- 1-900-GET-KHAN - - 1999-05-04
- Passport - - 2000-01-25
- No Comprendo - - 2001-05-08
Featuring vocals by Jon Spencer, Diamanda Galas, Julee Cruise, Andre Williams, Kid Congo Powers, Francoise Cactus [Stereo Total], Hanin Elias [Atari Teenage Riot], and Khan.
Diamanda Galas: “Turkish brother homopsychotic Khan is very disturbed — all the better for our mutual enemies.”
Kid Congo Powers: “Khan has a great ass... and the music is fabtabulous! ... ‘Why Hurt Flesh’ was supposed to be like The Crystals’ ‘He Hit Me and it Felt Like A Kiss’ but we went a bit wild and it turned to cannibalism!... Khan was all for it. It’s nice to fraternize with genius.”
Alec Empire: “Khan is a true genius! A lot of people copied him, fuck them, he is the original. The collaboration between Hanin and him defines what New York’s indie drum-machine bands are trying since years but never achieve. I just wish Hanin would stop carrying a gun...”
Hanin Elias: “Working with Can was like a quickie, spontaneous, fast and satisfactory. I’m up for some more...”
Julee Cruise: “My dog thinks Khan’s music is Devil music...”
Khan composed and played all the music on No Comprendo, then invited a host of vocalists to come up with vocal melodies and lyrics. Some of the singers Khan already knew, others were people he admired for some time. Khan actually was able to get his entire “wish list” (save for Fred Schneider, with whom he recorded but whose label prohibits side projects). Though their parts were created completely separate from Khan and without his input, both artists were in the studio during recording (alternating between NYC and Berlin). More cooperative than collaborative, this approach provided some exciting tension and discord, illustrated by the fighting cocks on the CD cover. Khan found that the women came to the studio very prepared, while the men improvised on the spot (he thinks Andre Williams has no recollection of even having participated).
Khan says: “The idea of No Comprendo was to design songs for different singers so they could come up with their part and bring the song to the next level. It’s about cooperation, not just adding a vocalist. It’s about freedom, as I didn’t tell anyone what to do and accepted whatever they came up with. It’s also about spending time with people you like, and in places you like, which is kind of a theme running through my life, with my myriad collaborators, mixed heritage, and the time I now spend split among Berlin, NYC, and Mexico. The music is inspired by music I grew up withNew York bands like The Contortions, Lydia Lunch, and Diamanda Galas, German bands like Der Plan, Einstuerzende Neubauten and Toedliche Doris, and other bands like Pere Ubu, Psychic TV, the Gun Club, and Public Enemy. ‘No Comprendo’ is a tourist expression, something the Americans constantly say in Mexico. I’ve felt like a tourist my whole life. I may not understand what’s going on around me, but I know what I want and how to communicate with people I love.”
Can Oral, aka Khan, was born of a Finnish mother and Turkish father, and grew up as an outsider in a hostile Germany. He started his first band Mut zum Schlag (Courage to the Beat) in 1982 with 2 drummers and Khan screaming, and released the first German hip hop/no wave record. He eventually tired of the rock-band life of rehearsals and beer, bought a cheap Atari computer and Prophet 2000 sampler, and started making music for German and Austrian TV programs.
In the late 80s, Khan met the Time Tunnel/Structure posse from Cologne and started making techno with people like Walker, Jammin Unit, Mike Ink. and Jorg Burger. In 1992 he left for New York, where he lived with Jimi Tenor and had a band called Public Extacy that played the early NY Illbient/Lalalandia parties. In their cockroach-infested kitchen studio, they also recorded hundreds of records such as the Bizz OD smash hit “I’m Coming Out Of Your Speakers” that became one of Junior Vasques [Sound Factory]’s favorites. In 1994, Khan opened Temple Records (an electronic record store in Manhattan) and started the El Turco Loco label. Once he realized that his least favorite DJs were spinning his records, Khan decided to change his style and became one of ambient’s most innovative producers, with projects like H.E.A.D. , Global Electronic Network, Radiowaves and 4E, recording for such labels as Mille Plateaux/Force Inc., Harvest, and Rising High. These records had significant impact on the UK Fat Cat, Ifach, and Ninja Tune scenes. In 1999, Matador released the electro-porn quasi-soundtrack 1-900-GET-KHAN, and a “greatest hits” compilation of sorts, Passport, in early 2000. Khan is currently living in Mexico exploring new languages, art, and music, and remaining an "outsider" until the term becomes irrelevant.
A Khan Dictionary:
H.E.A.D. is Kerosene and Khan playing around with radios and surface noise in Khan’s Brooklyn kitchen. Their main audience was cockroaches before becoming hip in the 1994 UK ambient scene.
4E is Khan’s former apartment # on the lower east side of Manhattan and musically stands for Future-Electro-No-Retro or mutant Hip-Hop.
Cube 40 is the attempt to be the Ramones of techno by reproducing/recreating the same song over and over and wearing a very recognizable outfit. The project eventually ran out of ideas. “Launch” is pretty much the only exceptional song they ever did.
Global Electronic Network started as a very lo-fi project on the 4E apartment floor with second-hand drum machines and broken keyboards and evolved into new directions with every album.
Khan & Walker are two friends like to get fukt up and make music for their own record collection.
El Turco Loco is one of Khan’s labels that specializes in "Music Nobody Needs." It reflects Khan’s interest in music without boundaries and genres. All releases are very limited and already rare.
Super-8 works as an experimental pop label that is dance-floor compatible. Minimal-dub-house-trax.
PSI-Project is Khan’s first band. Started in his father’s bedroom in 1988. The featured track was recorded for the reunion of the band in 1997 and explains pretty well what these guys are all about. The band never got a record deal until today.
Black Sabbath Riot is a two member band, Lary 7 and Khan, and was formed via a cassette tape of a Black Sabbath concert in Milwaukee in 1980 (Ronnie James Dio was singing for them at the time). The concert never took place because the audience, after getting pretty pissed (and pissed off at the band), destroyed the venue. Lary and Khan decided to record a couple of songs that could have been played that night as if Black Sabbath were still alive and real cool.
Mass-Turbator did only one 12" that went straight to #1 on the DMC Buzz charts in 1993. NO JOKE!
May 4, 1999
Putting the "ech" back in techno... KHAN 1-900-GET-KHAN Electronic Music Maven Assails Puritanical US Sex Laws and Sterility of Current Club Scene with 1-900 number, Sex for Sale on his CD cover, and Sleaziest Record of the Year
The number costs $2.99/minute, the men advertising on the front cover are even steeper, so the CD is a sweet deal indeed at only about a quarter per minute...and (practically) guilt-free. 1-900-GET-KHAN is a working electro-sexual porn soundtrack with slick beats and prickly textures. It also is a working phone-sex number, with slick beats and prickly textures. The cover boys offer the same. Simple, huh? It’s about the ONLY simple thing about Khan, aka Can Oral. And yes, that IS his real name.
Can Oral was born to a Turkish father and Finnish mother and raised in Germany, before moving to New York City a few years ago. He has made literally hundreds of records under numerous pseudonyms (4E, Gizz TV, Bizz OD, El Turco Loco...) for numerous labels (Mille Plateaux, Force Inc., Harvest/EMI, Eat Raw...). He operates three record labels (Super-8, El Turco Loco, and Temple Records) and runs New York’s influential music shop Temple Records. He is also a well-respected DJ and has spun extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, in addition to the numerous parties he hosts in NYC. Khan is available for hire, though be warned--he charges per minute as well.
1-900-GET KHAN is Khan’s attempt to bring flesh and passion to a frigid electronic scene. It is also a reaction against Rudy Giuliani’s recent anti-sex laws in New York City, and a celebration of the illicit sex which is the obvious result of such oppression. Acting as voyeur to the sexual underground, Khan replaces the autonomy of the machines used to make his music with an absurdly lewd human physicality. Thus, the body returns to the forefront and Foucault can sleep soundly in his grave. Julee Cruise, known best for singing the "Twin Peaks" theme, co-wrote and sings on "Body Dump" and "Nowhere." "The 12th Commandment" features vocals by Bree McMasters, a professional phone-sexette from LA.
1-900-GET-KHAN is an expensive dinner, too many martinis, edible undies, and an apres-cigarette rolled into one raunchy package. Spin it right round like a record, baby.
04/26/02 — There’s no such thing as “down time” in Khan’s world
“...just came back to NYC from a festival in Mexico City. it was my biggest visa nightmare so far. After waiting for 2 weeks in Frankfurt/Germany and going to the Mexican embassy every day to find out that it didn’t arrive I flew to NYC. Here, I recieved a phone call from the promoter of the Technogeist Festival that I have to come as the main act of the night. I went to the airport with only a fax stating I was invited and got on the plane. on my way to d.f. I thought ‘i’m flying directly into jail.’ i’ve been to jail in mexico before and was not planing on repeating that experience ever again, but I was very intrigued by the money and I just love mexico, so I arrived to be greeted by a busty sexy lady who charmed a mexican immigration officer into letting me into the country.
i pretty much went straight from the airport onto stage. strange feeling that was.....
...i’m off on our states tour with Kid Congo, playing 5 shows with Nick Cave, plus some more by ourselves in the states and canada if they let me in. I still don’t have my visa for canada. (editor’s note: dear Mountie authorities, he’s just kidding!)
Playhouse just recieved the test pressings of "Say Good Bye" remixes by Isolee and losoul. I have a copy and have to admit, they are absolutley fantastic. Isolee’s mix is a body and soul psychedelic house mix that sounds like the dj is spinning in your head. the losoul mix, "She’s Homeless", (does he mean Julee?) is very German minimal funky house. The original and lenni ship version are included on the 12".
I will be hosting a musical in geneva this fall and will move to washington d.c. in november. I need some go-go action.”
03/07/02 — Khan — Not disturbed by Arab Strap ripping off his phone sex idea
He’s a bigger man than that. The upcoming Khan CD ‘No Comprendo’ (means “I got it” in Dutch) features guest contributions from a cavalcade of stars including Kid Congo Powers, Jon Spencer, Andre Williams, Diamanda Galas and Julee Cruise. But no star in the galaxy burns hotter or brighter than Khan himself. If you don’t believe me, you should see the phone bill.
08/04/00 — We wanted to say “pass the butter,” but what slipped out was “when is your fucking record going to be finished?”
Khan reports: “I started mixing my new album here in Berlin with Jammin Unit from Air Liquide. After recording the playbacks in April and May here in Berlin I went back to NY to record several singers now I’m putting this together. First song I did is the song Julee Cruise did which is a very crazy romantic up tempo ballad. Than I did a song with Chicago legend Andre Williams and an NYC harmonica player. It kinda sounds like Canned Heat on acid. Right now I started mixing the track I did with Jon Spencer. I will record Francoise Cactus of Stereo Total next week with 2 tracks and mix afterwards.”
OK, that sounds good. We didn’t have to be so rude.
02/10/00 — OK, here we go with the no fun patrol. Our plans to feature a Quicktime video of a live human sacrifice on this site once a week have hit a snag. Since a court order was put into place, we can no longer kill anyone. So you'll have make yourself happy with the next best thing --MP3's of new and upcoming Matador releases. Cube 40 (aka Khan)'s "10,9,8,7, Launched" from the Passport CD/LP is available now. Starting next week, we'll have new MP3's from Mary Timony, Non Phixion and Console.
01/21/00 — To commemorate the release of the newKhan compilation, 'Passport,' the hardest working man in show business (that's Khan we're talking about, not Fred Durst) will be making 2 live appearances this week. Khan Sings Live & Bedroom Productions will be at Thursday Jan. 20th, 8PM @ Thread Waxing Space (476 Broadway, 2nd Floor, NYC, NY 10013) for the opening of "The Virus has been Spread" (a video & art exhibition by Philipp Virus of DHR) this Thursday, January 20. If the Threadwaxing Space makes you sick (or you just can't make it), Khan will be doing his thing (singing, that is) at Greene Naftali Gallery (526 W 26th St., NYC, NY 10001) for the opening of "All the Best Names are Taken" a photography by Daniela Rossell. But to paraphrase our friend Springa, how many art galleries can you take? Quite a few, actually, but we're not forgetting about the pleasures of a loud evening inside. "Karakoe Remixes, Pt. 1" is a promo-only 12" of karaoke versions of material from the 'Passport' album, and features contributions from Solex, Julee Cruise, Tara DeLong and more. Beautiful people will be getting their copies free in the mail; attractive, but not quite as beautiful people can get 'em at selected shops with the purchase of 'Passport.' Either that, or try E-bay.
Prior to the arrival of Khan's sprawling Passport compilation, the man of action will be making a short trip to Germany for live dates, then returning to NYC for shows at Collective Unconsious (12/16) and the Mercury Lounge (12/17). We'll have information next week about Khan's "Karoake" project after we figure out what it is.
Sad. You’ll have to keep waiting. The “Everything Is Nice” DVD (including What’s Up, Matador?) has been pushed back one more time to November 23rd. We've been forced to leave off the “Dress Up the Demolition Doll Rods, UndressKhan” interactive game because it was taking too long to program.
Today marks the first of the three 10th Anniversary shows in London. Performing tonight are: Khan, Unwound, Solex, Cat Power and Sleater-Kinney. We couldn’t be more excited. Although, we’d be more excited if we could actually go to the London shows.
Belle & Sebastian and Arab Strap are on the soundtrack to the new Irvine Welsh movie "The Acid House" (author, also of "Trainspotting") along with many other of your favorite British artists. Most of the songs on the album are unreleased. Also in film news: "The Adventures of Sebastian Cole" features tracks from La Peste and The Lyres. AndKhan has a track in "Free Enterprise." All three movies open this weekend in New York and will probably not make it to any other theatres in this country.
Khan & The Lynnfield Pioneers are playing tonight, Friday the 23rd at 10 PM, as part of the Digital Club Festival in NYC. Unfortunately, both are on stage in different venues at the same time. Good thing they're both being webcast! Friday night, the cool glow of your monitor, a bag of pork rinds. Mmm.
And: Khan's "Nowhere" can be heard in the upcoming independent film "Free Enterprise." Variety called the picture "fast, funny and inventive; 'Free Enterprise' might be described as 'Swingers' meets 'Trekkies.'" But Lyle saw it and said it was good. It opens in LA on June 4th -- 12 years to the day of the release of "Wrath of Khan." Get it?
A few things to note about the new Khan album, other than the fact that it's called 1-900-GET-KHAN and coming out May 11: the CD cover contains real advertisements for actual phone sex workers. And the title is an "adults only" 1-900 line, which means for $2.99/minute, you can dial and have phone sex. It's a pretty sharp move by Khan, I must say. When you do the math, the CD itself comes out to a little over 22 cents a minute, a real bargain by comparison. You get all the groping and grunting, but with added techno beats! A searing attack on Rudy Giuliani's anti-sex legislation, no doubt.
Speaking of our great city (that's New York), there's going to be a free Khan Record Release Party on Thurs., May 6, at Parkside Lounge. Wherein Khan will perform "Body Dump" live with Julee Cruise (the one from the Twin Peaks soundtrack), and several DJs will do their thing: DJ AZO, DJ Snax, DJ Silver, DJ KhanDome. The fun starts at 10 pm at 317 E. Houston.