We often lump Midland in with the sort of youthful house-bass crossover artists who populate labels like Hessle Audio. But the distinction probably has more to do with his debut record being a Ramadanman collaboration than any tangible facet of his sound. Over releases for labels like Aus Music and Phonica, Midland has come of age as a house producer, albeit one with a flair for the sort of digital sound design that points in the direction of his more low-end-happy peers.
And "coming of age" is exactly what's at work on the producer's second EP for Will Saul's ever-on-point Aus Music, Placement: restrained in feel without slacking on the details, it's the sort of record he's been building to. Starting off hushed and slinky with the organic percussion of "Tape Burn," Midland eases into the anthemic. When he gets there with "Placement" and "What We Know," he hits his arrangement with just enough heat to let it smolder without ever combusting. The big tracks on this EP have fewer hooks than past outings, but he's never been better at locking into the groove. The EP ends with a bit of adventurism—"Tail Ender" forgoes 4/4 for a quietly manic drumming blanketed in hushed chords—that suggests that, although Midland has never sounded more comfortable in the producer's chair, he hasn't finished exploring the potential of his craft.
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Tracklist: Midland - Placement A1 Tape Burn
B1 What We Know
B2 Tail Ender