Balance 015 – Will Saul
EQ Recordings [AU]
Release Date: 10 20 09
The best thing about these Balance comps is that they feel more intimate than comp factories like Renaissance and Global Underground. This time we spend four hours with Brit Will Saul who’s been producing for the better part of this decade and running his Simple imprint. Will is also on the the cover of October’s DJ magazine, which may seem like old hat to you, but Americans get UK magazines a month late so it’s news to us.
Disc One is a slow builder with many highlights (Syclops, Junior Boys) and it finishes off approaching club mix territory. Toward the end there are two Hercules & Love Affair productions back-to-back and the Chicago house style, 808 percussion was totally killin’ it. It was EQed just right in the mix.
It all puts you in the mood for Disc Two which is the zenith of this release – at least the first two-thirds. Will Saul’s ‘Mbira’ from ’05 is a fitting entry – some say his best work. However, following that high, the mix devolves into a salad of dubstep and leftfield boredom. It closes with a Thom Yorke and Modeselektor collabo. As I rolled my eyes, I realized this was a bad omen of things to come.
Those aforementioned tracks and the first half of Disc Three are essentially a Back To Mine compilation. Pangaea and Sly & Robbie turn in honorable tracks but this mix gets inconsistent. It feels like it’s out of order although I respect Will’s verve. Still, he’s losing me. The last half gets pitched back up to some ill shit like Seth Troxler and Carl Craig’s remix of Morgan Geist but it’s too late. It’s leaves you hanging. Will Saul and Balance fans would be wise to grab this comp as is anyone who wants a classy mix to ride out to. Fun times. 7/10 – Eden Alisonby