Kaya Project - Walking Through


Reaction score
Baltimore, Maryland
Kaya Project - Walking Through
Interchill Records www.interchill.com
Released: April 2004

1- Walking Through (6.12)
2- Slide (6.06)
3- Labess (6.08)
4- Olelo (4.54)
5- Twin Soul (6.36)
6- Nightflower (rmx) (6.18)
7- Kanzaman Breaks (6.58)
8- Tribal Shift (6.15)
9- Stone Turns Black (5.40)
10- Only the Brave (6.24)
11- Resolve (2.25)
12- Rise Above (5.20)

The press release dubs this album "Organic Electronica" which I find to be the perfect classification. 'Walking Through' is certainly organic electronic in that it is so vibrantly alive it seems to be oozing out of your speakers. No cold, mechanical, electronic boredom is to be found on this album; it contains a degree of superb musicianship that gives it an undeniable spot in the best of downtempo.

1. Walking Through starts with a string introduction that instantly leads me to believe that this isn’t any ordinary album. A piano slides gently down and around the strings. A guitar and tabla join the proceedings not far into the piece, and then the album is into full swing! A great beat and groovy bassline fill out the acoustic painting. A Middle Eastern vocal is eased into the track right when you realize that Walking Through is really something altogether new. After only a few minutes of listening, there is no denying that there is a true master behind the crafting of this album.

2. Slide starts off on a slightly melancholy note. A shaker keeps things in line. Things take a turn for the tribal around 0:45. At 1:15 a really fantastic mallet rhythm gives this track a life of its own. A throaty, breathing voice repeating what I’d like to think of as a magical healing phrase continues the tracks development. Acoustic guitar makes its entrance around 2:20. It has a slightly western feel to it that I really adore. The energy of the track waxes and wanes creating a flowing structure. I really dig those mallets!

3. Labess begins like the rising of the sun. It just eases over the desert horizon and illuminates all that is under it. I say desert because this track has a great Middle Eastern vibe to it that makes me imagine an Arabian desert paradise. A funky bassline keeps the track grooving while percussion interweaves and a beautiful female voice sings. Irina Mikhailova is credited to the vocals, she is really quite talented.

4. Right from the start, Olelo shows off Sebs talent with the tribal rhythm. An ethnic male vocal caresses my eardrums and siphons out the stress. It is a very lounge-like vocal, relaxing and cool. A great tabla rhythm persists through most of the track. I love the metallic and organic mallet riffs layered on top of each other. This track has atmosphere that I can’t say I have encountered before. It is extremely soothing.

5. A choppy triangle sprinkling kicks this track off and then quickly leads to yet another great percussion section. The beat in this track is simply one of the better ones I’ve heard. Every nuance is finely crafted and superbly polished. A female vocal floats above the beat as you rise atop the plane of the ordinary. An acoustic guitar riff sits nicely in between each beat of Twin Soul’s heart. Some Indian influences spice things up while the beat builds and tension is stretched and released. A delayed synthesizer fades the track out.

6. Nightflower begins on a cool jungle night. Insects can be heard making music of their own but eventually my attention turns towards the approaching tribe of drum shamans. As they approach from down the vine-strewn path, the Nightflower speaks. It is a good thing they’ve brought an acoustic guitar with them because one of them sure can play! Rhythm meets melody, and they become quick friends. This track plays out like a story, narrated by the Nightflower herself. She tells her story while the music plays. It is like an ancient storytelling ritual played out in front of a burning fire. In the end, the Nightflower and her tribe have left, having completed their tale. Only you and the jungle night remain, so there is plenty of time to remember all that you have seen and heard.

7. Now this is a track with punch, taking the album in a new and innovative direction. Just when I thought the ethnic theme might start getting slightly repetitive Kanzaman Breaks throws in a refreshing curve ball. A distorted synth melody really sets this track apart from the rest (that is, the rest of electronic music). It is a fusion of organic and synthetic. Genius meets madness. It is on this fine line between the two that Kanzaman Breaks lives, happily content in the digitally fueled, organically driven paradise it creates for itself.

8. A longing female vocal cues up Tribal Shift. Out of the earth sprouts a monster of a mean beat. More ethnic vocals strengthen the already jamming groove. The bassline throbs as if driven by an unstoppable machine. An acoustic guitar balances the hard edge heard in the introduction at around 3:30. Tribal Shift continues the slightly different direction Seb takes with Kanzaman Breaks. I love it… there is nothing like an album transforming in front of your very ears.

9. Stone Turns Black. This track was my surprise favorite from 13th Moon. It begins with a soft pad and then a very tribal drum pattern. Shortly after the beginning of the track the beat comes in. This is the kind of beat I get absolutely mesmerized by, relatively simple but fantastically developed and superbly produced. The vocals that come in around 0:24 give this track an originality that is rather hard to describe. They have a slightly unsettling tone that blends with the fluttery guitar and ethnic melodies in a delicious manner. The structure is fluid and dynamic: melodies and beat combine in a way that captured my attention instantly the first time I heard it. Great track all around!

10. The tension that has been building up the entire album instantly melts away with Only the Brave. The guitar part is soothing and perfectly played. Flute and string parts are so well done that I am reminded of the beautiful classical pieces you hear from the old masters. The beat is much more chilled out than the past three, giving the listener time to let all the melody seep in. The flute is played with heart and it really comes through in building the atmosphere that is just drenched in peacefulness.

11. Resolve is a slightly more abstract piece consisting of excellent work on guitar, piano and other instruments. There is no sustained percussion beat in this track, which gives it a really magnificent fluid structure. It is like a feather floating slowly down the ground, taking its time to mesmerize you as you relax on a summer day.

12. The conclusion of Walking Through begins with even more guitar brilliance. These guitar parts are really just bursting with emotion and musicianship. A thin beat holds together various instrumental explorations. Soon enough a great bassline comes in ties together many great emotions that have been built up throughout the entire album. There is both sadness and joy in this music and you can almost feel it flowing out. Rise above really does just that. It caps off the album in a magnificent way that left me, when the last sounds were long gone, reflecting over the journey I was just taken on.

Walking Through is really a masterpiece. Every second of audio is chocked full of ethnic rhythms, chilled beats and organic scenery. The flute, guitar, kalimba, violin and vocals all shine with a unique talent that makes this not just great chillout, but simply great music. Walking Through is even more outstanding when you listen to it all in one sitting. The journey that builds has all the elements of a literary work of art wrapped up into sonic meaning that is really quite inspiring.

Bottom line: Kaya Projects’ debut really is the best thing I’ve heard yet in 2004.
:jump: I want, I waaant, I WAAAAAAANT!!!! :jump:

(Mikhailova won me over in Ceiba comps btw...not to mention Taylor man himself all these years :rolleyes: )

Top review Reconstructed! :sun:
Kaya Project – Walking Through


Format: CD
Artist: Kaya Project
Title: Walking Through
Label: Interchill Records, Canada
Cat. #: ICHILL CD 017
Date: May 10 (Japan) May 26 (Worldwide)
Year: 2004

Track listing:

01. 06’12†Walking Through
02. 06’04†Slide
03. 06’10†Labess
04. 04’52†Olelo
05. 06’35†Twin Soul
06. 06’18†Nightflower [Kaya Project Rmx]
07. 06’56†Kanzaman Breaks
08. 06’15†Tribal Shift
09. 05’38†Stone Turns Black
10. 06’27†Only The Brave
11. 02’26†Resolve
12. 05’19†Rise Above


Plush world beats

Tai Chi disciple Sebastian Taylor takes his fascination with the sounds of the Middle East, Asia and Hawaii to new levels with his debut Kaya Project album… Seb Taylor was one of the pioneers on the UK trance scene, renowned for his Shakta, Somaton and Digitalis projects… He has also enjoyed great success with his ethno lounge project Angel Tears, which had a track on one of the trendy Buddha Bar compilations… Anyway, as Kaya Project he’s out with this new album “Walking Through†on Canadian quality label Interchill Records…

Let me take you thru the tracks…

#01: First up is as beautiful chilled track, previously released on a Stoned Asia compilation called World Peace… Seb shows off with his acoustic guitar and we are treated to some groovy, mellow beats… Arabian chants, tribal percussion, violins and a piano add to the smooth flavour of this delicious track!

#02: The dubby feel continues on this down-tempo nugget… This track was made with Seb’s soul mate Natascha Chamberlain and they sure have a good thing going… The correlation between the acoustic guitar, the mellow bass and the tribal percussion is breathtaking…

#03: This track kicks off in a subtle manner with a pan flute and all kinds of ethnic influences… Then we are treated to some lovely singing by Irina Mikhailova… Seb meet her in Mexico when she was touring with Medicine Drum… Her emotional lyrics and the Arabian violin are very nice, and add to the Middle Eastern feel this track has…

#04: It gets even more tribal now… Male lyrics are in focus – they remind me of the ones in Juno Reactor’s “Hule Lamâ€â€¦ I have no idea what he’s singing, but although his voice is kinda ‘lazy’ it’s very hypnotizing… Loads of tribal percussion here too…

#05: As mentioned earlier Natascha Chamberlain is Seb’s twin soul, so this must be a tribute to her…This was also previously released, on the Six Degrees compilation “Arabian Travels 2â€â€¦ More female ethnic vocals and Seb playing all kinds of instruments… Darboukas and kalimba to name a few… There’s also some really cool guitar and flute action going on in this track!

#06: This is a remix to an Irina Mikhailova track… And what a lovely remix it is… Kinda reminds me of some of the best Asura work… A beautiful acoustic guitar, flutes, drums, congas and something that sounds like a didgeridoo… This is ethno chill at its best!

#07: Time for Kanzaman Breaks! This rocks! It’s really hard to describe, but it’s something like groovy, down beat, ethnic break-beat trance … Loads of drums to keep the steady pace and some twisted Arabic chanting… Oh and there’s even a break/build-up part here… Well, kinda! ;o)

#08: Some beautiful female singing is soon “disrupted†by some friendly beats… Accompanied by twisted, psychedelic effects and a children’s choir this track has parts that resembles Shpongle… A lot of stuff is going on here, and I have a hard time not moving to this tribal tune…

#09: Now the stones turn black… Previously released on the Interchill compilation 13th Moon, this track is slightly darker – I guess it’s night now and that’s why the stones have turned black… This could easily be the soundtrack to some dark, tribal ritual with loads of chanting, violin, flute and deep, steady percussion… Nice!

#10: Let’s take it down a notch... It’s the break of dawn now and the mood is lighter... The sounds are just beautiful here... Seb takes his musical skills to new levels here, showing us just how talented he is with his guitar, flute, violin and sampler... A perfect blend of ancient sounds with modern production wizardry...

#11: Now this is an odd little short track... Virtually beat-less, this is just a piano and an acoustic guitar, both played with immense talent. I wish I had those skills – Seb; you could play with Slowhand, Satriani or Santana! ;o)

#12: The last track is another chilled gem... Organic in nature, with harmonic whispering and the odd tribal effect thrown in here and there... I couldn’t have wished for a better way to end what has truly been a magical journey...

Seb Taylor and Interchill – how can you go wrong? Well, you can’t really... This is truly a fine album which just oozes quality all the way through... Though there is a casual connection between all tracks, the variation is vast... A near perfect blend of world beats and sonic studio manipulation... Also, the artwork is beautiful… The front cover is an original piece by Suzanne Brady – nicey nice! All in all, I’d recommend this album to any fan of ethnic world beats with a groovy twist...


Favourites: 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10


External links:
Interchill: http://www.interchill.com (Audio sample available!)
Discobole: http://www.discobole.gr/product.asp?pid=59558
CCNow: http://www.ccnow.com/cgi-local/sc_cart.cgi?1228394786116278
Chaos Unlimited: http://www.chaosunlimited.co.uk/cgi-bin/product.asp?LR=ICHILLCDKAYA
[Note: Released in Japan on May 10, and worldwide May 26 2004]
Yes, we love this one... and the Sebster will be back in the Uk and hitting the festies in the summer to treat us with some of these gems! :sun: