Steve Khan

You Are Here

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Steve Khan and Rob Mounsey seem interested in putting us in a sort of trance on You Are Here, but often that's more the result of our vain search for a clear-cut melody than by perfect design. The guitarist and keyboardist make an intriguing tandem as they play with different world rhythms (the cover art suggests a global unity theme at work) and draw their percussive keyboard meets acoustic string experimentations out to seven, eight, and ten minutes. But only the sharply composed, fiery Latin jam "Platanos Maduros" (with synth steel pans and horns) and the Brazilian flavored shuffle "Viajar y Viajar" (on which Mounsey's synth harmonica approximates Toots Thielemans on the legendary Brazilian's projects) offer a memorable melody to go along with the bouncing percussive textures of Marc Quinones. Most of the other tunes have swaying beats, occasionally inspired soundscaping fills, and synth riffs, but take a bit too long to develop. Glum pieces like "Pallbearers" come across like atmospheric noodling. Mounsey is a whiz with electronics, and he seems to have fun finding pockets for Khan to toss in a melodic line here and there. But his greatest contribution is his soaring voice, which adds desperately needed focus and humanity to "Fazendeiro" and the Latin pieces.

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