Dale Middleton – Chasing Dogs (Sudbeat)

Having already served up one of the year’s best tracks with ‘Eggos’, Dale Middleton follows up last year’s excellent collaboration with Sonic Union on Sudbeat with his first full EP on the label.

The title track ‘Chasing Dogs’ kicks off with sleazy bass tones and glossy, retro sweeps, building towards the wonky, fluttering central hook, which becomes the centrepiece of the track as the bass picks up the chord sequence. Some subtle but effective countermelodies and vocal samples add greatly to the track as it hits its stride halfway through, with the breakdown offering only a brief respite from the busy, melodic energy. This is a really distinctive sounding record from Dale Middleton, and it’s just fantastic.

‘Scratch in the Sky’ pits a driving lead synth against a phenomenal electro-groove, picking up steam nicely with more restrained but clever vocal work and clean, crisp percussion, while the breakdown sets up a hair-raising build-up to an even more energetic second half.

Finally, we have the pacier, techier ‘Think of You’, which sets off at a gallop and never looks back. Atmospheric pads soon set the scene for fierce, uncompromising stabs, while the breakdowns yet again showcase Dale Middleton’s ear for a memorable vocal sample and his ability to effectively set up a roof-raising moment. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another recent record, Andre Sobota’s ‘Unreal (2014 Edition)’ – if you loved that earlier track, as I did, this is bound to appeal hugely too.

This is one of Sudbeat’s strongest releases of 2015 so far, and it’s further proof that Dale Middleton is really at the top of his game right now – a definite must-buy!

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