Five minutes with Will Saul
The co-founder of AUS Music talks to us ahead of his appearance at Cabaret Voltaire
Founded in 2004 by Will Saul and Ninja Tune's Fink, AUS Music has always been ahead of the curve, but has been particularly prolific over the last couple of years, reflecting a new wave of talent which continues to rise. Ahead of his date at Fly Club on 9 Aug, we talk to Will about the label's sound, what he looks for in signing an artist, and an exiting A/V show for his new project, CLOSE:
It really seems like AUS Music has been on fire so far in 2013 with releases from the likes of Bicep, Dusky and Midland, do you think the label is becoming increasingly recognised for a particular sound? It almost seems like you can tell when an AUS track comes on by the reaction on the dancefloor.
To be honest, I really hope the label isn't getting recognised for a particular sound as this means we become predictable and in turn, boring. I try to approach A&R'ing the label by focusing on working with artists that have something that I feel is special and unique. I then let the artists lead the 'sound of the label', but with the acts you've mentioned above, they all have their own sound and are quite different from each other. We aim to release cutting edge electronic music that will blow people off their feet on the dance floor, but that's about it in terms of a mission statement.
You of course had a monster hit with George FitzGerald's 'Child EP' last summer and this year is looking much the same, how heavily involved are you with the A&R and what are you looking for in a track or artist?
I do all the A&R and in fact everything else for the label as I run it on my own - with a little help from my wife. As I mentioned above I look for something unique and fresh from an artist - their own sound and take on dance music and the ability to write a good melody and craft a strong hook is also important for me.
You'll be joining Midland for an AUS label showcase presented by Fly Club this week in Edinburgh, obviously you've got a fairly packed tour schedule, but is this an event you'll be looking forward to? Have you played Edinburgh before? There's a great buzz here already.
I'm very much looking forward to this event as it'll be the first time I've played in Edinburgh!
The CLOSE project and album has been met with a hugely positive reaction, was this something you'd been working towards for a while and what's it like been performing the tracks with the audio/visual show that was in the pipeline?
I'd been working on the album on and off for about 3 years so it's been a very long development. My wife had our first child 20 months ago so this fell right in the middle of working on the album and I needed to take some time out to support her. We also moved out to the country from London so this relocation of my family took a bit of time as well. The live A/V show is really exciting and not something you see in clubs that often really. It involves a drummer & I behind a big ultra-fine gauze screen and our lighting engineer projecting an hour's worth of exclusively shot film on to it. There are extra special lights in front and behind the screen which the lighting guy controls and this means that when you cut the back lighting you cant see the drummer or me but when you back light us you can see us quite clearly. This makes the images become almost holographic and it gets pretty trippy….
Check out some of Aus Music's big hitters below:
Will Saul joins Midland at an Aus Music showcase for Fly Club on Fri Aug 9th at Cabaret Voltaire.