You can find only two releases from Sa Pa on Discogs, one on Giegling sub-label Forum, and a solitary outing on Marcel Dettmann Records in 2015. The only other original material he's shared has come out via his “Enter Sa Pa” mix made only of his own music and field recordings, and also as part of Marcel Dettmann’s Rauch mix for Ostgut Ton’s ambient sub-label, A-TON. Remarkably, this is just about everything you can find on him, other than that he's based in Berlin, and is Australian. Oh, and he can be seen playing at last year's protests in Georgia. He avoids social media altogether.
As we put this feature together, we managed to extract further bits of information from Sa Pa, but a lot of it is either deflective or too short to really reveal anything. Nonetheless, this is what else we know: the first memory that sent him on his course in music was hearing Jean-Michel Jarre’s “Oxygen Part II” on the radio for the first time. "I was still too young to really have any great context of what the music playing actually was, but I knew the sounds of that song were so out of this world compared to any bands on the air at the time," he recalls. "It was epiphanic, and from that point on I understood there was more to music than the rock & roll that was omnipresent growing up.”
His musical palette continued to be shaped with late-night music television, foreign film, and soundtracks—"even the music in world football montages sounded cool," he adds. He came to love trance and learned more about making music when his friend Jug recommended a drum machine and sat him through basic production processes. The only other thing we know is that he connected with Giegling through his passion for tea, the mnml ssgs blog, and what he calls a "passport fiasco," with no other details disclosed. "The connection was poetry in motion," he says.
In terms of music, Sa Pa's work is rooted in lush dub techno and serene atmospherics. Like all the artists on Giegling, it's elegant and powerful, and possessive of a raw emotion that seems so symbolic of the Weimar crew. His XLR8R podcast, at just over one hour in length, gradually kicks off with beats fading in and out, only to return around the half-way mark, picking up the energy, only to melt into downbeat field recordings and gentle ambiance. It's also full of unreleased Sa Pa material, the first glimpse of what's to come in years. There's an art to keeping the attention and emotions high without a kick, and Sa Pa, whoever he is, manages to do this until the very end.
What have you been up to recently?
You don’t release very much. How much of your work do you share?
Around 16 percent.
You also maintain almost complete anonymity. Where do you feel the need to protect your identity?
I feel freedom in art and identity a cage.
Where was this particular mix recorded?
In future memories.
How did you choose the tracks that you included?
Is there a concept or wider vision behind it?
Connecting worlds, time, and place.
Where do you envisage it being listened to?
Sitting while moving.
What’s next on the horizon, looking forward?
Dreams. Dreams. And more dreams. I picture the horizon as a vision of absurd lustre; the strange, bright, and shiny things that light the future ahead.
Due to issues regarding the GDPR, EU readers can download the podcast here.
01. Sa Pa "Ripsketch" [Forthcoming]
02. Easy Changes "RS6 3.5 V10" [Nervmusic]
03. Neotropical "The Chill" [Sketches Records]
04. Jan Jelinek Presents: "Alice Schwarzer, is it true you that you’re a person of great tenacity?" [Fatisch]
05. Jan Jelinek Presents "John Cage, I’ve been asked to ask you the following question: Where are you going?" [Fatisch]
06. Sateq "Unreleased"
07. Jan Jelinek Presents: "Hubert Fichte, your journey through life has been full of twists and turns. Please tell us when and where this journey began!" [Fatische]
08. Sa Pa "Melody Hop" [Forthcoming]
09. Ambiq "Timone" [Arjunamusic]
10. Sa Pa "Unreleased"
11. Soundwalk Collective "Kreatur" [Dischi Fantom]
12. Sa Pa "Recovery" [Forthcoming]
13. Necunoscuti "Vom Ramane" (Vid ‘Piu Piu’ remix) [An|dromeda]
14. Unknown Artist "Vox" [Unknown]
15. Terrence Dixon "Vision Blurry" [Tresor]
16. Sa Pa "Futurist Meets Cubist" [Forthcoming]
17. DeepChord "Vibrational Studies" (In Echospace) [Modern Love]
18. Sa Pa "Unreleased"
19. Sa Pa "Unreleased"
20. Sa Pa "Unreleased"
Sa Pa is playing the last ever Nachtdigital, taking place in Bungalowdorf Olganitz, Germany from Friday, August 2 until Sunday, August 4.