m.k. khan

'blue summer'

Best track: birds of paradise

click album cover to listen

if i were to think of two words to describe the good times i had on my visit to california in 2017, 'blue' and 'summer' would be my choice. blue lagoons in the summer sun, blue surf on the golden malibu beaches and blue skies strewn across an unspoilt palm tree-laden vista. it brings back wonderful memories. and this album near-enough explains all that is california.

and as is on his bandcamp, he has used a descriptor for his work that absolutely hits the nail on the head. m.k. khan is sunny cinematic through and through. come on in peeps...the water is fine.

what is notable throughout is the reliance on certain aspects to portray the images mentioned earlier. none of the percussion is garish in any way...unless we're talking about a classic tommy bahama shirt, then you can scrap my original comment. it's important that this style of music acts as a backdrop to your summer out on the hammock with a cocktail in hand, so choice is key. and so the lack of in-your-face synth tones and well-balanced catchy melodies work perfectly throughout.

'days in july' is a fabulous track full to the brim with some lovely sax. but without a doubt in my mind, the best track from this compilation is 'bird of paradise'. the mix of panpipe synths, subtle bass and a marvelous riff do well to effectively create the soundtrack for a majestic tropical bird in silent and undisturbed flight. 'surfliner' ups the tempo from the rest of the album. i may be wrong in saying this but one hopes this was a track made to portray someone sitting on the pacific surfliner from San luis obispo down to san diego, taking in all the beaches that southern california has to offer. i was lucky enough to do so and your face lights up when you see those golden sands and surfers as the world rushes by.

'tropico mall' is a great way to end this thing. imagine if you will, stranger things but it's not set in middle america. instead it's set in california (that would've been too easy though right?) and we no longer have starcourt mall...we have tropico mall. it's a beautifully relaxed affair this track and leaves me on a high as i finish listening to this superb creation.

the artwork, the song titles, the synths and percussions all come together terrifically here to bring out that summer-soundtrack in all of us. whether you're lucky enough experience california day-in day-out, or perhaps you spend your days on the beaches of skegness (uk) wondering if there's something better out there, this album will take you to a place where any worries you're holding on to get simply whisked away. thus allowing you to glow in the glorious warmth that we all long for. this is simply not a  compilation of songs, this is a dreamy, heavenly and peaceful soundtrack to Americas state-of-opportunity, and it's been greatly executed. joe ward 8/10

a visual representation of the album: