovation and creativity are clearly displayed on this "history lesson" of sorts on the man. Fans of Khan and electronica will definitely find interest in this. I'll give it a B.