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Midland – Blush

Hook alert.

Midland’s been a busy chap recently. Not only has he been shifting some catchy disco cuts on his sample-based ReGraded sub-label, he’s also been pushing the buttons for his side project AKASE (the !K7 Records-released debut album ‘Graspers’ is well worth your time).

We’re pleased to see him return to his original Graded label to release the three track ‘Blush’ EP. You may recognise the above from his Boiler Room set at Dekmantel last year, but get ready to hear a lot more of ‘Blush’ as its impending release is sure to be popular when festival season really kicks in.

If you’re in the market for something a little longer (and have already rinsed his contribution to the Essential Mix canon), wrap your ears around this mix he’s done for Playground, a program on the Belgium-based radio station, Studio Brussel:

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Midland – Double Feature

Been loving this brand new cut from Midland since he dropped it on his Boiler Room set back in June over in Milan. He’s releasing the infectious number on ReGraded, a new sub label of his own label Graded, intended to focus on sample-based, disco-tinged house. Sounds good to us.

You can also get a taste for the B-side ‘Stop, Don’t Let The Beat’ on B-Traits’ Radio 1 show here.

And for yet more Midland, it’s worth checking out his August residency on Rinse FM every Friday night. You can hear ANOTHER of his new tunes ‘Blush’, coming in just after the thirteen minute mark. Along with a guest mix from Zurich-based DJ Eli Verveine coming in later on, it’s a top listen.

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The Warehouse Project – Edible featuring Eats Everything, Laurent Garnier, Midland

Last weekend, Human Drizzle took a trip to a rain-swept Manchester to experience the 2014 edition of the world famous Warehouse Project.

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This year the Warehouse Project returned to its spiritual home of Store Street for the first time since 2011. A series of arches that once comprised an old air raid shelter underneath Manchester Piccadilly train station, this is a venue that the promoters know well, and it shows in the organisation of the night.

One minor complaint about WhP is the insistence that you have to be in the club by 10:30pm at the absolute latest. It’s unclear whether this is to increase bar sales, to catch out those people with poor time management skills, or to reduce numbers inside – but it feels like an overly authoritarian move.

However, this is the only real complaint we could have about the organisation. The sound in both rooms is crisp, the venue isn’t too full (as it was at the Victoria Warehouse when we last came in 2012) and it’s easy enough to move around, get a drink and find a seat in the whatever-people-are-calling-the-chill-out-area-nowadays room. Most importantly, we were able to do our thang on the floor without having our style cramped by anything other than our own diminishing manoeuvrability.

Onto the music. We arrived to Drop The Mustard laying down Sasha’s massive remix of London Grammar ‘Hey Now’, a slightly lighter than expected start to a night that featured Subb-an, Paul Woolford, Catz N’ Dogz, Midland and Laurent Garnier, all of whom were lead by the ever enthusiastic Eats Everything.

As the doors shut behind us, Catz N’ Dogz took over in the main room. We took the opportunity to go and check out the excellent Marquis Hawkes in Room 2 (you could do far worse than spending an hour listening to his mix for WhP…)

Soon, the man the punters came to see took to the decks in Room 1 – Eats Everything displaying his usual carefree abandon and willingness to interact with the crowd.

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It wasn’t long before he was delighting a now fully charged up dance floor by hammering into 90s classic B.B.E ‘Seven Days And One Week’.

It was a shame that Laurent Garnier and Midland played at the same time, such fans are we of both of their abilities. Laurent Garnier’s Essential Mix from earlier this year is top – a full 20 years after his first session for Radio1?! – whilst regular readers of HD will know how highly we talk of Midland.

Midland rounded off what was a brilliant night by calling on one of the big tracks of the Ibizan summer; the ‘Re-Plant’ of ‘Never Grow Old’ by Floorplan which rocked the White Isle throughout 2014.

By that point, HD was well past its bedtime and we collected ourselves and headed out, ears ringing, into the North Western night.

It’ll be interesting to see where the Warehouse Project goes next. They’ll be celebrating their 10th birthday next year – not a party that you want to overlook in a hurry – and you hope that they are given the support they deserve to properly laud what has become a Mancunian, if not national, clubbing institution.

Midland – Duster

Midland’s teaming up with Aus Music again for his next release, a three-track EP entitled ‘Duster’ out on 16th September.

Just like ‘Before We Leave’, recently released on Phonica, Midland’s creating more first class soundscapes using synths, strings, percussion and more. ‘Duster’s an infectious slow-burner and is joined on the EP by Pitch Drift and Reflex, the latter was dropped by Jamie XX in his Benji B takeover show.

Big release, this one.

 

 

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Midland – Before We Leave

So it’s not playing to a baying crowd at Parklife, but a review on Human Drizzle’s still pretty good right?

Aside from being chuffed with his HD review, Midland can be happy with a good day’s work on ‘Before We Leave’. It’s got a rolling Hacienda-esque feel with understated strings lifting the percussive…percussion.

It’s due for release late July on Phonica White, teamed with a bound-to-be-bangin’ remix from Gerd Janson. Worth investing.

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Midland – Trace

Monday 25th February finally sees the release of the gargantuan new EP by Midland, out on Aus Music. We can see the title track’s infectious (and slightly scary) vocal being a big feature of dancefloors up and down the land for a long time to come. Understandably one of the most hyped tracks of 2013 thus far, it’s got an atmosphere straight out of ‘Apocalypse Now’ and the eeriest breakdown we’ve heard in a long time. Unsettling stuff.

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Top 10 Tracks of 2016

Goodbye 2016, and good riddance. As a disastrous twelve months for the human race comes crashing to a close, sweeping up a few more icons of music and cinema along the way, solace can be found in those parts of the year that weren’t cataclysmic. Searching among the debris for our tracks of the year, we found these ten diamonds in the rough and we present them to you, polished up and proud as emblems of the fact that – in a world with room for Trump and Farage but not Bowie or Rickman – all is not (yet) lost. You can also find them in our Best of 2016 playlists on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.

1. The Blaze – Virile: The debut release from French duo The Blaze went largely unnoticed at the start of 2016. With its pensive vocals, catchy melody and rising synths, the tune is at once euphoric and reflective. The lyrics stress the importance of love and togetherness and this warmth is brought to life wonderfully by friends of The Blaze in the accompanying vid. A real delight.

2. Midland – Final Credits: An outstanding Essential Mix and a brilliant EP (‘Blush’) were followed up by his highest position on RA’s top 100 DJs. Whilst 2016 was awful for almost all of us, Midland kept doing what he does best and enjoyed another great year. It was ‘Final Credits’ though – released on Midland’s very own Regraded label – that stole the limelight. Mixmag’s track of the year, ‘Final Credits’ combines a melancholic Gladys Knight sample, with a trademark heavy house beat. It was irresistible at festivals and clubs the world over in 2016.

3. Mood Hut – Better: This bundle of fun came out on Vancouver’s Mood Hut in August this year and harks back to label affiliates JLM and Chris Wang’s Love Dancing parties back in 2009. Both this and B-side ‘Fever’ are irresistibly colourful disco numbers. Credit here should also go to Gladys Knight.

4. Lindstrøm – Closing Shot: It takes a couple of minutes for Lindstrøm to really set the scene here, but once in full bloom ‘Closing Shot’ rivals fellow Scandi-disco bossman Todd Terje for anthemic, feel-good vibes. We’ve had it on repeat since coming out in March.

5. MLiR – People: The Swedish duo that is MLiR (Modern Life is Rubbish) released their debut EP on the excellent Studio Barnhus on 20th June, and this vibrant gem always brings a smile to our faces. Looking forward to hearing more from them in 2017.

6. DJ Sotofett – Current 82 (12 Mix): DJ Sotofett’s 12″ mix of ‘Current 82’ is nearly 14 minutes long. We’ve lost count of the number of times we settled down to listen to this track, only to be interrupted and have to start from the beginning. It was never a chore to do so. Our first discovery of ‘Current 82’ was courtesy of a trippy, slowed down YouTube video, seemingly of the final moments of a rooftop rave. The sun coming up, crowd looking frazzled but happy, this scene was the perfect accompaniment to a remarkable track. Whilst not a club banger, it reminds us of the great qualities dance music is capable of possessing.

7. David August – J.B.Y: The Hamburg producer extraordinaire returned after a two-year hiatus bigger and bolder than ever. This epic and melodic track was his first release on Ninja Tune’s Counter Records and proved to be an excellent addition to his all-new live shows.

8. Jump Source – All My Love Is “Free”: Canadian house music continues to provide understated gems. Elsewhere in our Top 10 we’ve already touched on the Vancouver-based Mood Hut, and Jump Source – helmed by Montreal’s Project Pablo and Francis Oak – replicates the feel-good vibe that has become the trademark of the blossoming Canadian scene. ‘All My Love Is “Free”‘, all high hats and echoey piano, is a warm summer day of a house anthem. A lot of the tracks that we put forward for this year’s final playlist had an introspection that reflected the melancholia of 2016. By contrast, ‘All My Love Is “Free”‘ is pure escapism.

9. Fort Romeau – Secrets & Lies: We continue to be very fond of Fort Romeau’s production and DJ skills. He seemed to take things to a new level in 2016, with the establishment of his Cin Cin label as an essential name for record collectors and DJs. His ‘Secrets & Lies’ EP, released on Live At Robert Johnson way back in January, stood the test of time to make it onto this list. In all honesty, we could have selected either ‘Facing The Sea’ or ‘Secrets & Lies’, but we plumped for the title track in the end. Ten minutes of acid, with a Dirty Dancing sample on loop. Magnificent.

10. Gonno & Nick Hoppner – As Above, So Below: Panorama Bar resident Nick Höppner teamed up with Japanese producer and DJ Gonno to create this dreamy slice of house. Featured in John Talabot’s brilliant Phonica mix, and released soon after on Ostgut Ton, ‘As Above, So Below’ has a lot going on – most prominent of all is a beautiful melody that really got under our skin in 2016.

Head over here for our ‘Top 10 Albums of 2016’ and here for our ‘Best Mixes of 2016’. Alternatively tuck into the below for our extended ‘Best of 2016’ playlist.

Check out these tunes along with our other favourites of 2016, in playlists on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube. And look out for our favourite mixes and albums of the year on the blog too.

See you in 2017.

 

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Top 5 Mixes of 2016

Also, in no particular order…

1. Phonica Mix Series 27: John Talabot:

2: Secretsundaze – Boiler Room:

3. Essential Mix – Midland:

4. Soul Clap’s Prince Tribute:

5. Essential Mix – Leon Vynehall:

 

The Green Door All Stars – Beat The Drum (Auntie Flo Remix)

The Youth Stand Up! project was a musical collaboration bringing together young musicians from Belize, Ghana and Scotland. Tracks were conceived in Glasgow’s Green Door Studio and then through a series of workshops and recording sessions, the masterminds behind the album worked with both the Lebeha Drumming Centre in Belize and the Tafi Cultural Institute in Ghana to create an album that was later released on JD Twitch from Optimo’s label Autonomous Africa in late 2015.

Four of the tracks from said release have been remixed by JD Twitch himself, Midland, General Ludd and Auntie Flo, the latter of which is a real highlight for us with its off-kilter, chopped up vocals and stretched-out, hazy undertones.

You can buy the release here, all proceeds go to the Lebeha Drumming Centre and the Tafi Cultural Institute.

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Bicep & Hammer – ARACARI

Aus Music’s turning the grand old age of 10 soon and to celebrate they’re presenting a whopping 24-track, quadruple vinyl, triple CD release. 90% of the label artist who’ve released on Aus are going to contribute so you can expect tracks from heavyweights such as Midland, Pearson Sound, Breach and Nick Hoppner. There’ll also be a global tour to accompany the birthday, as well as curated stages at festivals and full length albums from Sei A and Youandewan.

To coincide with this and Aus Music’s 100th release, Boiler Room are hosting a five-part debut series over the next month or so, culminating in a very special Boiler Room x Aus100 takeover in London town, featuring Nick Hoppner, Marquis Hawkes, Will Saul and one special guest.

First up in the series this week Bicep and Hammer re-join forces to produce the moving and atmospheric gem that is ‘ARACARI’. Stay tuned for the rest of the bunch.

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