Not being an "electronica"/"trip hop"/"phat beats"/"whatever the hell you call this kind of stuff" guy, I can't tell you how it fits in to the genre, or if it's ripping off lots of other folks. But I can tell you as an outsider that, while it doesn't sound revolutionary, the languorous beats and wandering electronic textures (not to mention occasional Julee Cruise vocals) make nice background music for a drive around a cloudy city. But I'm a firm believer on evaluating a record on the goals it's trying to achieve, and judging from the sex ads on the cover, I imagine Khan is positing his music as the ultimate soundtrack for sex. While I haven't been able to empirically test its functionality here (damn review deadlines...), I'm highly skeptical of his claims. The analog sounds are a little too jarring and distracting to provide for quality background for quiet, passionate lovemaking, while the laid-back pace of the record fails to provide the energy to satisfy your needs for fast, vigorous sex. If you're just looking for some relaxed cruising music, however, you'll be perfectly content. (DD)
(Matador Records -- 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY. 10012; http://www.matadorrecords.com/)
I've always been a pop freak, I'll admit it; even as a heavy metal-listening kid, the stuff I liked the most had at least some sort of a melody to it most of the time (barring Warrant, that is -- I always thought those guys were losers). So, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that even a pop album I'm almost determined to not like would get stuck in my head. I took a couple of cursory listens to Super Hawaii one crappy afternoon, and tossed it aside, dismissing kincaid.'s latest as a badly-tuned Papas Fritas ripoff. Heck, I even forgot I had the CD for a while after that.
Then, as you might guess, a weird thing happened. I found myself wandering around the house, or sitting at work, or trying to go to sleep, and humming little snatches of the title track's cheery, buoyant chorus (it mostly just goes "Bop-bop, super Hawaii!" over and over again), or tapping my foot along to the propulsive backbeat of "California," the music zipping along in my head. And sure, these folks do share stylistic space with people like Papas Fritas, Silver Scooter, and Teenage Fanclub, but they manage to do it their own distinctive way.
The songs are similarly candy-sweet and poppy, ranging from the slow melancholy of "Semi-Circle" to the Sebadoh rock-out of "Tyme Machine," and yeah, they are occasionally badly-tuned (check out the horns in "Plot #36"), but the quiet vocals and spare, plinky guitar lines make the rest almost unimportant. By the time "Bells Will Ring" breaks down, halfway through, and one of the band members laughs "we're never gonna get it right!," I have to disagree. (JH)
(Kindercore Records -- P.O. Box 461, Athens, GA. 30603; http://www.kindercore.com/)