Oct 21, 2009

Artist Profile: Sebastian James Taylor

For those who don't recognize him by his real name he is also known as Digitalis, Shakta, Kaya Project, Hibernation and also for his collaboration work, most notably as Angel Tears with Lior Miller and Momi Ochion. If you still don't know who am I talking about then you're missing out. Seb Taylor is one of the most versatile electronic music artists, often compared to Simon Posford, but unfortunately not as well known His music styles range from pure goa trance through chillout with world music influences to IDM.

Taylor started out in the early 90s producing goa trance under the alias Digitalis. Sometimes described as breakbeat goa or psybreaks his work as Digitalis is pretty unique stuff, often being pure breakbeat. He's still producing under this alias with the last EP released in 2008. In 1996 he started his pure goa project for which he is probably best known, Shakta. With tracks like Silicon Trip or Lepton Head Part III he guaranteed himself a place in the goa trance history. His sound with this alias is pretty hard and heavy sounding goa. Around the same time he also released as Somaton, also goa, but in a little lighter melodic form. It never gained as much popularity as Shakta.

But even though he is an amazing psytrance/goa producer what impressed me the most are his chillout productions. He is one of the core members of Angel Tears which started out in 1998. Wonderful chillout, with calming melodies, amazing flute playing and hypnotizing vocals. Lots of indian, arabic and african influence here. Some tracks have a bit faster beat, but overall Angel Tears offers very calming, meditative music. We hear a lot of authentic instruments like indian sitars, arabic violins, tibetan flutes etc. After Angel Tears, Kaya Project followed. Pretty similar by definition, but with a more natural, "dry" sound. It's hard to explain what makes Kaya Project unique, but just give the latest album a listen and you'll know what I mean. Really passionate music. Just when you would think Seb Taylor can't do any more styles he released an IDM album as Hibernaion. Well maybe not pure IDM, but very different from his other chillout output. You can hear some influences from the days of Angel Tears, but it's something completely new. Let's hope that's not the last he has to offer as Hibernation.

In the sixteen years of producing he released 13 albums, 9 solo and 4 with Angel Tears, and numerous EPs. Everything I heard so far is just amazing music and he keeps on evolving. And what's most important he hasn't gone commercial. We can hear passion in his music and as long as he is passionate about what he does we can only wait for another masterpiece.

Collaboration Albums:

For his complete discography go to Discogs. He has many more aliases and collaborations with only a few tracks for compilations or one or two EPs. I only covered the most notable projects.


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