The latest in the Balance compilation series features the talents of young Spanish producer and DJ Henry Saiz, who has put together a double CD with tracks aimed at the dancefloor as well as the head. Featuring many of his own productions, he’s shied away from making a conventional DJ mix and the result is an emotive, semi-cinematic selection. Here Saiz tells us about the making of.

How would you describe the Balance 019 mix?

When you spend so much time working everyday on something it gets hard to explain with words what is the meaning and the concept of a project. I would say it’s about the power of music to contain feelings and memories, this is basically the concept I’ve worked on. This is why I used [a] lot of vinyl, tapes and all the analogue formats I could find. CD 1 is really about texture, atmosphere and of course [a] lot of melody and CD 2 follows that production treatment but using more dancefloor-friendly tracks. I hope the listener will describe this mix as an intense electronic music experience, as for me, the making of this CD was definitely an intense journey.

How long did it take to put together?

Around six months, only four of them were [spent] composing the tracklist, contacting the producers I wanted for this, making almost one thousand demos and new tracks and trying to get the licences. After that I started working on the final versions, the structure, making bounces from digital to analogue and back, playing with tapes, vinyl, sampling, etc.

It contains many of your own productions therefore it flows more like a traditional album than a compilation; was this your intention from the start?

I just wanted to do something special for Balance that was different than a podcast or a promo set you can download for free on the net. They are such a great compilation series, really avant-garde, they give lots of freedom to the artist so it needed a special approach to the classic DJ set mix concept. I guess I am more known because of my productions than my DJ sets, so I thought this would be more interesting for the listeners as well, and definitely more fun for me, although this process became something really complex and I found myself sometimes thinking “this is too much work, why did I do this? Why do I always complicate things?” It happens to me all the time… haha.

You used cassette and vinyl formats during production, are you a bit of an analogue junkie?

Yeah definitely, although I use both formats, digital and analogue. I’m really into vintage sound and lo-fi production techniques. There is a lot of that on the CD, I tried to create an evocative atmosphere and sound.

When did you start making music?

I started playing instruments when I was 14 or something like that. I play[ed] bass, drums, keyboards, some guitars, [played] in some bands, lots of different styles. But I think my passion in recording and writing music started when I was a child and I got my first cassette recorder.

What is the process of writing music like for you?

It really depends on the track and the moment. When I feel the need of making music (which is basically always) I start an unconscious mental process of analysis of what I want to express and I choose the tools for that. Sometimes I start with something analogue like a guitar or some drums or percussion and then it can turn into something completely electronic, or sometimes I just start making the main melody and I build up everything else after. Sometimes the concept is very clear and I just work on it and sometimes the machine gives you the path to follow. It’s kind of a strange relationship with machines when you work with them everyday… I guess every musician has his own method though.

What can the audience expect from one of your DJ sets?

If you listen to my radio show ‘The Labyrinth‘ you can tell I’m a bit eclectic, but in a club you always find tech-house, disco, house, techno, always very melodic and trippy, but I choose the music based on a type of feeling and sound, not a style. I don’t play just one type of music, I use every track that I think is brilliant and honest, no matter what style.

What do you think of Spain’s dance music scene?

Production-wise it’s definitely better than ever. Amazing producers like Marc Marzenit, John Talabot, Dosem, Pional, Simon Garcia, Cora Novoa and many others are building up a very healthy scene and making [a] lot of noise all over the world. And the club/festival scene is still great too, I hope it gets even better!

What Spanish up-and-coming DJs should we look out for?

Artists like Pional (his last EP for permanent vacation is a BOMB), Cora Novoa, Simon Garcia and many others are doing really wicked stuff, and pretty unique too, which is hard to find nowadays.

What are your current top 5 tracks?

Pional: Where Eagles Dare Dirty Thirty
Shit Robot: Losing My Patience – The Unabombers Remix
Black Ice: Fake – Dosem remix
John Talabot: Families

What is next in the pipeline for you?

Touring for the Balance 019 world tour – during the tour I will be working on lot of new stuff; the upcoming singles from the compilation, new stuff of my disco-house-experimental AKA Hal Incandenza and the LP of my band Tyrane, which is the project I’m most excited about.

HENRY SAIZ – BALANCE 019 – Trailer 02 from henry saiz on Vimeo.

Balance 019: Henry Saiz is out on 13th of June on Balance Music.