Kahn - Margeaux
Since his debut release in late 2010, Bristol's Kahn (Joseph McGann, a member of the Young Echo collective) has swung back and forth between neon-hued neo-garage and darker, more traditionalist dubstep. On his new record for his hometown's Idle Hands imprint, he loops back to the winsome vibes of his first release for Punch Drunk. The two-part "Margeaux" is his most melodic work to date, with gently harmonized vocals swept into shapes that flutter like pennants, and nimble organ basslines reminiscent of MK. It feels a little like an attempt to bridge the gap between Todd Edwards and James Blake, with chopped-up vocals smeared into a low-key haze. The differences between the two versions are subtle; part one, with its skipping 2-step rhythms, focuses more intently on the dance floor, while part two slumps its shoulders ever so slightly and slips into downcast daydreaming. Both versions, though, feature exceptionally deft drum programming, with spring-loaded rimshots accenting the lithe, bumping-and-flexing garage grooves.