James Zabiela Says Mixing ‘Balance 029’ Was Cathartic

James Zabiela Balance 029

James Zabiela has been tapped to mix Balance 029, which is due out February 9, 2018. There are two notable things about the release: Firstly, the 58-track, two-disc collection is Zabiela’s first mix CD in seven years; secondly, secondly, the comp took a year to put together and was influenced by unspecified “major incidents” in Zabiela’s personal life.

“It went from being a ‘just a simple mix CD’ to quite the cathartic exercise with the music that accompanied me. It wasn’t a quick process; neither was it pain free,” Zabiela says.

“My mission statement to myself with this project was that I wanted to make something that was rich and textured,” he explains. “Something the listener could get lost in. Some people know me for my technical noodling but this really had to be about the music, whilst still challenging myself technically. My focus was very heavily on melody and combining songs that would have ‘conversations’ with each other.”

To whet his fans’ appetite Zabiela has posted a 20-minute teaser mix as well as the impressive track list. Check ’em both out below.



  1. Sapphire Slows – Silent Escape [Mundus]
  2. Kornél Kovács – Szikra [Studio Barnhus]
  3. Barry Lynn – Alpha Tauri [Touch Sensitive]
  4. Earlham Mystics – Truth [Notown]
  5. B12 – Untold [Central Processing Unit]
  6. VC-118A – Face the Waves [Lunar Disko Records]
  7. Grandbrothers – Bloodflow [City Slang]
  8. Sad City – Steady Jam [Emotional Response]
  9. Talaboman – Safe Changes [R&S Records]
  10. Francisco Branda – Hyena [Traumuart]
  11. Ecco Foul – Gloss [Ecco Foul]
  12. Pye Corner Audio – Dead Ends [I Love Acid]
  13. HOLOVR – Into Light [Further]
  14. Debussy – Reverie 68 (Second Story & Appleblim Rework) [Decca Classics]
  15. Island People – Distance 7 [Raster]
  16. Oddhoody – The Deep [Electronic Tapes]
  17. Merrin Karras – Void [A Strangely Isolated Place]
  18. Pev & Kowton – Junked [Hessle Audio]
  19. Davis – Plenitude [Live at Robert Johnson]
  20. Ozel AB – Positronic Dreams [Workshop]
  21. OOBE – Crush Mind [Blueberry]
  22. Courser – Distances [Electronic Emergencies]
  23. James Zabiela – Vines [Balance / Born Electric]
  24. AAAA – Jazz D [Omnidisc]
  25. ARCHITECTURAL – Cubismo 8.2 (Lost in Buenos Aires I) [Architectural]


  1. Goldmund – Thread [Friends of Friends]
  2. Earlham Mystics – Waters [Notown]
  3. Steve Hauschildt – Horizon of Appearances [Kranky]
  4. Radio Slave – Children of The E (KiNK SP1200 Mix) [Running Back]
  5. Avalon Emerson – The Frontier (High Desert Synthapella) [Whities]
  6. James Zabiela – X-Ray [Balance / Born Electric]
  7. Mak & Pasteman – Pulses [Mak & Pasteman]
  8. Pisetzky – Vahana [Just This]
  9. Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence [Whities]
  10. John Beltran – Under This Sky [Delsin]
  11. Lawrence – Simmer (Lake People Remix) [Mule Musiq]
  12. Solitary Dancer – Paradise Found (Rapture Version) [Graded]
  13. Chambray – Cerulean [Ultramajic]
  14. Silas & Snare – Memories [Brotherhood Sound System]
  15. Redlight – City Jams [Hot Haus]
  16. Lake People – Delusive [Mule Musiq]
  17. Truncate – WRKTRX 3 [Truncate]
  18. Rod – Pull (with Christina) [Klockworks]
  19. Plant43 – Frozen Monarch [Frustrated Funk]
  20. Sinfol – Crystalline featuring Barbara Ford [Anagram]
  21. Steve Parker – Acid Planet [Planet Rhythm]
  22. Fabrizio Lapiana – Far Away [Figure Jams]
  23. SHDW & Obscure Shape – Augen der Nacht (Ryan James Ford Version) [From Another Mind]
  24. Benjamin Damage – Montreal [R&S Records]
  25. Mark Henning – Expander Six [Soma]
  26. Special Request – Carex Vesicaria [Houndstooth]
  27. Wata Igarashi – Lucifero [Midgar]
  28. Paper Dollhouse – Crayons [MoonDome]
  29. A Sagittariun – Vanishing Point [Hypercolour]
  30. Anthony Linell – Fractal Vision [Northern Electronics]
  31. Hans Berg – In Dreams [The Vinyl Factory]
  32. Sine Sleeper – Closing [Traum Schallplatten]
  33. J. Mono – Sspses [Dalmata Daniel]

Album Review: Sasha / ‘Involv3r’ (Ministry of Sound)



Nearly ten years since the first Involver compilation and five since volume two, Sasha’s Balearic teaching is still resonant and relevant. Building, taking his time, showing clubbers where to go and what to do when the sun begins its descent, he of a golden age of superstar DJs works up a deep tech house session with as much relish for loosening up and keeping going.

Effortlessly fluent, personally guiding the sun down himself like an airport marshal, Sasha’s set hums sagely while a wiry girly or candle flickering vocal usually wraps itself around the settings (Ultraísta’s “Smalltalk,” Sasha’s own “Shoot You Down”), while ThermalBear’s “Turn the Tide” plays patron for deep and stylish grooves with ripples of expectancy and vim. Remixing The xx, Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka, Ananda Project James Zabiela and more to fit the cause would lead to whispers on the merits of re-tuning all on his terms, were the mix not so accessible in its EDM shushing.

Propped up by a more travel-sized ambient mix, Sasha distils and cleanses the essence of disc one’s contributors. On the surface it just seems to be in thought with itself or has simply lessened the pulse of the source on a two-for-one basis, but is such that the pair become perfect partners as separate entities. Mind soul and body all taken care of, which has always been Sasha’s game.

File under: John Digweed, Nick Warren, Charlie May