Spanish musical genius Henry Saiz provided one of Balance’s most memorable efforts on the 19th volume, utilising vinyl, cassette, reel-to-reel tapes and over 100 field recordings to create an incredible patchwork of sounds that came together as a beautiful whole. Ever keen to provide something unique, he returns to the series for Balance presents Natura Sonoris: an expansive mix comprised completely of exclusives from his award-winning label.
“I wanted to do something special for the 10th anniversary of Natura Sonoris” he explains, “and also it’s been six years since my last CD mix—also for Balance—so we thought it was the perfect timing to do a new collaboration.” As such, he has used only exclusive and unreleased tracks from his label family, many specially commissioned for this continuous 140-minute long mix. Upcoming releases get a debut airing; firm favourites from previous years get new reworks; and Saiz himself provides a slew of new productions.
The ghosts of dark ‘80s electro-pop like Depeche Mode hover in the tortured vocals and dramatic mood of Saiz-penned opener Lone Wolf. Muted chimes abound on Hal Incandeza’s Contacto, providing the perfect segue way into the hypnotic marimba arpeggios of Bufi’s Bird Song. Things take a global twist with the African and Latin rhythms and melodies of RIP BESTIA and Landikhan and deeper turns via A Friend Of Marcus and Saiz’s shimmering remix of Damabiah. Joep Mencke’s Sonder picks up the energy with its driving beats and strong melodies, before a double helping of the masterful Brassica gives the mix a more intense, direct edge and healthy doses of breaks and acid.
The mix takes on a more chugging, energetic feel with Marc Marzenit’s The Walrus and the detuned 8-bit melody madness of Victoria Rodriguez’s Moon On A Bright Day, followed by an ascent into euphoric melody with Brian Cid’s Luminous Black and Saiz & Tentacle’s synth-tastic The Prophetess. The mellifluous vocals of Saiz’s The Light get a gorgeous, piano heavy update courtesy of bRUNA, providing a standout moment in the mix, with the stark contrast of Saiz’s remix of Sistema’s Entreé a near-beatless interlude that again recalls those ‘80s greats in its emotive melodies.
The final third of the mix comprises largely of a masterclass in production from Saiz, such as the glistening chimes of his Petar Dundov collaboration No Name and the warped hooks of his remix of NVBSL’s Woodhouse. It’s punctuated by a brooding, sprawling epic from Voltaeric, with the intense sound design and deep atmospheres of Sandman, and closed with another mesmerising trio of Saiz productions that culminates in the epic chug of Spiricom (See You Soon). Throughout Saiz peppers the mix with samples from his own productions, layering them subtly with other tracks to great effect, and across nearly two-and-a-half hours he twists and turns at just the right times to ensure this is a captivating listen that captures a range of moods.
“I wanted to showcase the spirit of the label’s music and its eclectic musical variety and also create a coherent speech that brings the listener to many places,” explains Saiz, “that “journey” experience that I try to create in my sets which is what I like to find when I listen to an album, a set or any piece of art that uses narrative. So I tried to create an intense and visual musical experience.”
“Nowadays it makes no sense to release a mix that is something the audience can find in a free podcast or a club show so I wanted to use only new exclusive tracks. Also for me, it’s kinda “boring” to do the same thing you do every weekend—even if people like it and expect that. It’s more challenging and fresh to work with new stuff and build something up from scratch.”
1.1. Henry Saiz – Lone wolf (A Reality Mendley)
1.2. Hal Incandenza – Contacto
1.3. Bufi – Bird Song
1.4. RIP BESTIA – African Wedding Ceremony (JMII’s Sagrada Familia Remix)
1.5. Landikhan – Veneno Mortal (R.I.P Bestia acid antidote JP 8080)
1.6. A Friend of Marcus – She Who Annihilates + samples from Henry Saiz – Our Discovery
1.7. Damabiah – Sur les Genoux de L’Automne (Henry Saiz Remix)
1.8. Joep Mencke – Sonder
1.9. Tentacle – Goliath (Brassica Remix)
1.10. Henry Saiz – Secrets (Tuff City Kids Remix) + (Brassica Remix)
1.11. Marc Marzenit – The Walrus + samples from Henry Saiz – The Nothing
1.12. Victoria Rodriguez – Moon on a Bright Day
1.13. Brian Cid – Luminous Black + samples from Hal Incandenza – Ventura
1.14. Henry Saiz & Tentacle – The Prophetess
2.14 Henry Saiz & Tentacle – The Prophetess
2.15. Henry Saiz – The Light (bRUNA Remix 2017 Master)
2.16. Sistema – Entreé (Henry Saiz Remix)
2.17. Henry Saiz – Rave Flute + Samples from Henry Saiz – Moonlight Wolf
2.18. Petar Dundov & Henry Saiz – Infinite Promises + samples from Henry Saiz – Sleepwalk
2.19. NVSBL – Woodhouse (Henry Saiz Remix)
2.20. Henry Saiz – Death Drive (Eduardo de la Calle Remix) + Henry Saiz – The Pendulum + melody from Voltaeric – Sandman
2.21. Henry Saiz & Cora Novoa – Golden Dawn (Brynjolfur Dream Mix)
2.22. Henry Saiz – September + samples from Marc Marzenit – Track for the End
2.23. Henry Saiz – Spiricom (see you soon) (Hal Incandenza Remix)
*1. Denotes tracks featured on CD1
*2. Denotes tracks featured on CD2
*Digital release will be one continuous mix
UK/Europe/Australasia release date: 14th July 2017
North America: 22nd July 2017