UK Techno artist Saytek has steadily been carving a name for himself with his unique live jam approach to music production, releasing live jams on respected labels such as KMS, Detone, Superfreq, Liebe*Detail, Soma, Bedrock, fabric and many more.
His brilliant new album Improvisations sees him return to Carl Cox and Christopher Coe’s label Awesome Soundwave, containing some of his most innovative live jams to date crossing the Techno, House and Acid spectrum. Having just made his live debut at the legendary Creamfields festival, 6AM caught up with him amidst a hectic tour schedule for a chat…
Congrats on your new artist album ‘Improvisations’ on Carl Cox and Christopher Coe’s Awesome Soundwave label, you must be very thrilled about the release?
Yes, I am totally over the moon! Carl and Chris have really supported me on this and put up with me, and allowed me total artistic freedom to make the music I love making! Its been great to see Carl playing loads of tracks from the album and loving them!
How does this album differ from your previous releases and how do you feel you’ve grown as an artist?
I feel I have really grown in terms of musicality in recent years. When I first started making music I was not bothered at all about learning music theory and to be honest, I have a good ear so can quite often tell if something works musically. But I quite often got stuck finding harmonies or that extra note the bassline needed. So over time, I taught myself music theory. I think this album I have used this extra knowledge to the fullest! I have also put a lot of work into the sound design on this album, so making raw material and processing it into something completely new!
Please tell us a bit about the production process and some of your key gear used to create it?
I create my music as continuous live sets, so I don’t make them a track at a time, instead I work on a whole new set of tracks to be performed live in a continuous recording. I edit the tracks out of these which are sometimes recorded in my studio and other times at gigs. Everything is arranged to work with loads of improvised parts! My current kit list is here:
• Elektron Analog Four mk1
• Elektron Analog Rytm mk1
• Korg Kaoss Pad
• MacBook Pro
• Ableton Live
• Novation Impulse 25 keyboard
• Novation Circuit drum machine
• ERM MIDI Clock
• Pioneer RMX-1000
• D16 Silver Boxes (808, 909, 303 emulators)
• Pioneer DJM 900 Nexus
Carl has been a massive supporter of your work over the past couple of years, tell us a little about your relationship with him?
I cannot think of another DJ who has given me so much support! Recently he has been playing 8 of my live jams, including my ‘Easily Influenced EP’, all of which he has released. Besides that he is now booking me for top shows! He is not only a legendary DJ but a great human being as well!
The Awesome Soundwave label is specifically for live artists, how does their approach differ to say normal labels and has them being live artist-specific been more beneficial in any way?
Awesome Soundwave really are doing things differently! They are very much an artist based label releasing albums, releasing videos of performances, booking the artists for shows. The whole concept is for artists who can perform electronic music live which is great for me! It’s a very fresh concept and as far away from the typical release an E.P a week techno label as it can be!
You’ve been touring extensively this year, what have been your highlights so far?
Its been another crazy year! ! With shows at The Steal Yard at Creamfields, Dr Motte’s Birthday party at Suicide Circus and The Hammahalle of Sisyphos In Berlin, Tanzhaus West in Frankfurt and the incredible Stadt Land Bass festival just on the outskirts, Eat Beat Culture Luxembourg and many more great gigs, it’s impossible to pick a fav! I am grateful to do what I do and love every minute of it!
What do you do to chill out?
Chill Out? what’s that? (laughs) But seriously, I do loads of Yoga Ashtanga and strong Vinyasa classes! But predominantly I am a music lover, so I spend a lot of time listening to all kinds of music.
You’re also a family man with 2 sons, what do they make of it all and do you ever get them in the studio for a jam?
Haha yeah, I let both of them in the studio when they get a chance, the older one Jacob is 6 and he really has done some quite impressive jams! Joshy though, who is four, is still pretty annoying when he gets in there presses loads of buttons he shouldn’t and causes chaos. For sure it will be different in a year or so!
What’s coming up next for you that you can tell us about?
Loads of touring! Some more festivals in Europe, but now looking towards club gigs in the winter! Carl has booked to perform at Awakenings at ADE and Fabrik Madrid this October, so I’m super happy about that!