‘Big’ records in these late stages of the decade come in all guises. One of the best ways to look at the gulf in different variants is best explained through the spine tingling festival slaying chords of Eric Prydz’ ‘Opus’, both in it’s dramatic tension building post EDM monster original and the strung out Four Tet remix masterpiece. Two big tunes, built around the same elements, crafted differently, yet still achieving the same result – albeit with a different audience in mind. Amazing really how two similair, in essence the same, pieces of music can effortlessly encapsulate the differing ends of the spectrum of modern dance music.
This sudden surge for a subtler degree of sophistication alongside the more obvious routes to dancefloor nirvana was brilliantly encapsulated last year. 2015’s undeniable but very newly minted form of banger came in the shape of a revival, Fatima Yamaha’s resurgent jam ‘What’s a girl to do’ over a decade old during last Summer when it dominated the sets of many. The sleeper hit of the past few years had been gradually picking up steam via Jackmaster and Rubadub’s early patronage, and it seemed to bask in a coronation which saw it rip through a number of festivals, no better than the final ever Garden Party in Croatia. The track saw plenty of boat party action and a brilliant viral video of it soundtracking the sunset at the RA party at Barbarellas helped add further weight to the velvet steamroller.
Now 2016 has it’s contender for the same title. Much Like Yamaha before it, Midland’s simply gorgeous ‘Final Credits’ has it’s own Barbarellas promo turn, a majestic couple of minutes of footage from Ben UFO and Craig Richards slipping it into the mix as shards of sunlight punctuate the sky. It’s a reel which cries out for the millennial slang stamps of approval; tapsaff, vibes and scenes all no doubt delivered with a smirking smugness. And it’s for a track low slung to the near point of horizontal, melancholy, haunting and deliriously downbeat despite it’s nagging funk at the beginning. There’s swish synths, loose drums and an ever so slightly pitched vocal which is just magical, opining with a tear drenched sadness “cos neither one of us wants to be the first to say, goodbye”. It’s a record that will only get better with each and every listen, which, if you have a bit of clout about where you dance, will happen a lot this summer.
On the flip ‘Vigilante’ is a bit of a rougher gem, slower and darker in it’s mournful output and a more than fitting side-kick to proceedings. It’s more Midland as we know him, but the real allure is in this stunning further development of his more disco influenced output since establishing Regraded. In this dark new world we live in, it’s the exact bittersweet moment of beauty we all need to escape our troubles.