With a new release, Penumbra, incoming on Los Angeles label Dome of Doom, Saka is an experimental beat-maker to keep your eyes on. It’s been a wild few years from the Hong Kong-born, United States-based artist, beginning with the six-track Slipstream EP on Bassrush Records, which followed a heady half-time cut on the second volume of the label’s Prophecy compilation series. Since then, he’s put out a handful of singles and, most recently, the Split Punch / Wing Chun EP on Gud Vibrations. His growing discography exemplifies a cutting-edge sonic quality that is both familiar yet unconventional.
When Saka began making music in 2017, he’d been talking about it for years. After a youth spent between Hong Kong and San Francisco, he attended boarding school in Virginia before college in Southern California, which is where he discovered electronic music through American festivals. Encouraged by his friend Sammy Legs, he bought some gear and set about making his own beats, drawing inspiration from the likes of quickly, quickly and Player Dave, before moving to experimental bass through artists like samsin, Alix Perez, and Vide. By fusing these west coast influences with those from his native Hong Kong, he wields a sound palette that is both intricate but chaotically destructive, built around broken beat patterns, rippling melodies, and roaring basslines.
On Penumbra, Saka presents his vocals on record for the first time. Built around the breakup with his partner, the EP is soaked in a wave of deep emotional resonance, and each track represents a different time period of the relationship. To accompany the release, he’s compiled an XLR8R podcast; recorded this past week, it pulls from Saka’s unreleased catalog, some of which will come out soon, and it also leans heavily on tracks from those around him. Expect 67 minutes of infectious, shapeshifting bass rhythms one of the genre’s most exciting talents.
XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.
Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. False Noise “Greys” (Upscale)
02. Saka “Lilac” (Dome of Doom)
03. Saka “Prescient” (Dome of Doom)
04. Saka “Yin” feat. Aido (Unreleased)
05. Saka “ID” (Unreleased)
06. Vide “Reflections ft. Saka” (Lost Dogz)
07. Mirror Maze “ID” (Unreleased)
08. Mindset “ID” (Unreleased)
09. Mirror Maze, Vide & Abelation “ID” (Unreleased)
10. Sumthin Sumthin “Eerie (Ilaman Acapella)”
11. Sumthin Sumthin “ID” (Unreleased)
12. Sumthin Sumthin “ID” feat Clozee (Unreleased)
13. Saka “Split Punch” (Gud Vibrations)
14. Saka “Stasis” (Inspected)
15. Vorso “Strung Out” (Riotville Records)
16. Saka “ID” (Unreleased)
17. Saka “Salvo” (Self-Released)
18. Sinic “Fickle” (Self-Released)
19. COPYCATT “ID” (Unreleased)
20. Kursa & Skope “Fade Out” (Self-Released)
21. Saka “Wing Chun” (Gud Vibrations)
22. Ivy Lab “Cake (Saka Edit)” (20/20 LDN Recordings)
23. Mirror Maze & Kromuh “ID” (Unreleased)
24. Mirror Maze & Saka “ID” (Unreleased)
25. Saka “Penumbra” (Dome of Doom)
26. Camo & Krooked “No Tomorrow (Tom Finster Remix)” (Hospital Records)
27. Connor Q & Saka “ID” (Unreleased)
28. Misanthrop “Deus” (Neosignal Recordings)
29. Arkaik “RD2101 ft. Skylark” (Flexout Audio)
30. Integrate “ID” (Unreleased)
31. Kings of the Rollers “Shella” feat. Chimpo (Halogenix Remix)” (Hospital Records)
33. Saka “ID” (Unreleased)
33. Saka “Let Me Live ft. Amethyst” (Dome of Doom)