ELYAS KHAN TALKS ABOUT MAKING BRAWL IN PARADISE
Lyrically, I was receiving, decoding, and expounding on messages of change, conflict, possibility and empathy. Brawl In Paradise looks at the linguistic, economic and political manipulations surrounding progress in a world experiencing unprecedented volumes of human transmission. I see myself as a poetic story teller and am thankful for invaluable inspiration from the likes of Arundhati Roy, Aldous Huxley and the poetry of EE Cummings, among many others.
“This guy takes his bass seriously!” OK PLAYER
At the same time, I needed Brawl In Paradise to pump out the funk noir hooks that resonate within me. Musical inspiration came from far and wide: the freak folk of Animal Collective to Sun Ra to Yoko Ono. From my studio at the top of the former East Berlin Radio Station HQ, I would stare out over the entire city of Berlin with all my instruments, found objects, electronic devices, microphones, 4 tracks and preamps turned on and rolling.
The initial recording sessions were listened to over and over. Creating and recording layer upon layer I then stripped these sections down to their musical DNA and matched them with my other sound experiments. Much was captured in the moment then meticulously arranged during daily studio time. Like a painter or sculptor, I obsessively studied passages of sound and poetry, editing and chipping away at the material until shapes began to appear and whole pieces eventually stood by themselves.
“Taking the spiritual and making it gleefully profane” SALON.COM
Having worked for close to 10 years with my band Nervous Cabaret I was now on my own, away from all that was familiar. It felt dangerous but inspiring and I became intent on working as independently as possible to see if I could truly make a "solo record". After accumulating many songs and pieces of music I was ready for outside reaction. On my bicycle I rode the Berlin streets, usb stick around my neck, stuffed with dozens of wav files. I knew in order to realize this work I needed help. Much like a director of a film, I needed the equivalent of a camera man or editor. I found this in my friend, British producer Matt Booker. Many of the following months were spent fine tuning the music with Matt, then sitting in his kitchen listening back and studying the days work as well as the work of our favorite artists and producers.