Live performer Saytek brings a unique dynamic to house & techno, with his fully improvised live sets gathering critical acclaim and creating a new twist on the performance side of the genre, as well as a new way of releasing tracks – as ‘Live Jams’, recorded during his sets. As innovative as it is classic, he is creating a credible, retro-tinged sound and style, and delivering it in a truly contemporary and forward thinking way. The epitome of the Constant Circles ethos.
We welcome him for an EP, interview and live set.
What is the story behind the name Saytek?
I have been asked this many times and I have said different things before (which are partially true!). But the truth is the name comes from a long time ago, and it was a hazy part of my life, so I don’t know the exact answer!
What is your background and how did you get into music?
Well I was a geeky kid who was interested in programming computers, and for some reason I got interested in sound and early music technology at the age of 10. I was making bleeps on a computer and using a Tandy mixer, a Jen synth and a Roland TR606 drum machine to make music of sorts, recording my mum singing. I was totally obsessed with sound and manipulating it. I loved artists like Aphex Twin and when I was about 13 a friend introduced me to his older brother’s acid house, Detroit techno and rave tapes, so I really loved this sound before I had even set foot in a club. I was listening to it obsessively, so when I was old enough to blag my way in I was out clubbing every weekend, I totally immersed my self in the scene and all its trappings. I decided to study sound engineering and devote my life to music and I spent my later teenage years putting on warehouse parties in London, before working as a technician in clubs like Home and The End. It was here I made connections to sign my first record.
Did you start out as a DJ, producer or live performer, and how did this evolve into the live sets you do today?
I have never DJ’ed. I started out producing, but always loved jamming stuff out live in my hardware studio, so it was just natural progression.
What are your key pieces of kit when performing live?
Elektron : Analog Rytm , Analog 4 and just bought the Digitone, Novation Circuit , Novation Impulse 25, Korg: Volcas (bass, keys, sample) although I haven’t used them recently, and Kaos pad 3, RMX 1000 & Ableton.
Do you have a certain sound in mind when you start each jam?
Well, I don’t make one jam at a time. I try and make a set of music that progresses through different vibes, so I could be working on 10 pieces at the same time, ranging from super deep to tough. I then perform them in one go and edit the jams from them.
Do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
I used to say I was house and techno, but someone said to me once when I said it “no, you’re techno and house”, which amused me and has stuck… Really I just want to provide a tough but deep journey through acid, groovy and melodic sounds, that makes people dance and hopefully feel something as well on an emotional/spiritual level.
What do you think has been the key moment or turning point for you career wise?
I don’t think I have had one – I have always been about building foundations and working hard, and that’s what I keep doing.
What’s your dream label to release on?
To be honest I have stopped thinking like that. I am not a producer or DJ, I am a live artist and I have turned my focus on that 100% and release live tracks only now, so I don’t want to chase labels and I am lucky to work with a bunch of labels that love what I do and offer me freedom to do what I want. The best thing is that a lot of them are run by people I have always hugely respected in the industry: Kevin Saunderson’s KMS, MR C’s Superfreq , Darren Emerson’s Detone, DJ 3000’s Motech and of course Constant Circles… These are just people who share a vision of music with me, and that’s how I like it! It used to drive me mad trying to get stuff signed to labels and changing what I did to suit them – that’s just not my vibe. I was releasing stuff that I wouldn’t perform live in a club myself and that doesn’t make sense.
What is the coolest gig you have ever played & why?
Too many to mention! I am very lucky to have played across the world from weird and wonderful places to huge main rooms and festivals. I have been spoilt with great gigs and I am now at a stage where I play to people who are into my vision of electronic music which makes me feel very happy!
Can you tell us something that most people won’t know about you?
Ahh everyone knows my deepest darkest secrets as I am pretty open about them on social media! However most people don’t know that kiwi fruit can kill me..
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
I have shows coming up at Egg London, Sisyphos Berlin, KB18 Copenhagen, WaV Liverpool , Tanzhaus West Frankfurt, Lazareti Dubrovnik, Croatia, A secret location party in Poland,UNIT 32 Shrewsbury + loads more TBA!
Release wise, I have stuff Coming on Superfreq, and a release on Berlin label Hike which includes a really nice Kevin Saunderson Re-edit of one of my jams, and of course Constant Circles. I also have a bunch of jams I am working on signing at the moment.
Tell us about your guest mix for the radio show, where was it recorded and are there any jams in there to listen out for?
Yeah, there is loads of new material on there, most of which hasn’t been signed yet. Also 2 of the Constant Circles jams… It was recorded at a Minimal force daytime techno party at Cafe 1001 on Brick Lane!