Will Saul is the producer and DJ behind Simple Records and Aus Music. His sound is based in deep dubdiscohousetechno with flashes of soul and irresistible melodies that hark back to the early days of Detroit (from Motown to Planet E). Over the years Will has gained an admirable reputation as not only a show- stealing DJ, but also a talented A&R and producer. He’s remixed for Little Dragon, Scuba, Fink, Cortney Tidwell, Solomun, Pearson Sound, Appleblim, and The Juan Maclean (DFA) to name just a few. Will was resident at the legendary End club in London for many years before it closed it’s doors and mixed and compiled the 15th edition of the renowned Balance CD series. The press response to this was superb with Will featuring on the cover of DJ magazine and receiving compilation of the month in DJ/IDJ and Mixmag whilst making the top 20 compilations of 2010 on Resident Advisor. Will’s most recent album project is called Close. Scheduled for release on !k7 in June it features production collaborations with Scuba, Appleblim, October & Ewan Pearson and vocals from Joe Dukie of Fat Freddies Drop, Peacefrog artist Charlene Soraia, Fink and Tikiman. Will is currently developing a full audio-visual show for this project which will debut at Fabric on the 23rd Feb.
Will was born in Taunton, Somerset in 1978. Always surrounded by music, his musical path has developed gradually. Growing up his parents encouraged him to play the piano, sax and timpani, each of which he disliked at the time. He started buying records at eight – motown, soul, R&B, film scores – and diligently recorded the Top 40 on Sunday afternoons. Before his teens he’d begun collecting hip-hop and by sixteen was into dance music. Trekking to clubs across England every weekend inspired him to get a job and save up enough cash for two turntables and a mixer. For such a passionate collector, DJing was a revelation. Two years later he won Muzik’s mixtape talent contest Bedroom Bedlam. After two years working in Sony International’s A&R department following his degree he left to set up a label with friends. They called it Simple, to reflect their open-minded intention to release good music, of whatever genre. It was while working at the legendary Koobla records, and then the fantastic Phonica, that he had his eyes fully opened to the wonderful world of house and techno. At the time the scene was being re- invigorated by producers such as Mathew Jonson, who Will quickly employed for his first remix on Simple Records.
Will’s first foray into developing his own label came in the form of Simple Records. The musical focus of Simple has remained true for over 10 years – futuristic music for the deeper end of the dance floor with a strong emphasis on melodies that tug at your heart strings. The constant evolution of the label now sees October, YouandEwan and Sei A making up the core roster. Will has commissioned remixes from Carl Craig, Actress, Michael Mayer, Steve Bug, MCDE, Seth Troxler, Chateau Flight, Gui Boratto, Isolee, Jimpster, Prins Thomas, John Tejada, Cosmin TRG, Recloose, dOP, Prosumer, Dixon, Steffi, I:Cube and many, many more of underground house and techno’s most respected producers. The label celebrated it’s 50th 12″ single release in 2011 which saw Will and his long term production partner Tam Cooper team up for a limited edition vinyl double pack EP.
As musical landscapes shift Will’s other label of love – Aus Music – has recently come into its prime and was voted in xlr8r magazine’s top 10 labels of 2012. Aus has consistently explored more cutting edge leftfield sounds and over the years (Aus is just 8) has developed into a home for a range of unique artists – from the live dub of Sideshow (Fink on Ninja Tune), through to the bass driven house & techno of Joy Orbison, Scuba, Pearson Sound & Appleblim via the richly textured grooves of Lee Jones & his MyMy project and not forgetting Cottam and his low- slung, hypnotic house. The current crop of artists that Aus is working with are really hitting their prime and encapsulate all that is exciting about the UK’s underground electronic music scene with releases scheduled this year from Bicep, Dusky, George FitzGerald and Midland.