Reda Saiarh: The ‘Shine A Light On’ Mix
Reda Saiarh’s music is a blend of the old and the new.
The Belgium-born, Geneva-based producer caught the music bug initially through his Moroccan father whose record collection was a treasure trove of classic new beat sounds.
It’s this iconic Belgian era that motivates Reda’s own musical ventures, but he always brings his own modern twist to the table, which sees him throwing fresh electronic sounds into the mix.
When he’s not hunkering down in the studio, he’s keeping the spirit alive musically and culturally at Canal 54, the cafe he runs, alongside friends Sam and Yacine in the heart of the city.
Now, we first cottoned onto him after the release of his debut EP, Let’s Dance, for Afrobotic Musicology and knew we had to work with him some way, some how. And so we did on his sophomore EP, Comfort Zone. Released last month on our sub-label Human Endeavour, which followed his track contribution to the imprint’s first VA compilation, the five tracks showcases his unique and forward-thinking approach to new beat.
Off the back of his release, we wanted to show you that he’s not only a dab hand in the studio, but also behind the decks. Bringing you a dose of the sounds that inspire his own productions, Reda packs this hour mix full of 80s goodness, oddball disco, proto house, and of course a whole lotta glam new beat heat…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you
My name is Reda and I was born and raised in Belgium before moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2000!
Originally from Morocco, I admire my cultural roots and I first worked on the fusion with my today environment. Music is a legacy and I must thank my father, he changed my life and he is responsible for this madness. His all time favorite artists such as David Bowie, Gorillaz and Front 242 are my inspirations. I am mainly composed of water with electronic sparks and patterns which explain my passion, right?
I started producing in 2018 and my first EP « Let’s Dance » was released on one of my favorite labels « Afrobotic Musicology.
Importantly, I prefer salt to sugar but it’s even better when both are mixed together. It means that I love fusion, I feel like a mixture of different influences in my soul, but the body is addicted to the banging flow of New beats.
Today, I run the cultural café Canal 54 with two brothers from other mothers, Yacine and Sam. The spot is located in the heart of my beautiful city and we mainly book local artists. It is the place where I definitely feel at home and able to achieve my dreams. My comfort zone, yes! Besides music, I love Football! I am an AC Milan fan in my heart, also Arsenal because of my father and last but not least SERVETTE FC, the club of my home town! « Seulement le Servette! »
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
I really loved the description from House of Dogs Records back in 2021 on the EP « Let’s Dance » on Afrobotic Musicology. They said I am acid disco in spirit and industrial in attitude. Of course, I can draw, please check it out!
Where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in my comfort zone: Canal 54 !!!
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Definitely not in your car because I care about your safety, but in your favorite dancing space with your favorite people. I am thinking of an afternoon gig nearby the lake of Geneva.
What should we be wearing?
Light clothes because the sound is heavy enough! I have a preference for sports streetwear.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
I won’t be creative, I will steal Rick’s idea in the episode « The old man and the seat ». I really want to record a mix in front of a beautiful landscape and breathe some fresh air. The seat is not necessary.
To be honest, the dj booth upstairs at Canal 54 is a fantastic place because you are able to watch random people walking in front of you, in their own universe. Meanwhile you are also comfortable in your bubble. I always imagine scenarios when I am playing music and it is how I tell a story to myself and to the people around me.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
My current favorite track in the mix is ‘Tele Music’. Yes, it comes from my recent EP on my favorite musical human being Rosie Cain’s label: Human Endeavour. I can’t explain how it was produced if it was not for the label. Rosie pushed me for nine months and I gave everything I love, from the bassline to the synth without forgetting the alarm going absolutely everywhere from my soul to your brain. ‘Tele Music’ explains my teleportation to a parallel universe where melodies are people and harmonies are words which gather all together on the same dance floor.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
My favorite mix is done by JAZ, his mix is called « End of Decade Mass », three hours of story telling and I felt he told mine, to say how much I loved it!
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
I think that I’d like to go back to back with Jonny Rock because he opened doors to heaven for my heart. He represents so much for me! The Rock is also funny and experienced and I’d love to learn from the boss!
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My first Dj Set was in my high school for a special tradition, «L’Escalade » , a triumph of Geneva over Haute-Savoie, France back in 1602. However, it was the right moment to start DJ-ing in front of my friend when I was 16 years old. How is it now? The same but with better electronic gear and older people!
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I do not know if it is better to say Hello or Goodbye. I heard « goodbye » is another Hello. So I’d honestly say that my closing track is more important! We always remember the end!
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first record I bought is « Free your mind and your ass will follow » from Funkadelic. Masterpiece! My mind followed.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
It will taste like a basil smash served by my best mate Sam Zwygart from Canal 54 to your stomach!
If it was an animal what would it be?
I can’t doubt this one, It’s definitely a British cat, loads of muscles but cute. Reaaally cute <3 I love cats.
Upcoming in the world of Reda Saiarh?
Upcoming release directed by Ece Özel, gathering more than 40 tracks in order to show support to people effected by the earthquake in Syria and Turkey. Music is freedom and always a great reason to show humanity.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Will Arsenal win the Premier league? I really want to! COYG
Joining The Circus
What to do for British politics?
Solidarity with Ukraine
URL vs. IRL
Do DJs Today Need Social Media to Be Heard?
I Hear (Borusiade Remix)
Mother of MarsShop Now
Hologram TeenShop Now