Deep house aficionado Will Saul provides an afterhours masterclass for this week’s Clash DJ podcast.
The Aus Music and Simple Records founder started out as an A&R man, before moving into DJing and production himself, but his ear for electronic talent remains strong, having released material by some of today’s most forward-thinking producers on both labels.
His Clash mix is taken from a set recorded live at Jaded, the notorious afterparty at London’s Cable that kicks off in the early hours of Sunday morning. It sees Saul journeying through dubbed-out disco, uplifting spacey house, euphoric garage and general deep, warm vibes, perfectly considered for the dancefloor of a long Sunday morning.
We caught up with Will for a chat.
Tell us about your mix.
The mix was recorded when I played at Jaded in London at 10am one Sunday morning a few months ago, so it’s all completely live – no corrections or editing after the event. As a result, the track selection was completely spur of the moment…
Do you have a set idea of the vibe you want to achieve when you’re making a mix, or is it normally done on the fly?
When I DJ I never plan sets and I take a lot of music with me to each gig. I tend to feed on the crowd reaction to each track and let this guide me for my next selection. If I’m doing a studio mix then it’s a whole other story and my anally retentive nature takes over and I plan the mix very, very carefully, and edit the bejeszus out of it in Ableton.
Taking into account your history and your talent-spotting achievements with Aus and Simple, do you regard yourself as part DJ/producer, part A&R man?
That’s pretty accurate I guess. Going forward, I’m aiming to spend much more time writing music.
Aus Music has become known for its forward-thinking releases. Is there an ethos behind what gets released on the label?
Aus started out as the left-of-centre little sister to Simple Records, so I’ve always felt free to wander off slightly with this label and not focus on the dancefloor, although in recent years the artists we’ve worked with have definitely made us relevant for the dancefloor. We also started out as an artist-focused label rather than a 12”-by-12” label. I have tried to maintain this focus over the years and at the moment we’ve got a really nice core roster of artists in George FitzGerald, Midland, Bicep and Cottam.
Can we expect another solo album from you anytime soon, or even singles/EPs?
You can definitely expect another album from me next year – June to be exact – as I’ve just signed my ‘Close’ album project to !K7. I will also be releasing another collab EP with October on Aus early next year with a remix from Fred P.
You’re playing the Electric Minds party on New Year’s Day – will you be taking it easy on NYE itself?
I would think so. It will probably just be a nice dinner with friends, although these can sometimes get a little out of hand… I have a one-year-old son now though, and parenting with a hangover is about as bad as it gets – for him and me!
What have been your highlights of 2012?
We just made XLR8R mag’s top ten labels of the year, so that’s a real highlight. It’s always nice to be recognised when you put in so much hard work and love throughout the year.
What have you got planned for next year?
There are lots and lots of Aus label nights on the horizon combined with touring my album for !K7 as a live A/V act (with Al Tourettes on drums), which means loads of touring.
Will Saul hosts Aus Music Vs. Simple Records in Room 2 of the Electric Minds New Year’s Day party, alongside Dusky, George FitzGerald and Midland, with Henrik Schwarz, Mosca and Shed in Room 1.
DOWNLOAD WILL SAUL'S DJ MIX HERE
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Check out the previous episodes of our Dj Mix Series on iTunes HERE