Midland returns with a blistering call to the dance floor on his new two-track EP on AUS Music. It features ‘Trace’ and the ironically titled, Duke Dumont snubbing, ‘For (Yacht) Club Play Only’ which would win track name of the year if it hadn’t been for Four Tet’s recent – (kh / the track i’ve been playing that people keep asking about and that Joy Orbison used in his RA mix and Daphni played on the Boiler Room).
A-side, Trace, is one of those tracks that just stands out from everything else. We had the privilege of seeing Midland play last week and upon hearing the nonsensical vocals and that distinctive tom riff immediately had to know what it was. It grabs you in the club with its simplistic stuttering percussion and lumbering rubber bass line. It’s as sparse as it is effortlessly slick. The breakdown sends the bass tripping over itself into a forward roll laced with a pure, unadulterated euphoria that rises up out of nowhere. By the time the hairs on the back of your neck are at full stretch the groove has locked back in with such satisfaction that it’s difficult (and just plain rude) not to smile.
We can’t vouch for the club-worthiness of ‘For (Yacht) Club Play Only’ having not heard it out yet but it’s made of the same materials as ‘Trace’. A powerful kick and bass pattern perform the grunt work while a skittish snare rolls its way over the top. In place of the vocal a pleasing woodlog patch hammers out the melody around a low end protestation that might be the final utterance from a dying machine. Subtle pads and panning flesh this B-side out a little more but are still lean additions to a track made solely of muscle and sinew.
With this EP Midland continues to carve out his own niche of unique and original electronic music. It’s not flashy and it’s not over the top, it’s just house at its essence and all the better for it. Metaphorical pats on the back have already come from Tiga, Leon (Vynehall) and Jackmaster via the medium of twitter so expect to see it in a lot of charts soon.
Midland – Trace EP – Drops Feb 25th