The best artists are often experimental. They’re restless tinkerers, constant seekers, and iconoclastic creators. This is where you’ll find Computer Jay, the weird scientist, savage discotheque party starter, synthesizer sorcerer.
If you listen to the first volume of Jay’s Savage Planet Discotheque series, you can hear Moogs made malevolent, deep bass, and beats that conjure third act tension and suspense. A lover of horror and sci-fi film scores, Jason Taylor’s aesthetic splits difference between the wild-haired alchemist in the lab coat and the groove-rich keyboardist in the band.
“I've always had a special place in my heart for theremins and eeriness. Horror movies and horror music definitely shaped me,” Computer Jay says.
But his sensibilities expand far beyond John Carpenter scores. Some of Taylor’s most frequent collaborators include The Gaslamp Killer and Dam-Funk. The former combined as the Computer Killer on several occasions (including the forthcoming Savage Planet Vol. 2); while Jay played keyboardist in Dam-Funk’s celebrated Master Blazter outfit.
But his most impressive creations are set to explode in his Savage Planet series. It finds Jay carrying on the tradition of fire-stealing moog masters like Giorgio Moroder, J Dilla, and Bruce Haack. LA Weekly hailed it as “sinister but funky…the ideal soundtrack for a Halloween party on the planet Hoth.” Boing Boing described it as “beautiful and passionate.
"Savage Planet Discotheque is supposed to soundtrack for the music of tomorrow; it’s music for the discotheque and Earth is a savage planet. I’m a futurist at heart,” Jay says.
The North Hollywood-raised, Echo Park-based Taylor is so forward-minded that he had to create his own tools. A few of his patented designs include the Moogodore 2600 keyboard (part Commodore 64, part Moog, part Atari 2600), “the rapping, talking supercomputer," and the online-only video game Savage Planet Discotheque. He’s also a trained music engineer, nimble-fingered DJ, a video editor and with the recent release of “Hardships,” a music video director. He’s done session work and toured with the likes of Shafiq Husayn and The Pharcyde.
But if you want to see the eccentric genius of Jay condensed into four minutes, watch “Hardships.” There are aliens, robots, an orchestra, and the rugged beauty of Joshua Tree. There are cameos from Daedelus and The Gaslamp Killer and an irrepressibly catchy melody sung by Orfeo, with whom Jay is currently collaborating for a separate record slated for release on his own, Weird Science imprint.
What’s unique about it isn’t merely the cosmic bent or the cool sounds. It’s the way he aligns their orbit. Computer Jay is attempting nothing less than to re-route the circuitry of sound. And one should never doubt a man who is capable of building a rapping talking supercomputer.
“I just want to be original and inspire people,” Jay says. “It’s about bringing the future to the present.