Marijus Aleksa is a Lithuanian cross-genre drummer and music
producer who has spent his last decade touring and in session
with some of the contemporary jazz greats including Joe Armon
Jones, Ashley Henry, Bill Laurance, China Moses and many
more. Manfredas is a key figure in Lithuanian electronic music community, internationally acclaimed club DJ, owner of Radio Vilnius, music producer and remixer on releases by Andrew Weatherall, Metronomy, Erol Alkan and more.
In the past few years during the lockdowns in their hometown of Vilnius, Marijus and Manfredas started making music together under the name Santaka (pronounced San-t-ka, meaning 'confluence' in Lithuanian). This collaboration was born out of their appreciation of tracks and records from the 70's blending electronic sounds with jazz, avant garde and world music like Herbie Hancock's 'Rain Dance' or Don Cherry's 'Brown Rice'. They also cite old records that used recording, editing and sampling techniques like Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew' and later albums, and Jon Hassel's records as inspirations.
The band doesn't occupy one single space, but incorporates elements of Marijus' jazz background and Manfredas' more club oriented offerings to produce something new, channelling the different pulsing rhythms and darker corners of their respective scenes. Working off drum machines, synths and Marijus' drum/percussion kit, the band established their focus, and broadened the sound by bringing on board a host of extremely talented Vilnius based free and avant garde jazz musicians. The result is Santaka's first offering - unusual, brave and weird.