Spokes EP is the debut release of Detroit-based art-rock quartet saajtak. Each song presents a distinct perspective into saajtak’s eclectic sound, yet fits together like sonic jigsaw puzzle. The EP begins with The Keeper – a haunting drone-rock-opera that contemplates aging and living. Emerging from the stillness of The Keeper’s coda is Asimo’s Epilogue – a taste of experimental glitchy future-funk that floats in and out of ambient reflections. The title track Spokes presents a prog-rock epic that flirts with trip-hop, free-jazz, and groove oriented polyrhythm. Lastly, Underscore [ _ ] concludes in a noisy frenetic fashion – with a high energy flash of organized chaos and textural complexity
Detroit band saajtak’s music is a wild trip: angular, ambient, full of fusion rhythms — like the good fusion, maybe early Return To Forever with Musicmagic-era RTF , which I would argue is a great record —proggy and the explorations are worthwhile. Alex Koi’s powerful and versatile voice presides over these four songs as the keyboard/bass/drum instrumentation locks into nice grooves and tricky passages where two consistent rhythms are played against each other for a wonderful effect. This is worth a few listens.
- Collector (Pittsburgh)
“This CD comes as close as possible to capturing their live energy. Songs like ‘The Keeper’ are just pure mysticism. ‘Spokes’ is more jazzy and chaotic, with synths approximating tapes rewinding at hyperspeed, and Koi’s vocals nearly lapsing into spoken word over the tumbling, crashing drums. Best of all is ‘Underscore [ _ ]’, a truly brilliant piece with haunting vocals and splattery, drum’n’bass-like rhythms. That one grabbed me when I saw them perform for the first time and it hasn’t let go. Too amazing for words.”
- Paul Simpson,
Music Director at WCBN-FM