For those that have been in, and around the dance music scene for any given amount of time, must have at some point come across the name of Kasey Taylor.
Not only did he compile the second Balance Series compilation (Balance 002), but to date, his career resume is an impressive read, ticking off gigs and residencies at almost every big show and club in his native Melbourne, before he moved to Portugal for a ten-year stint, which included shows across the globe. Now in his 32nd year of DJing, Kasey’s career began in earnest in 1996 when he managed to impress John Digweed during a warm-up set leading him to invite Kasey to play at his monthly Bedrock night at Heaven in London.
For over two decades Kasey has had the luxury of releasing music on his label ‘Vapour Recordings’, which is 150 releases deep. In 2004 Kasey started eVapour8, the first release going on to become number 1 on the Beatport Techno charts for eight weeks, and number 1 on the main charts for a month. After taking some personal time away from the scene and a four-year break from running Vapour Recordings, the label has just been re-branded along with a new website, which will be re-launched around mid-2019.
As if he isn’t busy enough, after moving to Australia in 2013 he started a new label Lo-Fi 45, and it is already showing signs of treading the same successful path of his previous imprints. The label has a focus on new and exciting talent, which sees Taylor taking on more of a mentor role too, by signing promising locals like Lask and Peruw, seeing them sit alongside productions from seasoned producers like Jamie Stevens, and Kasey himself. Kasey is currently in the studio whipping up lots of new releases for Vapour Recordings, and remixes for Lo-Fi-45, so watch out for new material which should be released very soon. Also, Kasey’s Vapourized podcast will also be back in 2019 with a rebrand, and fresh new look.
At Rainbow Serpent festival this year Kasey was booked to play on the Market Stage to an appreciative crowd of thousands. It was not only a special set for the many who witnessed it, but it was also a watershed moment for Kasey himself:
“It’s been a while since I played on Market Stage, and it was awesome of Rainbow Serpent to give me a cracker time to announce my comeback after a break for 2/3 years for personal reasons. I put a lot of love and threw everything at this one and it was a bit different to what people expected I think, in a good way. It was a fantastic afternoon and the reception was incredible and I can’t thank everyone enough who was there in support.” – Kasey Taylor
If you missed the set or would like to relive the moment, sit back and press play, as we have the full two-hour recording for your entertainment.
Balance Selections Q+A
Name: Kasey Taylor
Location: Melbourne / Australia
Alias/Producer name: Kasey Taylor
Labels affiliated with: Vapour Recordings / Lo-Fi-45
My last 3 releases: These are all quite old now but they are the last 3 I had. Vamusa is over 10 years old but only got released last year as I sat on it after making it because I felt the sound at the time had changed so I waited for it to come back around again before releasing it. The other two before that were Kaymid ones however I’m putting Kaymid on the backburner at the moment to concentrate on stuff under my own name again.
What music did you listen too as a child?
As a child I found myself leaning toward indie pop – Depeche Mode, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, English pop more than American. I got into Hip Hop for a bit but only for the early part of my musically journey. Public Enemy, NWA, De La Soul, Young MC and those types. After that I was mainly into house, disco and pretty much every type of 4/4 rhythm you could imagine with the exception of Psy Trance. That never really featured in my musical background but everything else surely did.
When was the first time that you realised that you liked electronic music?
I grew up with basic pop, playing all my mums vinyls that she brought over the years at home while also listening to the radio flat out. When I was really young before I was a DJ I used to listen to the American top 40 and have a blank cassette in there so that when I heard a track I liked I hit record straight away, then I’d stop it, rewind it and made sure the end point was right so that when I hit record on the next one I liked it was relatively all smooth on playback, or what I thought was smooth! My early ways of mixing before I knew I was to become a DJ. I must’ve been about 10 years old doing this so I guess I was always going to be a DJ not long after right? The first 12’ I ever brought (or made my mum buy for me) Wa Wa Nee – Stimulation! That’s an over share for sure! ;)
When was the first time you saw a DJ in a club?
I remember going out to my first club when I was 16 years old. Yep, fake paper ID with no photo worked all the way back then. As long as you could sign your mates signature who lent you the ID for the security guard to prove that it was your ID you were good to go. I studied my mates signature so much leading up to the night that I could sign it better than him! ;)
I went to a club called the Hippodrome, which I’m sure was on King Street. I remember that Stan Michaels was Dj’ing at the time and he was playing all this euro house with disco etc. I was amazed at the vibe, the lights, the big sound and seeing everyone really enjoying it. From then I was hooked and as determined as anything to become a professional DJ, and fast.
Which producers/artists/acts inspire you?
I’ve been in the industry way too long to be able to really single anyone out. I’ve been inspired by all types of music and genres over the years, but out of everyone i guess the two that got me inspired enough to want to start making music has be Sasha and John Digweed. When i heard Northen Exposure for the first time i freaked out. I was absolutely stunned by this masterpiece and after that i was determined to learn how to try and write music at all costs. I then got asked to do the official tour here in Australia with them and from that point on i was totally obsessed with music, making it, playing it, everything. It wasn’t long after that i managed to get in the studio and get started on leaning how to make tunes with a friend before branching off and getting my own basic set up together. I was completely inspired by the sound from that era – Renaissance, Global Underground etc. It all had a massive influence on shaping me into the DJ and musician that i am today. I love lots of bands as too but as a turning point and a career launchpad, Northen Exposure, Sasha and John Digweed were the ones that inspired me to do what i do.
What was the last album that you downloaded/bought?
Sasha – Fabric London
What is your current production and DJ set up like?
I come from the days before software so I used to have a lot of hardware synthesisers, reverb units, delay units. I started making music on an Atari using Notator, then I moved onto one of the very first macs that ever came out with the floppy disk drives and started with one of the first versions of Logic Audio. Those early macs had the floppy disk drives with disks that held up to 1.5mb in the beginning. We used to think they were the most amazing things ever! Now it’s HD’s and SSD’s in TB. Classic to think how far it’s all come. I’ve changed my studio set up over the years to move with the times and with my personal moves in life. I sold a lot of the old hardware stuff just before I moved over to Europe in 2004. That’s pretty much the time when software synths were really kicking off so I relocated my speakers and brought a new mac over in Portugal and did the ‘all in the box vibe’. There were some cool plugs in then but you could really hear that digital vibe on them and the analogue warmth was missing. Over the years when I moved into a commercial studio over in Portugal I was doing a lot of engineering work and really started to enjoy the development and the warmth that was coming out of them. Audio engineering played a bit part in getting them to sound warmer too. They came a long way quickly though and are great today but you still cant beat that analogue warmth in a piece of hardware.
Since relocating back to Australia in 2013 I’ve changed my set up again. I use a Mac Pro (the death star I call it, the round black one) I have a set of Quested VS2108’s monitors, which are absolute beasts. I’ve had them for 15 years and swear by them. I use them with a Quested Sub as well. I’m running Logic X into an Apogee Symphony I/O MK2 Soundcard out of that into an analogue summing mixer, which is the Dangerous 2 Bus+ to give it that analogue love and then I record everything back into Logic X.
Soft-syth wise I use a lot of high end plug-ins like Altiverb reverb, the complete Eventide bundle, Sonnox for compression and EQ and then you have all the Waves plugs in etc, I have a few other cheeky surprises too. Generating sounds I like to use a lot of sample base stuff and mix that with things like Omnisphere 2 (this is a weapon is of a soft synth). I am looking to invest into some more hardware synths over the course of the year now that I’m settled and making music again.
My Dj set up at the moment depending where I am is basically Rekordbox. You can’t beat that with a set of Nexus 2000 MK2’s really. They are on point these days. I still do like to buy a few cheeky vinyls here and there and I like to play them sometimes as that’s my background, but you cant beat the simplicity of the technology these days if you prepare yourself correctly with Rekordbox.
What releases do you have on the horizon?
I’m currently in the studio working on a few different things at once. I’ll have some originals and remixes for the re-launch of Vapour Recordings done pretty soon. I’m also going to be shopping a lot of my personal releases to some bigger labels overseas this year. I’m in talks with a few people at the moment so more on that one soon. All updates and info will be on my social media pages soon so make sure you get on there and like all to stay updated. There will be some collaborations as well but firstly I need to get a couple of solo releases on the go.
Where can we hear you perform?
My next couple of gigs are at – 161 on Friday 22nd March, Bloom in Geelong in March 30, Breakfast club on more or less a monthly basis. I’ll be looking at heading over to Europe this year for a few festivals as well.
Podcast wise I’m re-launching my old Vapourized series in the coming months when the record label gets re-launched. I’m just preparing all that at the moment with the new website for Vapour Recordings. We’ve just gone through a full rebrand and will be re-launching the label with a new look, social media upgrade and all the bit and bobs you need for the current climate.
Tell us more about the podcast you made for Balance?
My podcast for Balance is my recent set from Rainbow Serpent Festival. It’s been a while since I played on Market Stage and it was awesome of Rainbow Serpent to give me a cracker time to announce my comeback after a break for 2/3 years. I put a lot of love and threw everything at this one. It was a bit different to what people expected I think, in a good way. It was a fantastic afternoon and the reception was incredible and I can’t thank everyone enough who was there in support.
The top track in my DJ wallet currently is: Way too many to pick from but in todays current mood I would go for Adam Port – Do You Still Think Of Me?
If I could recommend only one of my tracks for you to listen to it would be: I would have to say Departime by Lister Cooray and myself. It’s not really a super big dancefloor track but it has a lot of meaning to both of us. We were going to run a record label with our dear friend John Sharp who passed away in 2013. His last mix that he put up on Soundcloud before he passed away was called Departime. That’s when we started Lo-Fi-45 and our first tune was called Departime in honor of John. The second track on that EP was titled Fluidlife, which was the name of the label we were going to do together with John, and the name of his touring agency.
If I could recommend only one track for you to listen to it would be: Underworld – Dark & Long. Pretty much favourite track ever. It’s the first one that came to mind anyway and usually does when asked this question.
My favourite Balance compilation is: 002?
Jokes…. Patrice Baumel / Phil K (I know that’s 2, sorry!)
The last movie I watched that I really liked: If it’s a movie, Star Wars – The last Jedi. Movies are hard to come by that haven’t been done to death or are really bad. I’m more into TV series and documentaries these days.
My favourite TV show: Mighty Boosh (cant beat Engligh humour)
If I could choose anyone to compile a Balance comp it would be:
1. John Digweed & Nick Muir – Trezzz (Intro)
2. Aera – May Your Heartflame Continue (Dance Mix)
3. Mr. ID feat. Abdellah Ben Charradi – Omah
4. Sabb – Jeopardized (Audiofly remix)
5. Sandrino & Frankey – The Great Attractor
6. Guido Schneider & Daniel Dreier – Liquid Summer (Martin Buttrich Remix)
7. Little Fritter, Alex James and Nil By Mouth – Clavicle
8. Sharam – Amnesi (Olivier Giacomotto Remix)
9. MAYK – Tabula Rasa (Peter Horrevorts Remix)
10. John Acquaviva, Manuel De La Mare – Sacrilicious (Olivier Giacomotto Remix)
11. HOSH – On The Radar
12. Bufi – Peaks
13. Mulya – Romeo
14. HOSH, Tone Depth – Express
15. John Monkman – Tune in Turn On
16. Henry Saiz – They Came From The Light (Guy J Remix)
17. Egbert – Fractals
18. Pig & Dan – Nacked Butterfly
19. Gai Barone, Simon Berry & Luke Brancaccio – Pukwudgie (Gai Barone Remix)
20. Facundo Mohrr & Valdovinos – November