A true veteran of the Singaporean electronic music scene, Kaye (real name Kevin Guoh) is a well-known and well-established figure who has done nearly all there is to do.
He's released collaborative productions (most notably with Funk Bast*rd as Cosa Nostra), he's played to packed-out dance floors and festivals all round the world, he co-founded a breakthrough international label in Darker Than Wax, and he's garnered even more renown as a blistering live performer (his hardware-only live techno sets have become must-see events) and multi-instrumentalist. But outside of all that, it may come as a surprise to some of you that Kaye has actually yet to release anything as a solo producer thus far.
Well that's something this 4/4 fiend is finally putting right with the forthcoming launch of his long-gestating and highly-anticipated debut EP entitled White Horse. And we're here to tell you that Kaye's first official document as a solo producer is well worth the wait! This remarkable milestone effort orientates the listener towards Kaye's very personal perspectives (in case the title didn't already give it away, this EP is fairly political) and very specific electronic voice - underlining his lengthy career with a truly distinctive four-track statement.
Although his musical career began with jazz and the saxophone (elements that are still prevalent in his musical identity today), Kaye has long since gone down an unabashed techno trajectory over the last decade, to astonishing results. White Horse presents us with a distillation of those influences, combining strains of classic Chicago house and everlasting Detroit techno alongside more surprising constituents such as new wave, synth pop and electro.
Its that open-minded approach to 4/4 that's made Kaye such a technical practitioner, and yet so accessible at the same time. He's unafraid to play with disparate sounds of the past to create wholly fresh configurations, and that's exactly what you get with this bassline-centric introductory EP. White Horse is a retro-futuristic genre-bender that boasts melodic, minimalist cuts alongside propulsive chuggers that can galvanize any dance floor at peak time.
We got the man himself to talk us through his first-rate first EP, so read on to get a little peek behind Kaye's creative curtains. You can stream the full EP below as well.
"This is undeniably a track with a full on 80s new wave / synth-pop vibe. Oddly enough, I never really listened heavily to the great bands of that era, but I just wanted to have a go at re-creating that vibe. Up to you to decide if I did a good job with this tribute sound! If you have ever served National Service in Singapore, I’m sure you will know exactly what the song is trying to say."
'A White Horse Is Your Best Friend'
"Big bassline, chugging, but slowly evolving into some electro / early Detroit hybrid kinda vibe. I honestly don’t really know how to place this one as it draws from quite a few influences. I do like what K Alexi Shelby said of it when I sent to him though. “…very artistically done of the shades of past and future.”."
'No Such Thing As A White Horse'
"Another chugging track, this time paying some kind of homage to the Chicago sound. Lately I’ve also been very into laying odd-length basslines over a 4/4 time signature - it creates a nice movement over what is essentially very repetitive music. And if you haven’t noticed throughout the EP - it’s that I’m a HUGE bassline guy."
'It All Ends Today'
"The first thought that came to my mind when I came up with the main melody or hook for the track was “this is going to be a nice summer vibe”. But again, in my musically schizophrenic style, the first minute and a half gives no indication whatsoever that it will turn that way, because it starts off in an almost minimal techno vibe. So maybe it will work as a genre flipping track in a DJ set, I don’t know. Just enjoy lah."
Kaye's debut EP is available for pre-order via Bandcamp today. White Horse officially drops via Darker Than Wax on 1 April 2016.