It’s not too often that shooting stars come across the radar of URB; luckily we get to hear one this time around. Harry Agius, also known as Midland, is a producer that blends together all things house and techno and let’s the music decide its own identity. Being played by techno, house, funky and dubstep DJs, the sounds of Midland are deep, dystopic and demonstrative of all things dance. In this exclusive interview, Midland spoke about his origins, his opinion on the current DJ climate he’s thrusted in and his upcoming future. He also gave us one of the best mixes we have featured on this website. Top-notch from start to finish…check it out after the jump.
URB x Midland Interview
URB: What are the origins of Midland?
MIDLAND: I grew up in a music-loving family and went to university being a bedroom DJ; I collected and play a lot DnB for a few years and towards the end of university to I started to produce, but not seriously. Then, not too long ago I wrote a tune with my housemate, (Pearson Sound/Ramadanman) called “Your Words Matter”. I don’t think I knew what I was going do when I left school but it’s all happened quite organically and accidentally.
URB: How does your creative process work? Has it evolved throughout the years and releases?
M: It’s a very odd creative process, I fire up the sequencer and just fiddle around, it could be slow house or future garage, it’s all a vibe sort of thing. You never know what you can create. I’m trying to combine musicality with a sense of vague songwriting. My latest single was a bit torturous, trying to keep it interesting every 16 bars but keep it similar but show development. I can’t stand the idea of writing a song where everything leads to monotony.
URB: What was your “eureka” moment?
M: I did a long walk across Spain, Camino de Santiago, an old-school pilgrimage route, when I came back I hadn’t listen to music for a month. One of the albums I first heard when I had come back was the Moderat album, which was amazing. It was so coherent and varied reminiscent of Aphex Twin, Air, Massive Attack all those sorts of people. It made me feel something more.
URB: What are you current influences?
M: The records I buy always really vary; I love tracky/functional house people like Levon Vincent, STL, Anton Zap tunes w raw and good grooves. I play some of that in my sets, but I love luscious stuff from Tin Man. I’m really lucky to be releasing and producing, because you can play everything and I like to adapt my sets to the night I’m playing to, I think every tune has a place. The thought of just buying stuff to play out seems illogical to me. I suppose that’s how music-making has been influenced.
URB: Any upcoming releases in the next few months?
M: Sometime later in the year, I’ll be having a track released on Ben Westbeech’s album, forthcoming on Strictly Rhythm.
URB: Is it ever conflicting or confusing, playing on lineups with dubstep/funky/techno DJs with the sound that you’re pushing?
M: To be honest, I’m benefiting from it, the promoters are responsible to keep things musically open for their nights; I think it’s a chance to play all sorts of stuff. I played FWD in London with Artwork and Omar-S the next night at a completely different place with a completely opposite vibe. People are always OK with it as long as you bring it.
URB: Is there something, musically or production-wise you want to be unearthed out of yourself?
M: I’ve been working on something more acoustic, but I’d love to produce for bands and soundtracks; there’s so much to explore. I don’t think it’ll always stick with the 4/4 kick drum, who knows? There are so many interesting avenues, and as a producer, you should always be challenging yourself.
1.Comme Il Faut (6 AR) – Porn Sword Tobacco
2. Freerotation – Reagenz
3. Winter Rose (Nicolas Jaar Remix) – The Bees
4. Tape Burn – Consort
5. Journey to the Core of the Unknown Sphere – Space Dimension Controller
6. Tour de Force – Hunee
7. Twice – Joe
8. Dishes & Wishes – Roman Flugel
9. New Horizon – Black Jazz Consortium
10. Double Jointed Sex Freak Pt. 2 – Levon Vincent
11. Falling Acid – Tin man
12. CM (Chloe Remix) – Arnaud Rebotini
13. Magnetic Bodies – Cosmin Trg
14. Through Motion – Midland
15. August – John Roberts
16. Powerless – Ricky L
17. Glamorama – Photek
18. Year 3000 – Braille
19. Spaziale – Marco Shuttle
20. Unknown – Unknown
21. Serpentin – Ricardo Villalobos
22. Oh my days (Midland edit) – Auntie Flo
23. Need Someone – Stubborn Heart
(cover photo by Ashley Mar)