Saytek walks us through his ‘Improvisations’ album
Following the success of Saytek‘s ‘Easily Influenced EP’ on Carl Cox and Christopher Coe‘s live artist imprint, Awesome Soundwave last year, the duo have snapped up the Techno wunderkind for a full album packed with cutting edge live creations aptly titled ‘Improvisations’.
UK artist, Saytek (aka Joseph Keevill) has gathered some serious momentum over the last few years, becoming one of the electronic music scene’s most in-demand live acts. His musical output is prolific and includes no less than seven esteemed live albums, Live Jam tracks, EPs and 12” singles.
“He really is an amazing live artist. I felt compelled to have him on the label. I really like the idea that he doesn’t waver on commerciality with his sound in any way, shape or form if anything he goes deeper into his sound. I really like him and what he is doing.” – Carl Cox
“‘Improvisations’ is arranged live with loads of improvised parts and I really feel I went deeper into musicality and sound design with this project, embracing both analog and digital creation techniques. Its techno and house from my heart and mind performed live”. – Saytek
Saytek has gathered some serious momentum over the last few years, becoming one of the electronic music scene’s most sought after live acts. Here he walks us through each track on his new ‘Improvisations’ album, telling us how he created this phenomenal music…
Inspired by the concept of the music of the Spheres and poking a little bit of fun at Flat Earthers. This jam was created mainly on the Elektron Analog Rtym with analog drums and imported samples for the chord which I programmed chromatically and used an LFO on the filter cut off to create movement. The chord progression was programmed on one of the Synths from Arturia’s V collection (on this album I used lots of 7ths, 9ths, suspended chords and more complex and unconventional chords) the sound effects were designed in Ableton. The track was all jammed out live by muting and unmuting on the AR and triggering sound effects from my Novation Impulse 25.
Soul Machines (live)
This is the housiest track I have made for a while. I had just bought the Arturia V Collection so all bassline and synths were created using these. I am a huge fan of real analog synths but I’ve got to say the V collection synths sound beautiful. The drums come from Elektron Analog Rtym and the D16 Drumazon but the kick comes from Maschine I love the sound of the built-in compressor and overdrive it’s got and quite often use it above more complex compressors and overdrives! Loads of the drums build (crashes, snares, sidesticks, and claps) on this recording were programmed live using the Pioneer RMX1000 which I have put my own samples in!
Back On The Circuit. (live)
The title refers to the main bit of kit used on this track the “Novation Circuit”. I have been using it for a couple of years and always love what I get out of it, the bleeps, main growly bass synth, and snares are all coming from this unit! It’s great for jamming live on. As with most of the album, a lot of the FX synths and crazy delays come from the Korg KP3 alongside the Pioneer RMX1000. This was the track Carl chose for the single from the album!
Acid Jam Seven (live)
This is a classic acid track. Once again I heavily use the D16 Drumazon but also the Phoscyon from them as well! It’s a great 303 emulator and actually the only soft synth I run live in Ableton, it’s got a very authentic sound! It’s a simple track, 909 drums + acid + chopped up vox + 1 Complex chord that is pitch-shifted in places and a load of intense sound effects. This track always gets the crowd going crazy!
No Effective Control (live)
Considering how much I use the Elektron Analog Four, it’s strange that this is the first track on the album where I really use it for the main parts! The main synth stabs and LFO effects all come from this box, it’s really a great synth with a very powerful sequencer I really love the Elektron stuff for live performance.
Move This (live)
Getting into tougher techno territory now! This is one of those jams where pretty much all my equipment is in use, drums coming from The Analog Rytm, Synths coming from the Analog four, Pads and Chords from the V collection and the glitched-out vocal coming from Ableton. Jams like this are really like juggling all the elements and it can get quite hectic! Described by DJ Mag as “Sledge Hammer & Wavy Synths” for me it’s a nice mixture of toughness and melodies!
Broken Process (live)
Once again using pretty much everything on this! Had some fun on the main synths on this some interesting suspended chords and synth part coming from the Analog Four where I set the LFO to the attack of the envelope making it sound like its being reversed at points!
Feel It Raw (Live)
Another one that comes mainly of the Analog Rytm with some heavy drums which can take a while to design on this box but when you spend the time you can get some really powerful kicks, claps, and hats from it! Also, the main chord stab also comes from this machine with a scene set to switch on and off the loop points on the chord. The ravey vocal and stabs come from Ableton, I have stretched around the warp markers to make the timing odd and loose, kind of like it’s being triggered on an old sampler without being edited properly all for old school effect!
Fixed Interval (Live)
This track is named after the kind of chord used a lot in techno. When you sample a chord it has a fixed interval, whereas chords in a scale have different intervals, so when you play it across the keyboard it can go in and out of key with the rest of the track depending on which note you are playing! I love this effect so quite often sample chords I make to create this! It can be heard on the pads in this track. Other than that the Novation Circuit is a key fixture on this track with the bleepy syren synth and a lot of the drums coming from this unit!
Hard Chord (Live)
Does exactly what it says on the tin! A single chord that has been processed with overdrive and compression to make it “Hard”, lol. This track is pretty hard and simple and always effective on the dancefloor when I perform it. I use quite a long silence in this track, it’s pretty brave to do that when performing live, but it’s a powerful tool for the dance floor and always gets some whoops and cheers when you drop to zero and then bring it back in hard!
The Future Then (Live)
I sampled the word future from a “Pronunciation” program and chopped it and warped it. The main synths come from the Analog Four and the title comes from it being quite an old school track, but in the Nineties, if I heard something like this I would think “This is the sound of the future”, hence the name “The Future Then”!
‘Improvisations’ is out now on Awesome Soundwave. Listen to it below and grab it from here