Heald Recordings founder Will Lister spirals through a swirling “one-deck mix”, building a dense, textural soundscape from a killer selection of club tracks.
Over three months at the beginning of this year London-based DJ and production virtuoso Will Lister inaugurated his new label, Heald Recordings, with a triptych of EPs that saw him zeroing in on a signature sound. Swerving between gritty, gauzy and glitchy, mostly within the course of a single track, on Gridlines / Shadow Stem, Close Car / Those Faces That Blur and Time Piece / Comfort Zone, Lister traces a constant dialogue between bass weight, gossamer synthesis and tactile percussion, working his singular sonic palette into some of the most textural club music you’ll hear this year. To top it off, he’s just as thoughtful about releasing music as he is making it, bundling all three releases together alongside a “Plankton’s Eye” candle, which serves as sustainable alternative to a physical release. This attention to detail extends into a virtual space, too, in the form of Heald_Open, a public online repository where Lister uploads stems, Ableton project files and sample packs for those who want to dive deeper into his sound.
For his Fact mix, Lister pursues a similarly considerate approach, spiralling through a swirling showcase of the kinds of elegant bass and euphoric float he’s playing out at the moment, spinning together a dense soundscape with a killer selection of club tracks. “The mix is jokingly titled the ‘one deck mix’, as I made it using a single borrowed CDJ2000 and my Elektron Octatrack, with the idea being born out of not having a DJ set up and also not wanting to put the mix together in Ableton,” he explains. “I set them up so I was feeding the OT with the CDJ, and then taking live loops from the tracks I was playing, and mixing between the CDJ, to the loops, back into the CDJ. It also meant I was able to do a bit of remixing live, where I could chop the tracks around, and send different parts to different effects. I wanted to be able to interact with the songs I was playing, to give it more of a live feel and play around with the frantic energy of some of the tracks. It’s also quite similar to how I DJ in clubs in that I tend to mix quite quickly and chop between different songs, layering and looping them to play around with the textures.”
Mapping a loose parabola, Lister opens heavy, following the robotic stomp of Iglooghost’s ‘Ether Pool’ into austere drill variations from Soltura and high-intensity electro pressure from Ste Roberts, taking flight with bass-heavy selections from Dervisis and Wings Around Saturn before looping up into Ike’s sublime take on IDM and ’90s trance ‘Inter’ and Lithe’s weaponized edit of séverine’s instant classic blend of Barker and Ariana Grande. Plunging straight back down into the darkness with an unreleased track from fellow production wizard Jabes, Lister careens through a salvo of depth charge techno before closing with a forthcoming track from the producer himself and a gorgeous ambient coda from Samuel Organ. It’s a thrilling journey, as well as one hell of a reason to catch one of Lister’s residency sets at London’s Unit B1 party as soon as possible.
Iglooghost – ‘Ether Pool’
Soltura – ‘Compression’
Doline – ‘Cumengétite’
Ste Roberts – ‘The Hiding Spot’
Dervisis – ’05تتφιÇ’
Wings Around Saturn – ‘Weave’
Lithe – ‘Not a Pessimist’
Ike – ‘Inter’
Sobolik – ‘Luna’
Porter Brook – ‘Unreleased’
séverine – ‘LOOK HOW HARD IM INTO YOU (ARIANA X BARKER) (Lithe ‘Cry On The Dancefloor’ Edit)
Jabes – ‘Unreleased’
Grain – ‘Untitled B1’
Copasetic – ‘Risks’
Alonzo Snipes – ‘Could Never Be More Ready’
Terror Peaks – ‘Cl⬭se II Glintīng’
Will Lister – ‘Forthcoming’
Samuel Organ – ‘Guidance’
Listen next: Fact Mix 825 – DJ Bowlcut