Henry Saiz

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Henry Saiz


From his first releases, which came out around five years ago through Global Underground and Paradigm Musik, he was courted by well established labels. That led to key support from John Digweed, who released Saiz’ remix of Lamur by Guy J on his label Bedrock. It went on to become one of the highlights of 2009 and it was named as Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune that year. Since then, he has released a few EPs on the massive UK label Progressive House, Renaissance and also on his own label with Cora Novoa, Natura Sonoris. The latter was set up in 2008 as an outlet for not just his own songs, but also to support other producers. Since the folding of Renaissance last year it has become an even more essential part of his business. The focus of the label is to connect electronic music with art and life. This is reflected in all aspects of each release from the music itself down to the artwork. It’s a formula that has been received extremely well and has resulted in a big following worldwide.

In recent times, Saiz has developed his own live show which has seen his sets become even more engaging and unique. He’s on his way to Australia this month to support his new release – the 19th entry in the Balance compilation series. He’s in good company with past mixes from artists such as Timo Maas, Joris Voorn, Will Saul and Agoria. On the line to chat before the tour, he shares how pleased he is to be part of the Balance mixes. “I’m very honoured as I’ve always been a massive fan of the series; this is definitely something special for me,” he beams. One of the strengths of the Balance series has been how each artist has taken their mix and made it their own. Their own style and decisions are foremost rather than the series itself. “The best thing about Balance is definitely the freedom they give to the artist. I didn’t get a single guideline from them on the direction that they wanted me to go in. That amount of trust they give you really makes you want to deliver something amazing to repay their faith in you,” he states. “They always choose very unique artists for each edition as well which, coupled with the artistic freedom, and really gives each compiler the chance to flourish.”

The first half of the compilation is quite subdued with the use of old vinyl and cassettes to create a nostalgic feel, whilst the second disc gets into tech house and more beat based territory. “My approach to this compilation was a bit different from the way you would approach a standard compilation. It was more like a collaborative artist album that was modelled on a DJ set structure,” he ponders. Saiz spent a decent amount of time putting Balance 19 together. “It took me around six months and it was definitely a project of epic proportions,” he explains. “For me though it was definitely worth the effort and I’m very proud of the final product. Hopefully everyone at Balance and the people who purchases this are as pleased with this as I am.”

All of the tracks on the compilation are unreleased. He includes his own solo tracks and collaborations, including his new alias Hal Incandenza, along with artists like Ricardo Tobar, Jesse Somfay and Petar Dundov’s Star Sailor alias. When asked what the greatest challenge of his career has been, Saiz is quick to single out this compilation. “Definitely this Balance compilation. The next challenge will be my artist album and an album with my band Tyrane.”

One of the restrictions for Australian audiences has been our distance from the rest of the world. It is quite rare to see producers bring out their full live shows. “My shows in Australia will in some ways reflect the method I used in putting the compilation together; a method that was a hybrid of traditional DJing and live on-the-fly remix moments. ”I really like to keep performances fresh for myself every time I play so I apply a lot of pure DJing improvisations to ensure that each show is unique and different. You can expect to hear tracks from the compilation alongside some of my more signature tracks that I’ve released in the past.”

Saiz agrees that his online show series, The Labyrinth, gives him an opportunity to connect with his audience in a different way. It has featured high profile guests such as Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J and Cora Nova. “Yeah, that is basically the reason why I started with the show. Also, I don´t like feeling trapped to one particular musical style, so The Labyrinth is a showcase of all the music I dig and all the styles I like to play in my sets. It’s a great platform to show that my sound is not restricted to one particular genre, sound or label. So far the show has a solid fan base and the reaction has been way better than I expected it to be so I’m definitely going to keep working on it,” he laughs. The outpouring of gratitude and enthusiasm from his fans was staggering. It’s something that he is thankful for and he knows that his current position is an accumulation of his background. “There really is no substitution for experience and every bit of knowledge that you pick up during the years help in some way.”

As well as being involved with TV and film, Saiz his sound is shaped by other things too. “My past experiences playing with bands or making different kinds of music are definitely integral to my current musical point of view, but sound-design especially is a different approach to sound and it gives you lot of different perspectives about how to treat sound and music making in general.”

Saiz has his mind firmly on playing shows around the world right now. “For the foreseeable future it’s all about touring to promote the Balance compilation. Release wise, there is the upcoming singles collection of selected tracks from the Balance compilation, a very special release on John Digweed’s Bedrock label and new productions from my disco-house pseudonym, Hal Incandenza. That’s just to name a few, but definitely watch this space as there is a lot more planned!”

You get the impression that Henry Saiz’ drive comes from a true love of music. More importantly, it’s the details in his music that express his personality. “I’m very happy with the way this Balance mix turned out and my label, Natura Sonoris, is something I feel very proud of. The most pressing upcoming releases will be the Balance singles collection, the first Sistema´s LP, which is a masterpiece, and a new one from Ricardo Tobar,” Saiz lists. “All of that said, I’m always looking forward to the next challenge and pushing myself even further. I’m always thinking that my biggest success will be the next project. I really can´t wait to go down under it really is one of my favourite places in the world.”