Essential Mix Review: Will Saul documents prowess outside of role as label headEssential Mi Review Will Saul

Essential Mix Review: Will Saul documents prowess outside of role as label head

There is no doubt Will Saul knows good music. He’s a producer, DJ, label owner, A&R whiz, and has worked with a staggering number of impressive artists in his almost two decades in dance music. Will got his start as nothing more than a passionate record collector (like most of us), and in the years that followed grew from a job at Sony, to his own label Simple Records, and more recently Aus Music.

In his own words, the intent of branching off on his own was nothing more than supporting quality music no matter the sound. Needless to say, have worked out for him since his early days. He’s worked with Carl Craig, Steve Bug, Seth Troxler, Gui Boratto, John Tejada, dOP, Youandewan, Sei A, Prosumer, Dixon, and countless others to both produce and commission deep and emotional dance floor music.

With Aus Music, the focus is slightly different — Saul uses the label (formed only in 2011) to zero in on the avant garde of bass-heavy techno and house of today. Scuba, Pearson Sound, Joy Orbison, Dusky, Bicep, Midland, and George FitzGerald have all called Aus home at some point in the recent past. He’s also Close, the formerly anonymous producer that is now prepping his own album reportedly titled Getting Closer to be released on !K7 Records. Remember George FitzGerald’s remix of “Beam Me Up”? That’s a Close track (you can hear two more upcoming tracks (one of which is featured on the mix) on Saul’s slick Close website).

He’s pretty well known for his immense DJ sets, he’s served as resident at End in London, and he mixed the 15th Balance series tape. This, however, was Will’s first crack at the Radio 1 decks for the Essential Mix and he took it seriously. As is the case with any well-structured DJ set, it’s a linear progression — beginning with slower, futuristic, and deep sounds like his own dub edit of Space Dimension Controller’s “The Love Quadrant” and Urban Tribe’s 2010 “Insolitology” and moving into vocal tracks like Close’s unreleased “My Way” and “Wallflower” and DJ Koze’s “Track ID Anyone?” with Caribou.

He continues to yo-yo between tech and experimental favorites Dense & Pika, Midland, Four Tet, Boddika, and Pearson Sound. It’s not all serious though — he also makes R&B converts smile with the UK G remix of Brandy & Monika’s “The Boy is Mine” and gets much more playful with the new George FitzGerald “I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)” and Dixon’s remix of Disclosure’s “Boiling.” He ends with what is presumed to be a new track from newbie Bobby Champs called “Feels” layered over Finnish drum programmer extraordinaire Brothomstates’ “Matala Bobo.”

His labels have always given him a stable platform for releasing music, but Pete Tong gave him a new stage to promote both his mixing and passion for track selection. Speaking about the mix, Saul indicated the process took him about 3 months in total — studying gigs, approaching colleagues for new material, selecting classic tracks and mixing it all together with his own edits and tweaks. For him, it’s a perfect two hour set.

Andy Stott – Leaving [Modern Love]
Close – Cubizm [K7]
Space Dimension Controller – The Love Quadrant (Will’s Dub Edit) [R&S]
Lrusse & Bleecker – Dot Product [Apple Pips Recordings]
Urban Tribe – Insolitology [Planet E Communications]
Close – My Way feat. Joe Dukie (Tanner Ross & Slow Hands Remix) [K7]
DJ Koze – Track ID Anyone? feat. Caribou [Pampa]
Jimpster – Rollergirl [Freerange]
Close – Wallflower feat. Fink [K7]
DJ Koze – Nices Wölkchen feat. Apparat (Original Mix) [Pampa]
Mount Kimbie – Made To Stray [Warp]
Dense & Pika – Bongo Modular (Will’s 1st Edit)
Youandewan – Just Words [Simple]
Leon Vynehall – Sister [Aus Music]
Sei A – Promises [Seinan Music]
Motor City Drum Ensemble – The Stranger
Shed – The Filler [50 Weapons]
Leon Vynehall – Brother [Aus Music]
Midland – Realtime [Graded]
Four Tet – For These Times [Non-Plus]
Midland – Archive [Graded]
Deadboy – Geek’d Up [Numbers]
October & Borai – Tension Point [Simple]
Boddika – Acid Jackson [Swamp 81]
Pangea – Game [Hessle Audio]
Dense & Pika – Bongo Modular (Will’s 2nd Edit)
Krystal Klear – Beast Mode [Aus Music]
Sei A – Wants [Seinan Music]
Luv Jam – We Play Mouse [We Play House Recordings]
George Fitzgerald – I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)
Brandy & Monica – The Boy Is Mine (UK G Mix)
Close – Beam Me Up (George Fitzgerald Remix) (feat. Scuba)
Komon – Walk The Walk [Aus Music]
Disclosure, Howard Lawrence & Sinead Harnett – Boiling feat. Sinead Harnett (Dixon Remix) [Greco-Roman]
Pearson Sound – Gridlock [Hessle Audio]
Bonobo – Know You [Ninja Tune]
Arkist – Rendezvous (SCB 2013 Dub) [Apple Pips]
Bobby Champs – Feels
Brothomstates – Matala Bobo [Arcola]

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