We have a special gift for you today on this wonderful day of days. Hopefully you are all warm and happy and sharing it with the ones you love. UK native Saytek has been tearing it up on Dancefloors across the land and we are so excited and fortunate this week to have Saytek with us. His tracks have recently been picked up by some of the biggest names on the planet Carl Cox and Steve Lawler, and Darren Emerson on their respective labels recently. It is worth mentioning he has releases on many other respectable labels such as New Violence, Superfreq, and many more. His approach to performing with live instruments has gained him much praise and as a result he sort of skipped the DJing phase of his career. We have a great Q & A to go along with this wonderful session Saytek put together for us. So sit back and unwrap this two hour live jam session recorded from an undisclosed venue in Berlin. Happy Holidays from LAMP!!
PZB: Hi Saytek and thank you for taking the time and effort to put together this live jam session for us. I am trying to think back through all of our mixes and I don’t think anyone has ever done a completely live session for us. What do you have in store for our listeners this week?
Saytek: So this is a live performance (in an undisclosed club in Germany) of a lot of my live track releases this year including my E.Ps on Carl Cox & Christopher Goes’ Awesome Soundwave, Steve Lawler’s iVAV, Superfreq and my Album on Darren Emersons Detone. Everything I release now is cut out of my live jams so I focus 100% on my live show and release the tracks that are chopped out of that.
PZB: So let’s just get this out of the way so our readers understand. You are not a DJ and never have been. Hence the “Live” mix. Why stick with the live approach and all that gear, rather than just simplifying to a couple USB’s and CDJ’s as most have?
Saytek: I was always into producing from a young age! So I kind of skipped the DJing stage altogether but always really liked DJ sets especially ones that are a journey through sound. So that’s what I always wanted to do with my live sets.
PZB: As someone who is becoming more an more familiar with hardware and incorporating it into performances, I can see where it would be fun to ditch the CD’s entirely. What does your current live set up look like? I have seen some pics but am not familiar with all of the pieces of gear on the table.
Saytek: So this is what it looks like:
And here is the total kit list of what I take on the road! ( see photo)
• 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
PZB: My worst nightmare would be traveling with all of that equipment. Have you ever flown somewhere for a gig and had your gear not make with you or in time for your show?
Saytek: Ah yeah, always a big worry, especially with connecting flights! My luggage has been lost a few times fortunately normally on the way back from a gig but occasionally on the way to the show as well! Recently at show in Croatia I was getting picked up from an airport in Italy as it was the closest to my gig still a 2 hour drive my luggage got lost then but they said it would be on the next flight, so we hung out at the airport for 9 hours I had had no sleep as it was an early flight, but when it arrived I was super happy
PZB: ou have been doing this for 15+ years now. How has your set up changed over the years? Have you found yourself adding new pieces or changing pieces over time? What are some of the challenges that come with the territory?
Saytek: Ah yeah, my set up has evolved and changed loads over the years! I find transporting the gear most challenging even though I have it locked down nowadays in terms of cases and bags its heavy and walking around airports at 10 am with all that gear is not easy. Most of the heaviest stuff goes into a backpack for hand luggage so carrying that around is not easy when you have to lug it around an airport at 9 am with no sleep!
PZB: Let’s talk about some of your releases this year. First of congratulations on all your hard work. Your music is outstanding and to get that Checkmark of support from legends as Carl Cox, Steve Lawler, Darren Emerson, and so many others must feel great. In a few days, you will be releasing on iVAV the sister label to Lawlers ViVA. Tell us more about that release and when we can get our hands on it.
Saytek: So yeah my releases on Darren, Carl and Steves’s labels are all out now all on digital release at all the good shops! The releases are all live jams and the music I have been performing around Europe this year!
PZB: Let’s take a minute and look into your actual production process. You have a pretty extensive catalogue that goes back to I think 2006 from what I could find. Take us into your mind for a minute. What process do you go through when you get into the studio to make music. Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song? When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started?
Saytek: Ah, my first release was 2001 but it was on 12” so wouldn’t be able to find it online unless you hit discogs! Now everything I release is chopped out of my live sets, It means its a lot rawer and lo-fi than my studio tracks but there are a certain energy and vibe that I get I suppose from years of performing in front of crowds that I can’t capture in a studio production.
PZB: Growing up in the UK who and what would you say were the major influencers on you musically?
Saytek: I was totally blown away by the UK sound in the 90s we had so much groundbreaking electronic music I really felt I was part of something I loved the early rave sound, the ambient movement, and artists like Aphex twin with braindance movement. I also loved the bristol triphop sound with Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead. We had the Prodigy, Leftfield, Underworld, Orbital and loads more and I witnessed the inventions of genres like drum & bass and tech house. The 90’s in the UK was a truly amazing time to be alive for music and I am lucky to be there when it all happened!
PZB: When not engrossed in your own music or listening to other peoples demos and such is there a genre of music you like to fall back to when you need a break from the 4 on the floor?
Saytek: Ah, I like so much music but electronic is close to my heart I like listening to more ambient/leftfield/idm sounds when out of dance music mode. I am a sucker for a dark melody!
PZB: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
Saytek: There is, but I can’t really say at the moment its top secret!
PZB:Thank you so much for your time and the incredible mix you put together. Please keep us posted on future releases and we would love to see you in Los Angeles soon.