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SARATTMA is an experimental instrumental post-metal duo whose debut album Escape Velocity is a psychedelic, apocalyptic journey through extraterrestrial landscapes. Drummer Sara Neidorf (Mellowdeath, ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre, Aptera) and guitarist Matt Hollenberg (Cleric, John Frum, John Zorn) weave an intricate fusion of modern improv, punk, jazz, djent, avante-psych-rock, and prog, evoking Frank Zappa, John Zorn, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Dysrhythmia, Don Caballero, and Stinking Lizaveta. Their visually arousing music is a cinematic space punk anthem for those grimey enough to have survived the end of days.
Dedicated to Jill Neidorf (1957-2020), Escape Velocity was recorded in July 2019 at Black Spine Studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, mixed and engineered by Matt Hollenberg with additional mixing from Steve Roche, guitar re-amping engineered by Kevin Antreassian at Backroom Studios in Rockaway, New Jersey, and mastered by Colin Marston at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York. The striking cover artwork was created by Caroline Harrison and the layout handled by Erich Kriebel.
Sara Neidorf offers, "Escape Velocity posits illness and pain as an alien invasion of the body. Much of the album was written and recorded while my mother was in her last year of life, battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. She began making collages which combined invasive tumors and nature imagery, overlaying the two in grotesque juxtaposition. These themes influenced the notes we gave to Caroline Harrison in designing the album art, with bodily matter sort of fungally taking over the terrain. My mom’s journey with cancer, and the way in which she made art inspired by her illness, made a huge impression on me, also in terms of how I relate to my own body, mortality, sickness, and the power of music. Working on this album, especially developing material in the basement of my mother’s home while she listened and painted, really felt like one of the only beacons of relief and hope during an otherwise dismal and hopeless time, and she was always extremely present in the process, giving us feedback and coloring the whole experience with a different sort of life. We dug into our histories, the injustices of the present moment, and all matters of subconscious unrest to put together the ideas that became Escape Velocity."
Matt Hollenberg reveals, "Escape Velocity represents many things to me personally. As Sara has already said, it was profound that Jill was present and listening deeply during many of the improvisations at Sara’s house that led to the seeds that would become the full record. The theme that time is truly precious and must be used to the fullest that one is able to, became a theme that resonated throughout the project. This was also the first record that I made a goal to complete by doing everything DIY – with only certain aspects outsourced to studios when there was no other option, but mainly the process being a dirty sweaty journey in a basement in July. I fondly remember the first nine hours of troubleshooting the first day just to start recording, putting our heads physically forward while playing so that both our monitor headphones would reach the tiny Behringer mixer… all sorts of amateur sweaty DIY warrior like stuff to make it happen anyway we could. All these dynamics, combined with lack of firm arrangements or plan going into the recording process led to something that sounds spontaneous, natural, and in the spirit of existential resilience and gratitude."
"...the group creates unpredictable yet technically dazzling feats of progressive metal. Today, they’ve shared ‘Sublingual Excavation,’ an explosive yet brooding track that takes a number of unexpected avenues, from moments of sludgy, Mastodon-like crunch, King Crimson-style rhythmic complexity and even some jazz-fusion-like passages. It’s a wild ride, and one that’s a lot of fun to take for that matter." - Treble
"Escape Velocity is a powerful statement from two top-notch musicians. The record somehow displays intense virtuosity while retaining a vision that elevates it beyond pure showmanship." - No Clean Singing
"It’s not every band that can pull the skronk out of extreme metal and use technical wizardry to turn it into something that speaks to an avant garde history of fuckery..." - The Obelisk
"...a hypnotic musical experience that takes you an a journey through a psychedelic and apocalyptic experience. Drummer Sara Neidorf (Mellowdeath, ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre, Aptera) and guitarist Matt Hollenberg (Cleric, John Frum, John Zorn) fuse together a whole host of influences to create a musical fusion that takes in everything from punk, doom and jazz to djent, psych-rock, prog and a whole lot more." - Echoes and Dust
"...a uniquely contrived darkness that is nothing quite like you’ll have ever heard before … This is deep, dark and heavy instrumental post-metal goodness!" - Ghost Cult Magazine
"...you could very well feel sonically traumatized from both the sound and vision you’re about to bear witness to." - The Sleeping Shaman