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CRSSD‘s 7th edition is a special one —it marks the official third birthday of the festival. Hosted at its usual location at the picturesque Waterfront Park in San Diego, the semi-annual event certainly hasn’t faltered in its lineup curation, inviting the likes of Cirez D, Empire of the Sun, Henry Saiz, and Tchami onto its bill across March 3 & 4. Dancing Astronaut joins organizers in digging a little deeper into its roster to unearth its top underrated performers to find out their backstories thus far.
From ethereal, dark progressive to avant-garde electronica, Henry Saiz sits firmly on the cutting edge of dance music. Earning inspiration from natural places, his music is often a blend of profound melodic elements, comforting samples, and wistful progressions. His Natura Sonoris label additionally reflects this ethos, bringing caliber acts like Dosem, Clarian, Gab Rhome, and more into its fold.
Lately, however, Henry has drifted farther and farther away from the tropes of contemporary dance music, seeking reinvigoration once more to create music that he adored. His solution? An immersive revolutionary audiovisual album that took him all around the world to help spark ideas for what would soon become a veritable fable in sonic form. To boot, the project was entirely crowdfunded, demonstrating just how much trust his fans had in him to create something truly special.
The album is still a ways out from its official release; however, Saiz and his band will be providing fans a taste of what’s to come with a special live performance on CRSSD Fest‘s Ocean View stage. Dancing Astronaut was able to nab him for a quick discussion ahead of time to talk about his musical pathway, what excites him musically, and more.
CRSSD Fest is sold out, but you can still view further information about the fest here.
What catalyzed your love for dance music?
I´ve had a strong relationship with music since I was a child. My parents have great taste in music so they introduced me to such artists like Vangelis, Tangerine Dream or Mike Oldfield when I was very young and I was mesmerized by those synth tones and textures.
What was your first label release? Would you still play it?
That must´ve been ´You, The Living´ back in 2006. And no, I don’t play it anymore. My taste and music evolved from that kind of sound so it just wouldn’t work for me at this point. I have no regrets though, it was good for its time 🙂
Describe the moment or event that made you realize that you were meant to be a full-time DJ.
I don’t think there was specifically a moment like that, but probably when i got signed to the UK label Renaissance… Ever since I remember myself I knew that what i´m going to do in life would be related to music and for the majority of my existence i´ve actually been involved in music one way or another. Full-time djing just came naturally.
What’s your opinion of the dance scene in the US right now?
EDM hype seems to be almost gone and that´s all that matters haha. But yeah, people´s tastes are evolving into something better, they are moving to more authentic and true styles within dance music so I guess you guys are going in the right direction. But there´s also a good thing to it and it´s that it made electronic music more popular in general in the US so people who started with listening to mainstream EDM eventually became a techno or a house fan, and got to know me, for example.
What are you looking forward to most about CRSSD Fest?
I just love to play in California and I´ve heard many good things about CRSSD. Cant wait to play our new live show to such a crowd for the first time. My bandmates and I have been working on this audiovisual project for the past 1.5 years, and now the record is almost finished and so we changed our live show entirely to tour the new album with. So it´s very thrilling and exciting.
And also we´re looking forward to just playing such a cool festival, really. We love these, we love the atmosphere, we love the vibe and all the beautiful people.
Where are your favorite places to play in the world, and why?
Honestly, I can never choose one. Every place i´m playing has its own magical atmosphere, crowd and is just special in its own way. But if I had to choose a small few I’d say Crobar in Buenos Aires, Ministry Of Sound in London, Input in Barcelona, The Block Tel Aviv, Vent in Tokyo and Stereo Montreal. These would probably stand out.
What are the biggest things in your pipeline at the moment?
Finishing up this whole audiovisual album, you guys. Album is to be out in just a couple of weeks, so it´s a very stressful time haha. Other than that, working on some new stuff to release as Henry Saiz as well, so 2018 should be interesting.
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
I´d probably be checking out Empire of The Sun and Little Dragon, and then Sasha and Cirez D too (Eric going techno is always a lot of fun).