Midland (FABRICLIVE 94)
I was born in Guildford, raised in Tanzania, went to school in the West Country.
It is hard to overstate my families impact on my musical development. Music was always a huge part of our family life, from sitting on my eldest sister's bed as she got ready for work listening to the radio, to listening to The Beatles, Abba, ELO and Chopin in the car with my mum.
Aside from the music mentioned above, my first true obsessions were Radiohead, trip hop, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Air, Bonobo, Massive Attck and Drum and Bass. After first hearing a tape of Andy C at Slammin Vinyl in 2003 I became truly obsessed and that was what inspired me to learn how to mix on a dual CD decks.
"My relationship with fabric stretches back about 15 years back to when I bought my first CD. My friend Joe and I became obsessed with the CDs, the artwork, the mysterious tins containing music we didn't know yet." - Midland
After finishing my A levels I bought my first set of Technics. I worked in a kitchen, lived with my parents and would spend 5-7 hours a day practicing mixing after work. When I went to uni I would go to every drum and bass night in the city. I used to chew the ear of DJ Shock who ran Radio Frequency (the main pirate for drums/dubstep/grime) and he eventually relented and gave me a slot, 1-3 Saturday mornings. I would get the bus to town, walk to the studio in the middle of nowhere, play to probably 5 people and then get a cab to the top of town, give the keys to the guy who did the first show and then walk back to my halls. I think I did that for a year. As time progressed I was lucky to get better slots, play Subdub and Exodus at the West Indian Centre, Momentum at Wire, be a resident for Metropolis and warm up for Bukem, Grooverider and Dillinja on the Valve Soundsystem. As I finished uni, my interest in slower tempos started to rear its head, and I started making music under the Midland name and the rest as they say is history.
LABELS & PRODUCTION:
My first records with Ramadanman and solo were released by Aus and Phonica respectively. I then released a number of records on Aus/More Music, Phonica and She works (with Pariah) and a white label with Bicep before starting Graded and ReGraded which have been the home of almost of my music since 2014. I have down two charity records for Autonomous Africa with Optimo and Remixes for Darkstar on Warp, Mano Le Tough and Flume amongst others.
My relationship with fabric stretches back about 15 years back to when I bought my first CD. My friend Joe and I became obsessed with the CDs, the artwork, the mysterious tins containing music we didn't know yet. I think the first ones we bought were Hype and Andy C, Radioactive Man, Hipp E and Halo and Jacques Le Cont. We used to design artwork for our own fabric CD (FABRICLIVE 16 Spin Doctor and MC Chunky in case you were wondering). I was signed up to the mailing list so used to get all the posters which covered my walls and would spend all my time on the website reading about line ups, CDs and interviews.
When the time came for us to venture to the club for the first time it was a Friday and the line up was Jacques Lu Cont in Room One, Hype and Grooverider in Room Two and DJ Spinbad in Room Three. Safe to say it changed my life for ever. I turned to my friend in Room One and told him I would play there one day, it only took me 10 years to realise that. There are countless memories I could recount, Randall playing the birthday in room two Villalobos melting my mind in Room One on one of those Sunday mornings or Craig closing out the birthday deep in to Monday. Too many memories.
My idea with the mix was to do a club mix but one that represented a night out and then emotions you experience within it. The story is that you aren't planning to go out, but somehow your friends persuade you. You have no ticket and are caught off guard. The start of the mix flows straight in as if you have walked in to club during someone's set, there is no defined start or end point. There are times when you feel disorientated and overwhelmed and then these moments of total clarity and euphoria. Within the mix there are certain ebbs and flows I hope represent that, tracks like Roman Flugel's Warm and Dewey, LFO's Ultra Schall and the Daphni track Vulture represent some of these checkpoints The mix leads to the end of the night where you say goodbye to your friends and are sitting in the sun waiting for the tube and the remnants of the night are echoing round your head, like fragmented memories. Or something.
I feel like I ticked off some of my bucket list items between this mix and the Essential Mix so I really want to focus on working on finding, discovering and music making. Going deeper in to it and exploring it as far as I can, without the pressure of deadlines (for now).
FABRICLIVE 94: Midland is released on 22nd September.
Order your copy from fabric here.
Get this and every fabric release from just £5: http://bit.ly/fabric1st
Midland launches FABRICLIVE 94 on 22nd September with a full club takeover inviting Tamo Suma, Debonair, Karenn, Shifted and Setaoc Mass to perform alongside him.
Tickets are available here.