Q&A: North-London Based Producer Saytek Releases “Doppelganger’ EP on KMS Records

 Saytek is one of the rising stars of techno’s new breed to grace the mighty KMS label as they celebrate their 30th year reign.

In the past, Saytek’s releases have catalogued for labels the likes of Soma, Bedrock, My Favorite Robot and fabric. Returning with a tasty batch of live jams on Kevin Saunderson’s imprint, Doppelganger EP is already being championed by the likes of Joseph Capriati, Sven Väth, Marco Carola, B Traits and more! Two insanely well-built slices of techno, ‘Doppelganger (Live)’ and ‘Revolutionize (Live)’ are filled with atmospheric textures, dark stabs and thumping kick drums — the perfect combination of dance floor-ready components that make this two-tracker a well-received EP.

With the EP already available on Beatport, 6AM checked in with the man and his machines

Hi Joseph, what have you been up to since the launch of your massive Machine Jams album last year?

Well, I have been super busy touring, making brand new live material and live jam tracks, plus being a dad, so very busy indeed!

It must have felt quite special to have such amazing support from the likes of Carl Cox and co, did you ever anticipate the album being so well received?

No I didn’t, Carl had played a lot of my stuff in the past so I kind of half expected and hoped him to play a track or two, but then after the first time he played tracks at Space Ibiza he just played them more and more. It was ridiculous, every gig he was playing 2 tracks from the album, supporting 6 different cuts in total. Then once he had picked his two favorites he was dropping them at every gig and radio shows as well. He was mixing them into each other and looping them and doing all sorts. This went on for 6 months and they ended up everywhere, as a result, BBC radio 1 , 7 Carl Cox Global shows, Be-At TV live streams, Nicole Moudaber and Dubfire’s radio shows. It was pretty crazy! The album received huge support from the press as well, so I was super happy!

What fueled the decision to only create and play live techno and not step into the DJ arena?

It was always a natural progression for me, I was really a geeky kid who loved music technology and manipulating sound at a very young age. So I guess I just missed the DJIng stage out!

How do you go about preparing a live show?

When making live material I tend to spend time on each machine/bit of software individually making grooves, beats, synth lines, new sounds, basses, messing up samples or creating new effects. These elements stay pretty separate from each other until I go to the jamming phase, where I try certain elements out with other bits. For example a bass/chord/synth pattern I have made on my Elektron Analog Four might go really well with a drum pattern I have made on the Analog Rhythm, or a sleepy acidic pattern I have made on one of the vocals may match well with a groove I have made on machine, etc. This process is great as it opens me up to a world of surprises, I suppose it’s like a DJ finding that one of his records goes really well with another record, but this is one musical element working with another one.

There’s a lot of equipment involved how do you keep a handle on it all?

Everything has its place, I am not one to just buy a load of kit and then buy more, I really like getting to know my gear!

Are you a new gadget freak in general and like to experiment with new equipment, or do you prefer to stick with solid tried and tested sound equipment?

Yeah, tried and tested, I like to be in position when I know my instruments and can use them live without thinking about it and that takes time!

Your new Doppelgänger EP has just come out on Kevin Saunderson’s legendary KMS label, tell us a little about the what to expect from the release?

It’s 2 live jams that were picked by Kevin and his son Dantiez, I sent them a bunch of tracks and they picked a couple. Pretty much like everything I am releasing at the moment,the tracks are made live with all my gear and no post production apart from a few tiny edits and mastering. They are just jammed straight out of the kit and recorded.

How did you first connect with Kevin Saunderson and his son Dantiez?

Well, funnily enough, I used to work as a Technician in the clubs a long time ago, back in the days when everyone was playing 12”. I gave him a record and I think he played it that night, he definitely took it home with him. More recently I got chatting to his son on Facebook and sent them some tracks and they signed them and since then I have released quite a few bits and bobs on KMS and they sub-label Second Born.

KMS have been going 30 years, it must feel quite an honor to be part of such an institution, having already released with them before. Have you got a favorite release from the label?

Wow, yeah it’s really amazing to be part of the history of Techno itself, so I am really honored! I have too many favorites to pick one, the label is still releasing amazing Techno tracks after all these years and Kevin has released so many classics over the years. I am very happy to be involved!

You’ve also signed a heap of music to Darren Emerson’s Detone label, what are the plans for that?

Again, Darren is another legend I always loved – Underworld and later his nights at The End, “Underwater”. I have been making material for his Detone label for a while. I recently sent him 13 live jams expecting him to take a couple, but he signed them all!… The first EP is coming at the end of May!

Have you any plans to spin in the USA this year?

I would love to, but its a Visa thing I would need to sort one out and a tour. It’s definitely on the cards, but in the mean time I am doing Noise Floor at Salon Daome in Montreal in June – it’s a great night I played there last year!

What was the first house or techno record you bought?

Well, first it was mix tapes, lots of mix tapes! When I was very young my friend’s older brothers where all into raving and I got given a whole bunch of music on C90 from UK rave, acid house and Detroit techno. I loved the sound so much I think the first album I bought was Aphex Twin ‘Ambient Works’ back in about 92/93

What is your opinion on the current Techno scene?

I love it, It’s different now because of the internet but on the whole, apart from everyone’s private conversations becoming public, I think its great people are discovering this music in new ways and I think that’s only a good thing. The one thing I don’t like is the bandwagon jumping this year’s fashionable sub-genre etc.

Doppelganger EP is out now on KMS Records and available via Beatport.

Connect with Saytek: Online | Facebook | Beatport | SoundCloud
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