Someone took their Chinese guzheng clubbing.
A few readers may know I own a guzheng but haven’t been able to learn to play it properly. It is turning into a life learning project and that makes me appreciate the instrument far more when it is played beautifully. Kaya Project is the general name for Seb Taylor’s many musical projects that involve tons of instruments and cultures. ‘Zheng ’21’ is an ode to the classic instrument that takes it clubbing with loads of remixes.
I don’t often review singles but this is an exceptionally large single release. The single contains the original piece which is a masterfully sturdy and majestic guzheng and string piece. It showcases not only the instrument but how foreboding and passionate Chinese string arrangements can be too. We then have a fantastic selection of remixes that go way beyond the usual standards.
Ivan Shopov gives a create club mix, there is an ambient version to chill out to and Hibernation changes the piece into a glitch-jazz instrumental. There’s even a tribal acid version too for fans of Merkaba Records who release this kind of world dance movement weekly. Two additional tracks ‘Wabi Sabi’ and ‘Desert Child’ are also included in their original and ambient forms. These are less immediate than the titular piece and Kaya Project focuses on sound design and sample manipulation instead. That being said ‘Desert Child’ has some fantastic Eastern percussion to groove to. The whole release is then available as a continuous single track and there is a whole hour bonus DJ set between Kaya Project and Hibernation from a livestream event too.
Since when did a single release total two and a half hours of music? Kaya Project continues to explore fun and interesting musical instruments and incorporating them into the electronica scene. If Seb Taylor isn’t at the forefront of world fusion already, then Kaya Project as a whole needs to be. Its intoxicating music,
Recommended track: Zheng ’21
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