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Album of the month | Saytek - Motifs From The New World

Awesome soundwaves from a live performer invested in his craft.

Artist: Saytek
Title: Motifs From The New World
Label: Awesome Soundwave
Released: 24 September

Sounds like: An often nostalgic glance back to dance music's grassroots glory days

Saytek (Live)

Over the last few decades, Joseph Keevill better-known by his artist name, Saytek, has carved out a reputation as one of the underground's most innovative live acts. Thanks to his
impressive and largely improvised live shows, Saytek has found himself in high demand.

Displaying a mastery of hardware, including analog synths, sequencers and drum machines, Saytek has garnered high-praise amongst dance music's elite.

In his recent autobiography, Carl Cox singles him out as a "true electronic musician" and somebody who "goes straight to the Techno, no messing around." Saytek's track Last Night remained a weapon of choice in Coxy's record bag for longer than most.

A long-time admirer, Carl brought Saytek into the fold with Awesome Soundwave, the label exclusively for live acts he runs with Christopher Coe. That relationship has seen Keevill grace bigger stages at Creamfields and Awakenings, as well as a packed-out diary on the club circuit.

Here on Ibiza, Saytek's raw, pulsating and acid-strewn take on Techno, occasional divergents to non-linear beat patterns and a climate that still strongly favours DJ sets over live performance, have seen opportunities limited in recent years.

But if we dig into the archive, Saytek has made his mark felt on Ibiza's shores.

A string of bookings at Zoo Project's infamous seal pit proved so popular, the audio recording from one session was even released as a live album.

Following on from 2019's Improvisations, Saytek returns to Awesome Soundwave with his latest album, Motifs From The New World.

Motifs From THe New World

Last week, Saytek presented his latest LP to attendees at Brighton Music Conference. An artist who has been invested in the scene since he was a teenager, Saytek knows about the power of visibility. You only need glance at his social media presence, published features and ambassador work for music production school Point Blank - he lives and breathes the culture.

The new album, his eighth, like earlier picks for our album of the month, was recorded during the pandemic. Motifs From The New World differs to nearly all the rest, in remaining steadfast in its unflinching commitment to the dancefloor.

The album notes refer to it as a klaxon and "a call to action to keep moving, connecting and dancing."

While many of his peers chose to express their artistry in a new, more delicate and less dance-orientated light, Keevill did the opposite, doubling-down on his field of expertise.

Lead single Isolation, no doubt a reference to the lockstage stage of Covid-19, features an unrelenting MC707 kick-drum and a looped vocal, singling it out as an effective tool to work any dimly-lit dancefloor.

Machine Music introduces more melody and emotion, amongst an oscillating bassline. Like all good live acts, Saytek has always come across as an extension of his hardware. Machine-made, the music might be, but behind the wheel is a man of blood, tissue and complexity. He is an artist who knows his kit inside out, as evidenced from the numerous online tutorials and live streams.

While he is widely regarded as a Techno act, Keevill has never boxed himself into a single genre category. Good Night From Chicago is a multi-pronged array of acid and precision-poised drops that takes dancers firmly by the hand and leads them into the dark.

By the time we get to album closer, Third Summer (... of Love?) both the rulebook and problematic genre tags have been completely discarded. Its broken-beat and news report sample throws things back to an unlicensed field somewhere off the circular in 1989. It was an era that was more innocent and less tribal, and maybe it offers a little phophecy of what lies in store in the aftermath of a global health crisis?

Electronic music has the capability of bringing people together to dance, even during times when occupying the same physical space is compromised. Saytek knows that better than most.

This post-pandemic world is a new frontier, with new rules, new attitudes and a sense of unfamiliarity. Motifs From The New World conveys those anxieties by distracting itself with the comforts of a bygone time. Old normal is gone forever. But we'll always have the music.

Highlights: Decay Automate, Machine Music, Flip The Switch, Light Is Fire

Motifs From The New World is out now and can be streamed and downloaded at all the usual places.

To discover more music the Ibiza Spotlight team are enjoying right now, head over to our Spotify profile and click subscribe!

Other huge albums released this month:

DJ Seinfeld | Mirrors | Ninja Tune | 3 September
Anthony Naples | Chameleon | ANS | 3 September
Tiger Stripes | Rocket | Drumcode | 17 September
Boys Noize | +/- (Polarity) | Boynoize Records | 24 September
Ben Böhmer | Begin Again | Anjunadeep | 24 September

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