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MIZE’s 6-track ‘Balancing Act’ EP explores styles new and old in harrowing SSKWAN return

Photo credit: Tessa Paisan.

Purely in terms of his musical output, young Wakaan rising star MIZE (real name: Ian Evans) has been on a complete tear lately. After making his official debut on the coveted imprint in August 2020 with “Thought Process,” the lead single to an EP of the same name that Evans followed up with in November, the Alabama-based producer has only continued to impress label boss Liquid Stranger and the entire team driving Wakaan and Sskwan. Now, in the heat of summer, from the MIZE vault comes Balancing Act.

This past February, MIZE made his SSKWAN debut to unveil “Satori,” a beautiful collaboration with Super Future that marked the first release of the downtempo label’s anticipatory year. With his latest single “REFRACTION” releasing on Wakaan just on the top of summer, MIZE is making his way back into the SSKWAN studios for his next downtempo EP, Balancing Act.

Describing the entire EP as something “very special” to his fans in his online community, Mize Manor, Evans continues of the EP driving creative force in a press statement:

Balancing Act is both a call back to some of the sounds and places that made this project come together in the beginning as well as a foreshadow of the new ideas, techniques, and themes I’ve been diving into as of late.”

– MIZE

From start to finish, Balancing Act is a true statement of MIZE’s sonic trajectory— of where he’s been stylistically, where he is currently with his sound, and where he’s going with his creative choices. Take the EP’s midpoint track, “Balance,” which utilizes MIZE’s signature push-pull synths, a heavy Blackmill influence in its overall progression, and some old school melodic tones that feel like an ode to the days when all “EDM” was called “techno.” Or “Crystalsong,” a cavernous downtempo dive into deep within MIZE’s psyche and where his mind-state is at when creating these crossways between his new and old styles. Speaking more on this notion, MIZE reveals,

“Constantly as I grow older, I notice that many aspects of my life are endless periods of balancing many things whether they be relationships, work, leisure, time, and even things as simple as taking care of your own body. I find that sometimes being an artist can be a Balancing Act of adopting new ideas while also attempting to keep the essence of what brought me here alive.”

– MIZE

The EP’s decided standout track, “I Need Your Heartbreak” closes out the six-track extended play. Ripe with gorgeous builds, long progressive-styled builds, and a gorgeous melody that extends out and back into itself, this four-minute cut not only provides the perfect closure to the project. It lays down an inspirational landscape that leaves listeners with complete chills.

When all is said and done, Balancing Act plays out exactly as its title suggests: it acts as a call back to MIZE’s first EP, Imagery, while also looking into the future at sounds, as Evans balances both new and old styles. Stream below.

MIZE – Balancing Act EP

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