Label: The state51 Conspiracy
Format: 12", Coloured
Preorder: Releases November 24th 2023
Santaka is truly the sound of a culture. The name means “confluence” in Lithuanian, and the project has been exactly that from the moment DJ/producer Manfredas and drummer/producer Marijus Aleksa resolved to work together in the early days of 2020.
Not only does it bring together the talents that Manfredas and Marijus have individually honed over their own illustrious international careers in the club underground and young jazz worlds – but their recordings have drawn on talents from across styles and generations within Lithuania, creating a fusion of experimental sounds that represents the living nation. The highest common factors of post rock, jazz, dancefloor and abstract electronics, classical and more all flow together. Now, they are deepening this further, by reworking recordings by composer Rytis Mažulis and the avant-garde choir Melos Collective.
Over two tracks, they create haunting but hopeful, weird but truly wonderful atmospheres that look back to the deep history of their home nation’s music and culture but also forward to sonic science fictions of their own. In “Autoportretas”, disembodied voices emerge from the air around Marijus’s percussion subtly at first but becoming more and more corporeal as the ritual takes shape. The eight-minute “Ramybė” is less linear, more dreamlike, with orchestral drones, free jazz fluttering and retro electronics joining the voices and drums. But for all their eeriness and oddness, both are built on the pleasure principle too: this exploratory music joining past and future is thrilling and sustaining in the moment.