Although house, techno and dubstep are being woven ever more tightly together, few producers have the genuinely unbiased output of Midland. His music spans Washed Out, Stateless and Caribou remixes; house, garage and bassier fare (sometimes on the same EP); and it gets played—and praised by—Sasha and Braiden alike. Accordingly, the Leeds-based producer's DJ sets are just as unpredictable. "I love Lawrence, Bibio, Radiohead," says Harry Agius, enthusiastically. "And Workshop stuff, and Laid Records, plus I've grown up with a revered view of the R&S horse."
As the list goes on, there's no unifying it, but one thing does become clear: Midland is still very much exploring the electronic world around him. He has no one agenda, no diehard principles. He's just making music that pleases him. "When I make music I don't go into it with any plans. It would be easy to think oh, 'Sasha's playing my tunes, I'll go off and make something he'd like,'" he explains, perched on a sofa in the house he shares with old friend and Hessle Audio chief, Ramadanman. "But I don't get that feeling. For me, when you're making music, you get to a stage in the song where it's cool; it's working, but unless I really get that feeling in my chest, that hairs-standing-on-end feeling, then I'm not really achieving my goal. Distance is a big part of it—leaving stuff a while before sending it off so you can listen to it in different contexts; see if it still works."
Previous editions –
2019, 2016, 2015, 2014 & 2013