Khen – I don’t think about myself as a brand and product

Khen is unequivocally one of the most recognisable faces in the Israeli electronic dance music circuit. Having made his name, largely from eclectic productions and releases from under some of the best electronic labels, it’s safe to say, he is Israel’s next big thing. He is also a Jekyll & Hyde kinda character. On one hand, he’s structured and exacting in demeanor, on the other hand his music speaks wild, melodic abandon. This duality and unforced flexibility as an artist, makes him one of those creatures of the night, that’s paving a path of unique brand of dance moves.

From his first set of productions released under Plattenbank Records to his youthful presence in the club circuits internationally, it takes me some time to pin down the ever busy Hen (Khen) Falah. Here’s an exclusive with Decoded magazine, to understand the trajectory of his musicality and what’s keeping him busy.

Hi Khen, firstly thank you for taking time out to chat with us at the magazine. To get down to business, how did you get in to Techno and Progressive House, was there anyone in particular who may have shown you this side of dance music. Give us a glimpse in to your childhood years, was it musically inclined?

Hey , thanks for having me here, since I was a child I was connected to this kind of music, due to my big brother (DJ Vic) who happens to be a famous DJ in Israel, so I was raised into it and fell in love with these sounds at a really early age. I can remember myself as a 5 year old child sitting at my brother’s studio and playing with the Nord Lead Synthesiser or listening to his vinyls and found it really fun. I think that I got into music in a very natural way and this is the place makes me feel home and where I should be.

Do you know how to play any musical instruments?

I was always interested in playing on live instruments, I learned how to play Piano and played classical music on it, such as Bach and Beethoven. I feel this gave me strong basics for my productions today.

So at what age did you play your first professional gig?

When I was 15 years old and I can remember it as if it’s yesterday, there were 1000 people and it was in one of the best clubs in Israel at the time.

It’d be really interesting to know your thoughts on which were the mainstays in your music bag, from all of last year 2014 to now. Which labels or producers you think that have pushed the musical boundaries to create unique records, could you name some?

There are a lot of good and talented people out there. Names I love are Jamie Stevens , Patrice Baumel and all of my Israeli friends – Guy J, Chicola, Guy Mantzur, Sahar Z, and Lonya. As for labels I really love Plattenbank, Lost & Found, Sudbeat, Teampa, Ostwind, Break New Soil.

What do you feel about the clubbing scene in Tel Aviv, in a nutshell. Happy with the way things are, or do you think there’s a need to expand or scope for getting bigger?

The scene in Tel Aviv is great at the moment, there are a lot of great local producers/ DJs who are keeping it alive and kicking. Exciting clubs such as Cat & Dog, Block, Bootleg, and the amazing open air rave parties at Monochrome, Tel Aviv street party and more are doing their share of making the scene vibrant.

As things go, you’re very much an integral part of the Tel Aviv DJing elite, not only as great friends but also collaborating with the likes of Guy Mantzur, Sahar Z, Guy J. How did you come to know them and what’s your take on this invincible wall of talent coming out of Israel?

Even though we are all good friends I know every one of them from a different place and time in my life. Somehow it came out this way that we all became a really good friends and with the same taste in music, and so that’s what makes us so close. Some of them I know since I was a child as they where at the beginning my brother’s friends. Most of the guys are older than me and that helps me a lot cause I’m learning from their experience.

Your “Sweet Breakup EP” on Sudbeat label, has broken the barriers of traditional short play packages, by covering the spectrum of melodic Techno to hard hitting big room beats, yet leaving a trail of classical Progressive House in it’s wake. Where was your head at, while making this entire pack and how long did it take you to complete the project?

To be honest this was started as a two tracks EP and after talking with Hernan Cattaneo and Graziano Raffa we all decided to make something bigger so that’s what brought the idea of the 5 tracks EP. I made these tracks in different times of my life so each one has a different vibe and meaning for me. For example I wrote “Anise” in the summer, during the last war in Israel, it came from a really deep honest place in my soul. As for “Sweet Break Up”, I think the name speaks for itself.

Technology, as it were is at it’s best in this decade. What are you favorite pieces of music equipment and what’s exciting you in Djing gear?

I love using Traktor connected to the Pioneer mixer and CDJS, with the X1 controller. I’m playing 4 decks most of the time so it gives me the freedom I want while playing music and to stay creative and fresh.

Which are your 3 best tunes, currently. Those ones we are sure to find you drop at your DJ set?

Guy Mantzur & Roy RosenfelD – Epika
Khen – Secret Shining
Chicola & Sahar Z – The Stage is Set For the Future

Which labels are you releasing under in the next few months, any projects that you want to share with us?

I have a remix for Weekend Heroes on Flow Records, another remix with Sahar Z for Interaxxis and Plattenbank Records. I’m also working with Guy Mantzur on some new stuff. The rest I will share when the time is right.

Has it ever crossed your mind of moving elsewhere in Europe, or do you see yourself making more of an impression from where your already based out of. Do you see yourself grow as much if you stick to home ground?

I am really connected to my roots and country, and I feel that this is the only place I can be complete

Do you ever have time for any other pursuits other than music, if yes what can we find you doing other than what your career demands. Any hobbies, you can share with your fans?

Basically music is a really demanding space that takes most of my time and mind but I do get away, in this case I love to cook and play Football.

What are your thoughts about remix work, do you enjoy putting your spin on other artists releases?

I love to do remixes but it has to be something that I feel connected to and something that excites me. I find it challenging to take something I love and give it my own vision.

We are particularly interested in knowing your thoughts about technology taking over a DJs performance and making it too mechanical. Do you agree?

I think that in the end a good DJ will always be good DJ, it could be on vinyls, CD, computer. If the technology makes you feel better like a better DJ, one can use it, if not find the place you feel most comfortable. In the end its all about the music.

As a part of the youth brigade, do you think dance music is at a good space right now?

I think yes, I can see a lot of good new producers rising up all the time and there is a lot of talent people out there.

What plans for 2015, any direction you see Khen as a brand going in?

I don’t think about myself as a brand and product. I’m a hard working guy that loves to make music and play it out. I thank the world each day for giving me the opportunity to do what I’m doing.

Tracklisting

01// BP – Trip at the Offkeys
02// Interaxxis – Natural Fear (Sahar Z & Khen remix)
03// King Unique – 7 Hours Feat. Natalie Arnold (Dubspeeka Dub Mix)
04// Andreas Henneberg – Driss
05// Roy Rosenfeld & Guy Mantzur – Epika
06// Dahu – Ruin
07// Weekend Heroes – Secret Society (Khen Late Night Remix)
08// Lonya – Iron Door
09// Omid 16B – Nu1 (Darin Epsilon Remix)


About the author

Before Decoded started, UK Editor, Simon Huxtable ran a successful podcast for new and established artists covering many forms of electronic music. No slouch on the decks himself, he has DJed at some of the countries best venues and has an ever-growing portfolio of releases under his current production moniker - Real Gone Kid.

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