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Will Saul - All About Saul

Author: Tom Spooner
Friday, 18 January 2008
UK DJ/producer Will Saul continues to dominate the underground house and techno scene, running two superlative record labels, simple records and Aus music, as well as producing his own deep futuristic house. Now he's coming out for Playground Weekender. Words by 3D's Tom Spooner.

“The biggest difficulty is balancing a label with production,” Saul begins. “The last few months have been really busy, I've had a lot of remixes to do.

“Previously I only really did one track a month, and now I'm having to do more than that. I don't spend as much time in the office doing all the stuff that needs to be done for the label. And I often have to work - DJ - at the weekends. You don't really get much time off.”

Having completed a business degree and worked as an A&R man for Sony International, Saul is a shrewd businessman. Whereas this has ensured the continued success of both labels, it is his passion and ear for quality music that keeps the label at the forefront.

“There's times when I'm getting a remix from someone and I'm thinking, 'They're not necessarily going to shift a lot of units, but fuck it, I really like what they do',” he says. “I think it's important to balance releases that maybe, you know, aren't necessarily going to make money but are going to keep you on the cutting edge of the scene that you're in as a label.”

Saul's own production work is deep, driving house with techno elements; his inventive compositions consistently feature a strong melodic sense and soulful warmth. One thing he shares with the artists he releases on Simple and Aus is a progressive approach to production; a forward thinking futurism that pushes boundaries.
“One of the things that's drawn me into dance music is the fact that it sounds futuristic,” he says. “I think the combination of sounding futuristic, but also referencing early forms of house and techno styles, is what interests me most.”

In 2007, Saul released Simple Sounds, an ambitious two-CD project that featured his own material as well as an exclusive selection of remixes from the likes of Gui Boratto and Mathew Jonson. At the same time the mix encapsulated the pioneering sounds of both labels. It was a personal project for Saul, as he attempted to collate a true representation of the breadth of his musical vision.
“It wasn't just a question of putting our biggest records on,” he recollects. “I wanted a mix to really showcase the range of the labels.

“Aus is slightly more experimental and definitely more organic, whereas Simple is at the deeper end, geared towards the dancefloor.”

Saul is no stranger to the jet-setting DJ lifestyle, having wowed crowds across the world as well as holding down residencies at Weekend in Berlin and The End in London. However, it will be Saul's first time in Australia when he DJs the Playground Weekender festival.

“I think it will be one of the highlights,” he enthuses. “A festival in the sun, in Australia - a country I've never been to - sounds perfect really!”

WHO: Will Saul
WHAT: Plays Playground Weekender, Del Rio Riverside Resort
WHEN: Friday 7 - Sunday 9 March