Saajtak: For the Makers (American Dreams, 2022)

June 3, 2022 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Saajtak: For the Makers

Detroit electro-prog band Saajtak have finally released a full-length after putting out several mesmerizing EPs and becoming a must-see live act. Their songs are unpredictable collisions of hard-to-contain rhythms, synth cascades, and Alex Koi’s operatic, expressionist vocals. “Concertmate 680”, early on in the album, is the type of Saajtak track that catches my attention, with fast, rattling drums and tumbling synth notes and glitches, plus vocals that soar and re-sample and fold in on themselves. “There’s a Leak in the Shielding” is one of the album’s progressive epics, flowing from poetry to dream pop to freewheeling drum alchemy. Detroit saxophonist Marcus Elliot guests on the prismatic funk jam “Borders”, then “Oak Heart” is a time-dilating duet with the stunning David Magumba. “Mightier Mountains Have Crumbled”, the final 8-minute suite, has space for both tender, floating vocals and abrasive noise-spiked frenetic, physical percussion. I’m absolutely amazed to see the progression this band has made, landing on a well-regarded label like American Dreams and expanding their collaborative circle.

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