Project image
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$1,904
pledged of $4,000pledged of $4,000 goal
30
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 7 2019 12:57 PM UTC +00:00.

$1,904
pledged of $4,000pledged of $4,000 goal
30
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, August 7 2019 12:57 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Dear friends old and new, 

We are saajtak, the Detroit-based art rock band comprised of vocalist Alex Koi, keyboardist/electronic artist Simon Alexander-Adams, percussionist Jonathan Taylor, and bassist Ben Willis. Our music draws on years of experience in improvisation, electronic music, and chamber music. 

From our foundational days as University of Michigan students in Ann Arbor to our now home and community in Detroit, it’s been a joy to see our music thrive with your continued and growing support. This last year has been a wild ride between our various tours, performances with some of our favorite artists (Xiu Xiu, ONO, members of Swans, New Music Detroit, Vicky Chow, Brandon Seabrook, and more), and the large bodies of new music we are currently writing. 

With that, we turn to you for help with our latest project, If You Ask

If You Ask is the physical release of 2018's Hectic EP in CD form, including four never-before-heard bonus tracks featuring collaborations with ten incredible artists. 

If You Ask CD (digital mockup)
If You Ask CD (digital mockup)

About the Project

In 2018 we released Hectic EP as a digital release with a companion limited-edition art booklet. This music represented an important step forward in our songwriting process and was our most mature release. We also felt that these songs had more to offer. As a group enthralled with the art of collaboration, we invited some of our favorite artists to reimagine the music from Hectic EP. If You Ask features remixes by producers Jonathan Snipes of the band clipping., Sterling Toles, and our own Polyhop (Simon) in collaboration with hip-hop artist MC Kadence. This new release also includes an expansive acoustic reimagining of our original song “If You Ask” complete with string quartet and vibraphone arrangements by our bassist Ben Willis and percussionist Jonathan Taylor, respectively. Our string guests include violinist Yuri Popowycz and cellists Jordan Schug and Lydia de Leeuw. The new recording will be mixed by Adam Cox, who has recorded all of our releases to date, and mastered by Los Angeles-based engineer Lizzy Erickson.  Sterling's remix includes new performances from multi-reedist Rafael Statin and guitarist Sasha Kashperko.

We are so excited for you to hear this meeting of minds which melds the saajtak sound with the work of some of the most dynamic artists in the country.

About Our Collaborators

Remix Collaborators: Jonathan Snipes, Sterling Toles, MC Kadence
Remix Collaborators: Jonathan Snipes, Sterling Toles, MC Kadence

Jonathan Snipes is a composer and sound designer for Film and Theater living in Los Angeles. He occasionally teaches sound design in the theater department at UCLA, and is a member of the rap group clipping. 

Sterling Toles is an east-side-bred, Cass-Corridor-educated Detroiter who views himself as a healer using sound. Initially a rapper in hip hop groups, Sterling transitioned into music production in 1997, and has since worked with the likes of Invincible, Boldy James and Finale. Sterling holds open space in his home studio for Detroit artists to experiment and express themselves in the rawest of forms. Sterling sees this space as a fitting room for artists to try on their truth within the elastic walls of compassion.

Since the age of 13 when MC Kadence first began to take an interest in hip-hop, he's always directed his focus toward beats, rhymes & rhythms. His highly varied experience with music, which he continues to draw from to this day, (from jazz to rock, soul, funk, classical, & electronica) has served to widen his repertoire of musical ideas. Throughout his development he has continued to push the envelope, both stylistically and content wise by integrating into his music socio-philosophic premises (and later on abstract occult references) that arise out of his studies, wile still synthesizing the general persona and stylistic norms of golden era Hip-Hop and beyond . As one of the founding members of the Abolitionists, Kadence continues to play an important role in providing the mutual creative influence, that in part characterizes the uniqueness of this collective. Kadence is ever progress driven, and when examining the body of his work in Hip-Hop, laden with dynamic collaborations on the production side with the likes of Dabrye, Samiyam and Georgia Anne Muldrow, his will to continue to evolve and grow in texture and depth manifests on record. 

If You Ask string section: Lydia de Leeuw, Yuri Popowycz, Jordan Schug. Photos: Hillary Ilyssa
If You Ask string section: Lydia de Leeuw, Yuri Popowycz, Jordan Schug. Photos: Hillary Ilyssa

Yuri Popowycz, (violin) spelled whyouarei, is a violinist living in Detroit. He runs the Studio Sunday sessions, helms ambient label Music To Stretch To, and plans to live in a castle. 

Jordan Schug (cello) is a bassist and cellist living in Detroit. He plays as much as he can, and has a jazz and synths record out on Northern Ashram.

Lydia de Leeuw (cello) is a cellist, improvisor, educator, and avid lover of trees that are very tall. She is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan where she obtained degrees in cello performance and music education. You can find her in Southeast Michigan performing with her improvising ensemble, BRIGE, and teaching orchestra in the Troy school district.

Adam Cox (recording engineer, mixing engineer for version of If You Ask) is a mainstay of the Detroit music community, playing in the bands Wasabi Dream and the Octopus. He is the owner and sound engineer of Marianne's Dinosaurium.

Lizzy Erickson (mastering engineer for Hectic EP and If You Ask) is a pianist, composer,  engineer, and producer at Manifest Music in Santa Monica, CA.


Costs

We are asking for $4,000 to cover the costs required to get this project out in physical form. These include CD production/distribution, studio time, mixing and mastering, and artist fees. Your support ensures that all production costs are met and that the indispensable contributions from our collaborators are fairly compensated. 

Rewards

We have a ton of great rewards for you to choose from. In addition to the CD (pictured above) and digital download of If You Ask, we have some rad new sticker designs inspired by the Hectic EP art booklet, glow in the dark saajtak stars ("glow-blobs") to light up your bedroom sky, and a special line of T-shirts designed by Simon and Ben that are EXCLUSIVE to this campaign. See the mock ups below to find which reward best suits your fancy.

For big-time donors, we will record a dedicated 10-minute improvisation for your ears only, and for big big-time donors, a private concert at a location of your choosing (travel costs not included beyond a radius of 150 miles). 

Hectic Heads Stickers

Every CD comes with this hectic heads die cut sticker!

Hectic Heads Die Cut Sticker (digital mockup)
Hectic Heads Die Cut Sticker (digital mockup)

If You Ask T-Shirt

We've created a new two color design that will screen printed locally at ESP printing. Available in black and pink.

If You Ask T-Shirt - Black (digital mockup)
If You Ask T-Shirt - Black (digital mockup)
If You Ask T-Shirt - Pink (digital mockup)
If You Ask T-Shirt - Pink (digital mockup)

Hectic Heads T-Shirt

We're excited to present this exclusive all-over style print featuring art from the Hectic EP booklet, reimagined as a wearable object!

Hectic Heads T-Shirt (photos)
Hectic Heads T-Shirt (photos)
Hectic Heads T-Shirt (digital mockup)
Hectic Heads T-Shirt (digital mockup)

saajtak "Glow-Blobs"

These "glow blobs" are saajtak's take on classic glow in the dark stars. Based on original drawings by Ben and Simon, no two blobs are the same. Each pack comes a set of one-of-a-kind blobs and sticky-tack so you can decorate your ceiling. We will be fabricating these ourselves at Ann Arbor makerspace Maker Works.

Risks and challenges

Producing a physical release is expensive, requiring money for CD production, studio time, mixing, mastering, and of course copious time from the participating artists. One strength of If You Ask is the many perspectives and artistic voices represented. The diversity of styles also means an unconventional release, meaning there is no established path for marketing or promotion. Making original music is a full-time job, and the return rarely reflects the amount of time and energy put in. Your support goes a long way towards making our work come to life!

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    If You Ask Digital Download

    All of the music with almost none of the corporeality! Download high-quality files of If You Ask and play them through any means you desire.

    Includes:
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    If You Ask CD

    This is it! A physical copy of this 6-track recording in all its glory. Housed in a sturdy Digipak, featuring all-new artwork from Simon Alexander-Adams!

    Includes:
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    If You Ask CD + saajtak "Glow-Blobs"

    A set of glow-in-the-dark shapes drawn by members of saajtak! Each set will include a completely unique collection of shapes. Sticky tack included for affixing to your bedroom ceiling for maximum dreaming.

    Plus, of course, the compact disc recording of If You Ask housed in a lovely Digipak, so you can pop it in the boom box while gazing upwards at night time.

    Includes:
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Unique set of decorative "Glow-Blobs" designed by saajtak
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    If You Ask CD + If You Ask Shirt

    A Kickstarter exclusive If You Ask shirt! A collaborative design from Ben Willis and Simon Alexander-Adams, hand screened in Detroit at ESP! We’ll only make as many as rewards we sell, so if you’re into shirts, here’s your shot!

    Choose any size unisex T-shirt; they are the nice soft kind.

    Includes:
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Kickstarter exclusive If You Ask t-shirt
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    If You Ask CD + Shirt + "Glow-Blobs"

    Those glowing blobs on your ceiling will look even nicer while you are wearing the kickstarter-exclusive If You Ask t-shirt!

    Includes:
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Unique set of decorative "Glow-Blobs" designed by saajtak
    • Kickstarter exclusive If You Ask t-shirt
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    If You Ask CD + Hectic Heads T-shirt

    A very special all-over printed Hectic Heads T-Shirt! Featuring Ben Willis's drawings and Simon Alexander-Adams's design work on a very striking statement-making shirt. Exclusive to this kickstarter!

    Includes:
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Kickstarter exclusive all-over print Hectic Heads T-Shirt
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    If You Ask for everything!

    Ultimate bundle! All of the things!

    Includes:
    • Digital download of all 6 tracks from If You Ask
    • If You Ask CD in Digipak
    • Unique set of decorative "Glow-Blobs" designed by saajtak
    • Kickstarter exclusive If You Ask t-shirt
    • Kickstarter exclusive all-over print Hectic Heads T-Shirt
    • Hectic Heads Sticker!
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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    Original improvisation just for YOU

    We will record an approximately 10-minute improvisation, and share the recording with you and you alone. You can decide whether to let other people listen to it, or have it as a private experience for yourself!

    If you would like this in addition to any other reward level, just add $120 to your donation.

    Includes:
    • Digital download of unique improvisation, only for you
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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Private Concert

    We will play a private concert at the space of your choice! 1 or 2 sets.

    Outside of 100 mile radius, travel and lodging will be an additional cost.

    If you are interested in this reward, reach out to us so we can work out logistical details!

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