Bursting with colour, Midland's first release in three years was worth the wait.
Fans of that track will barely recognise the Midland we find on The Alchemy Of Circumstance, his first release since Final Credits. The EP is bold and adventurous in a way we haven't heard before, bursting with colour and zany sounds. The opening title track is the most experimental, a maze of chirps, squalls and synths set to a house beat, the sound of two songbirds rowing on the dance floor. "Frequency FM," too, feels fresh—at 90 BPM, it's the slowest track he's ever released. It's also one of the best, with a Game Boy-style melody lullabying over dramatic stabs and jungle spasms. Both tracks feel purposefully strange. A reaction to "Final Credits"?
The rest is more conventional, though just as strong. "Play It As It Lays," the only obvious club cut, is patient and seductive, the kind of synthy bomb Dixon might play if he ventured past 128 BPM. "Tortuga," a gem with no kick drums and bags of tension, has already been given a legend's approval—Surgeon has been opening his sets with it. This detail alone shows how well executed Midland's shift has been. "It's the first time I haven't forced it in any way," he tweeted after finishing the EP. Boy does it show.