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Label head Will Saul provides a guide to his label, Aus Music.
The first record on Aus Music. The label was founded as an outlet for Sideshow (Fink's alter ego) and Lee Jones to release artist albums. It was set up as an off-shoot to my other label Simple Records and Aus means 'off' in German....and also sounds like house (bonus!). Not pronounced Oz Music. No connection to Australia whatsoever (although it's a lovely country no doubt).
I prefer the original (one of my all time favorites from Lee), but Prins Thomas's mix was raved about in the press as one of FACT's tracks of the year. It was masked in a layer of feedback (deliberately), that Prins Thomas increased and decreased to build the intensity of the mix. Pretty bonkers and pretty much unplayable to be honest. I've not heard it done since.
Joy's second release featuring a remix from a pretty much unheard of artist back then: Actress. Our biggest selling vinyl release of all time. Joy Orbison is still for my money one the most unique sounding producers out there. His records always connect on the dancefloor and they always have a little twist.
Midland's first record release. These two guys are very old friends from university and two of the most genuinely lovely people you could meet. It spawned hundreds of records that sounded like it but at the time they made it everyone (in the UK) was making quite moody and broken post dub step/house (or whatever you want to call it) but this record is a real feel good jacker that references old Chicago house but in a distinctly UK/Steppy way. Hands in the air and smiles guaranteed when you drop this. Recently voted one of DJ Mags top 100 house records of all time.
A very, very big record for us and to have Carl Craig's seal of approval was a huge life moment ticked off for me. Carl got the stems and came back to me and said to be honest I don't really want to remix this in terms of adding any parts as everything is perfect so I'll do a special in-depth edit that just draws out the drama and increases the impact for the danceloor. You know you've done something right when Carl Craig comes back to you and says he doesn't want to remix your track because everything is perfect.....so hats off to David & Laurie! For my money this still sounds totally futuristic and ahead of the game even now...
Scuba's alter ego and just before he went all trance. Number two in RA's top 100 tracks of the year, so that means it must be good right?! If you know me, you know there is a heavy hint of irony in this comment. All joking aside I still remember listening to this for the first time and being blown away. It's one of those tracks where every little sound is spot on - no unneeded layers and everything working together perfectly. I guarantee thousands of producers have sat in their studio with this record as a reference and thought "I can do that there's nothing too complicated going on here" - tried and then failed as it's INCREDIBLY hard to make something sound simple and powerful. An irresistible groove and incredibly strong hooks.
This spawned a whole host of sound-a-like records with its ear worm sample. George went on to get signed to Domino and is such a talented artist. I'm still very proud to say I've released some of his first music.
It's all about that bassline and the reversed vocal sample. Harry Midland didn't think it was very good and didn't want to release it. I think (and hope) that he's glad I convinced him otherwise now. Harry has played a big part in shaping the sound of Aus over the years and has been completely integral to our success and development.
His manager had been sending me his music for a little while and I'd liked everything but didn't feel it was quite right for Aus but as soon as I heard 'Brother' I knew it was special. It was like a slap in the face when I first heard it. So much rawness and power. From that moment on Thom (LV) has been one of my favorite producers....worth checking out his track 'Time' which he made as an exclusively for my DJ Kicks compilation as its end of the night, smily perfection. Worth checking out everything he does in fact.....which I'm sure you already have!
Number one on Beatport for nearly two months. Who cares about Beatport I hear you say? Well it was a pretty big deal for a self-run and tiny (me and my wife) independent record label, with absolutely no marketing or PR budget. David Guetta was number two and Tiesto was number three. The success and visibility we achieved with Dusky's records enabled me to sign a label deal with !K7, so it was a really important building block in the label's history."
Mainstays on the label, this is a record that just carried on gaining momentum aftter it was given a play by Jamie xx in his Glastonbury set, which was broadcasted live on BBC 1. It finished the year as Mixmag's tune of 2015. These two guys are so dedicated to their craft and it's amazing to see them develop into such talented producers that never rest on their laurels and rely on a 'sound'. They're always trying to do something new and surprise you and have a layer of timelessness to their productions which is the result of a deep deep knowledge of house and techno gained through years of digging.
One of the most underrated producers out there in my opinion. Deserves to be huge. This album is packed full of heart melting moments and a really immersive listen. The collabs with vocalist Will Samson are particularly beautiful.
One of my all time favorite producers so I was genuinely ecstatic when he sent me some demos earlier this year. He did a remix for us many years ago but when I met him for the first time last year it was the only time (other than with Carl Craig perhaps) when I've been like a lost for words stuttering fan boy....if you don't have his album 'Cardiology' in your collection than go buy it!
I totally connected with Ewan's musicality the moment I heard his first record and it was no surprise to find out he's a classically trained pianist. I think people will be genuinely blown away by his album for us later this year....
You gotta have one from me on the list right!? Made both of these for my DJ Kicks mix and I still feel pretty happy with Valhalla and play it out occasionally - which is rare for me as I never really go back and play any of my own music. Generally can't stand the sound of it for a while after finishing it actually! Have a few EPs coming out this year - one has just dropped on Kompakt and one will come out on Aus this autumn (backed with a Recloose mix - yay!).