On 1 August 2015 Strelka Institute will host a party Selector Live Beefeater Sessions starring the young neo-soul artist Ban Khan, the legendary electronic musician Matthew Herbert and founder of the label Donky Pitch Dave Grinnell aka Grinel. This will continue a series of British Council Selector Live events, which have been introducing the Russian public to contemporary British artists for over two years.
The event will be a part of a two-day programme of workshops, lectures and discussions within Selector PRO, dedicated to the British music industry. It starts at 22.00.
Over the past year Ben Khan, a young artist and producer from London, has turned from a mystery debutant with two songs on Soundcloud into one of the main hopes of modern electronic soul music, with editors of the some of the famous music magazines among his fans and performances at Europe’s largest festivals.
Everything started at the end of 2013, when 19-year-old Ben Khan uploaded his first song Drive (Part 1) on Soundcloud, which was filled with deep pulsating bass, slow electronic rhythm and the mystical play of a muted falsetto. The track instantly attracted attention – it was listened to more than 30,000 times over the first three days, while Ben became the "most frequently mentioned artist in blogs" according to Hype Machine aggregator. The second demo track Eden was awarded with the "Best New Music" title from Pitchfork magazine, and the third track - Savage - was met with such enthusiasm by fans that it immediately took first place in the Hype Machine chart.
Ben’s first album “1992 EP” was presented in May 2014 on his own label Blessed Vice and contains fully polished versions of previous songs and the new track Youth. The album is filled with heady aerial sounds, in which tremulous R'n'B faces a gloomy funk and energetic hip-hop.
Ben’s style was largely influenced by his cultural heritage: his father was born in Kashmir and is a textile artist. It is his drawing that served as a background for Ben’s first public photograph. On the other hand, the influence of Western culture on his art is also evident – Ben names B.B. King, Nirvana and Fleetwood Mac among his influences, alongside modern intellectual rappers: Earl Sweatshot, Pusha T and J Dilla.
His second album “1000 EP” came out in May 2015 and has met the expectations of music critics fully. Ben’s concert schedule is planned until the end of the year and includes the Midi Festival in France, Lowlands in the Netherlands and the UK’s Reading & Leeds Festivals, while the small European clubs fight for an opportunity to host one of the most impressive young British artists.
Matthew Herbert (DJ SET)
British composer, DJ and producer Matthew Herbert is one of the most important avant-garde electronic musicians and composers of our time. In addition to his current name over the course of his career, Matthew has used many aliases such as Wishmountain, Radio Boy, Mr. Vetigo, Transformer and others. At the basis of his experimental work lies the principle of using the sounds of everyday life. Matthew began his experiments with music when he was studying at the University of Exeter in the early 1990s. Thus, for the arrangement of his first public performance he used a pack of chips. And in the compositions from his 1998 album Around the House, which was included in the top 100 best releases of the 1990s by Pitchfork magazine, you may hear some kitchen sounds.
Herbert was able to turn the sounds of a pig farm into music, as well as the process of printing The Guardian and the crunch of 3,500 apples’ bites. In his "Russian project" – the performance of The Matthew Herbert All Russian Big Band Music Festival as part of the London Olympics in 2012 - he included the laughter of babies and reciting extracts from Pelevin. For his first dance album in ten years The Shakes, which was released in June 2015, Herbert wrote a protest march in London, played the piano in prison, and his track Safety included the tinkling sound of bullets.
At the Selector Live Beefeater Sessions party Matthew will perform a DJ set.
Dave Grinnell – musician and one of the founders of Donky Pitch – the British label which became the centre of attention of XL8R, a major non-profit blog about electronic music, and the legendary magazine The Wire. The label grew out of a series of parties of the same name, representing British cutting age styles, from mutated synth-pop and juke to noisy squee-techno and bass-music. Dave Grinnell aka Grinel runs a radio show on Sub FM, plays his mixes on KISS FM, at Boiler Room parties and at major music festivals in Europe, America and Australia.