DJ, producer and label owner Kasey Taylor first took to the turntables in his early teens in the Australian outback. Since then, his non-stop career has seen him trot the globe with his blend of progressive house and techno. His three labels— Vapour, Vapourise and the recently formed eVapour8—have helped cement his status as one of Australia’s biggest dance artists. Taylor, now resident in Portugal, was a major player in the rise of infamous Melbourne club Mansion, which saw him DJ alongside such luminaries as Sasha and John Digweed. The latter, impressed with Taylor’s mixing, twice invited him to perform at his legendary UK party Bedrock. He has also taken to the decks in Japan, at the Labyrinth festival in Gunma. Now he’s preparing to return for the new Metropolis and Widespread collaborative house party New Style, which aims to introduce electronic music and traditional and contemporary Japanese arts to a cosmopolitan crowd.
25 years of DJing is a long time. What’s your biggest achievement?
It’s hard to pick one because it ’s been so long. I’ve had the pleasure of playing at many great clubs and festivals and I ’m happy with the record labels I run. Vapour is in its 11th year now; let’s hope it continues for many more.
How has your sound evolved, and what direction are your labels taking?
I try to keep up with everything, and keep it fresh. Vapour, the original label, has always been more progressive, while Vapourise is more house based. eVapour8, which I started in 2008, is for tech house and techno stuff.
Define the perfect DJ set.
I always try to tell a story. DJing is not something that should be just thrown together. For me, it requires perfect programming and the perfect music for the crowd. I always try to evolve, but maintain the “Kasey Taylor” sound. [Stylistically] I’m more hypnotic; as long as I stick to that, then people can recognize me whether it’s techno, tech house or progressive.
What changes are you seeing in house and techno?
I think the music has gone full circle. We went through the electro phase, then minimal and techno, and now I think it’s come back to melodic.
How easy is it for Australian DJs to be heard worldwide?
That’s hard to answer because I haven’t been in Australia for six years now, but for me, it was about producing and having my own label. The freedom of running your own label is a great way to get noticed.
Why the move to Portugal?
I started getting a lot of interest from Europe, and each year I was spending more time overseas. It got to the point where I was doing four or five trips a year… It made sense for me to make the move. I got booked for a gig in Portugal and totally fell in love—the people, the food, the weather, everything just felt like home.
You’re a prolific producer and remixer. How do you fit this into your DJ schedule?
I used to be, but I’ve had a four-year break since relocating. Recently, I’ve been back in the studio full-time, and I’ve done around ten new tracks and remixes. I will also start work on an album, which I’m really looking forward to.
New Style. Progressive house, tech house: DJs Kasey Taylor, Elli Rose, etc. Live: Jun Sakata a.k.a. Tokyo Ghetto Shamisen. Mar 13, from 11pm, ¥3,500 (adv)/¥4,000 (door). Shibuya. Tel: 03-5784-2121. www.metropolis.co.jp/newstyle/