Midland - Trace EP
Moving away from the delicate brand of bass-driven house that has defined Midland's output on Will Saul's Aus Music, Trace sees him find his feet on the techier terrain so persistently trodden by his UK contemporaries recently. The title track states its intention from the off, leading with what can only be described as a foghorn laid over pristine kicks and claps. Appearing as if from nowhere, a sonorous, nonsensical male voice commandeers the record, set against a brutish bassline. Gritty, clambering synths colour Midland's customary extended breakdown, with the eventual drop bringing together well-suited series of sounds. "For (Yacht) Club Use Only" lacks "Trace"'s personality, descending deeper into the stripped-back depths of UK techno. Machine gun clicks pay homage to Plastikman's "Spastik," while muffled drums intertwine with their more resonant counterpart and spacey synths go some way to injecting some passion into proceedings.