Dale Middleton has been on the top of everyone’s up and coming hype list since his first release on Lowbit Records back in August of 2012. The UK producer went on to appear on Outside The Box, Sound Avenue, Dopamine and Mirabilis all before year’s end and has gotten 2013 off to a great start with releases on DAR Digital, Bermudos and Particles. His sound has caught the attention of Hernan Cattaneo, Guy J and Eelke Kleijn who have been featuring his tracks in their sets and radio show playlists. Dale’s ‘Kicking Fences / Sudofemme’ has just been released by DAR Digital to rave reviews and stellar feedback. We had a chance to chat with Dale just as the release was hitting the shops, a transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. How old are you and how long have you been producing / DJing?
Dale: I’m 26, I owned my first pair of decks when I was about 14-15 and then made the progression CDjs when I was about 19-20. Actually Djing and playing out I have been doing local gigs for around the last 4-5 years, but I have only recently started producing in the last 2 years.
2. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music and what made you decide to pursue it seriously? Have you always been focused on progressive house or did your beginnings in electronic music start somewhere else?
Dale: One of my first memories of music was being in the car with my Dad listening to stuff like Simply Red & Lionel Richie, at the time I thought it was rubbish but I look back now and love all the tracks. I first took an interest in electronic music the late 90’s early 00’s religiously listening to Pete Tong on the Essential Selection/Mix hearing how mixed from track to track and always had the next big track before anyone else. Me and a friend Paul both got decks for our birthdays, we spent all summer holidays practicing beat matching and constantly hunting for tracks ourselves. Being originally heavily influenced by Daft Punk I played French House, I used to love (and still do) guys like Alan Braxe & Fred Falke. When I was 19 I actually started going clubbing myself, being able to see DJs perform live such as John Digweed, Sasha and Carl Cox soon turned my head towards the progressive side of the scene and how I like to think I play now.
3. Did you have any formal music training growing up? in regards to composing or engineering / sound design etc.? and if not did anyone help you out along the way?
Dale: Not as such no, producing wasn’t something I ever thought of or looked at doing, I just loved getting brand new tracks and playing them out. It wasn’t till I played at a DJ competition in Newcastle a few years ago that I met Adam Shaw, he was actually judging the competition. After this we kept in touch and spoke a bit over facebook as he lives just down the road from me in Middlesbrough. From this I then started to go to his studio, learning how he produced and and pick up some skills with his mentoring. As you can guess this is where the Nate EP was born which I was then lucky enough to have signed on Lowbit Records.
4. Your first release was just a mere 8 months ago on Lowbit Records but you’ve now racked up a discography that includes Outside The Box, Sound Avenue, DAR Digital, Particles, Mirabilis, Dopamine and Bermudos. Your one of the most hyped up and coming in progressive house at the moment. Are you surprised at how quickly this has happened for you? What are your immediate goals for say the next two years? and ideally where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Dale: Thanks very much it’s great you think that!! I am surprised yeah, it something I have always wanted to do, it’s great to be actually releasing my own tracks and having labels want to sign me and remix tracks for them. In the next few years I would love to play out in as many countries/festivals/clubs as possible. To be able to play alongside guys in the industry I really respect is a great pleasure; for me this is one of the best things as these people are heroes to me! I like to hope in the next few years I can nail a release on one of the huge labels such as Bedrock, Sudbeat, Tronic, Lost & Found etc… this is something I constantly work towards (and dream of).
5. I remember reading that both Hernan Cattaneo and Guy J were supporting your first release on Lowbit, that must have been a huge moment especially considering it was your first ever release. Talk a bit about what that meant to you to have two of the world’s biggest DJs supporting your music.
Dale: Yeah just before the full release on Lowbit I checked out Guy J’s Resident Advisor chart, to see my track there in his top 10 was unbelievable! I felt really proud and so pleased that some of the biggest guys within the industry liked the music I was producing. It’s always very important to me to get feedback from the big guys you really respect as it reassures you what you’re doing sounds good.
6. Many of our readers are probably curious about your current studio setup, what does it look like right now?
Dale: Well actually at the moment it’s pretty small as far as studio setup’s go, I have worked on Cubase before but I always use Ableton now, it’s so user friendly letting you organise layouts, patterns & sequencing really quickly. As far as Studio hardware goes I only have a Novation-X Station that I currently use as a controller to manipulate various VST. So it’s not the biggest set up in the world but I am always looking to add to it when I see some things that I like and grab me as a must have.
7. Your Bio states that you are continuously working on re-edits and remixes specifically to use when you play out. Describe your DJ sound if you can, and do you tend to play a lot of your own productions?
Dale: When I play out I tend to play a few of my own productions generally the latest stuff I have been working on to see how it sounds and what reaction it gets. I think it’s important to blend your own stuff with tracks by other producers that you admire and hearing how the two sounds mix. I’m not really sure of my “sound”, I suppose it depends on the time, place and who I’m playing before/after as this heavily influences how I play. But my sets always have strong melodies & groove, I like to try have the latest/newest tracks as I feel it gives the set a cutting edge and not just another track people have heard a 100 times before.
8. Talk a bit about your Subsidence Sounds radioshow, how long has it been running? Where can we hear it? and is the music you play on the radio typical of what a club set might sound like from you or is it a bit different?
Dale: Yeah Subsidence Sounds is a monthly 2 hour show I have just started this year, the first hour of the show is me and the second a guest mix from different artists that I invite on. So guests on the show have been Gerardo Boscarino, Nikko.Z, Michael Cassette & Deepfunk. The show firstly airs on Proton Radio every first Wednesday of the month then up for download via itunes as a Podcast or my website www.dalemiddleton.com/podcast . I would say the music I play on there is very similar to a Club set I would play, although I do like to keep it a little more chilled and play a few tracks I wouldn’t normally play out for variation.
9. Give us your thoughts on the UK club scene right now, how do you think it compares to the rest of world?
Dale: I think within the UK the “club scene” is very healthy as far as the music goes, unlike other countries we have stayed pretty true to the underground house sound with many different large and small nights having quality DJ’s on week in week out. Although this can’t be said for various UK festivals which it seems are starting to see the money EDM generates and book artists accordingly.
10. What in the electronic music industry irritates you the most?
Dale: 3 things of equal proportion:
1) Pauly D
2) Pairs Hilton
3) Public arguments by DJ’s “hating” on social network sites that have no other function but to generate exposure for the artists involved.
11. What artist or track would you love to remix?
Dale: Where do you start/stop naming people here….Digweed, Sasha, Guy J, Hernan Cattaneo, Gui Boratto all these guys are heavy weights in the industry so it would be a huge honour to work on something of theirs.
12. Where do you get studio inspiration from? What producers consistently inspire you? Who are some of your favourites?
Dale: Guy J has to be one of my top producers, he is consistently good with almost every production he creates ends up in my sets with me I thinking wow! Also producers inspire me like Deepfunk, Christian Smith, Guy Mantzur and of course one of the legendary producers Nick Muir who I was very proud to have remix one of my latest tracks Kicking Fences.
13. What do you like to do for fun outside of the music? and do you have a regular job? What is a typical day like for Dale Middleton?
Dale: For fun I like to play football, currently for two local teams as well as go watch the odd professional game, always been a big supporter of Middlesbrough. Yeah I have a regular 9-5 job working as an Architect, I would love to be able to DJ full time but at the moment it’s not possible, but so hopefully sometime soon. I’d love to say a typical day was nonstop excitement but it’s pretty steady away with work then go back home and relax and have some time in the studio, although at the moment I am working on my house so all spare time goes into this.
14. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? How big of an influence are other styles of music when it comes to composing your own tracks? Could you give any examples?
Dale: I’m not sure if it actually falls technically into electronic music but I love all the old disco style tracks like Chic and the whole Northern Soul movement. They seem to inspire me with their bass lines, they’re always so simple and just seem to roll throughout the tracks, a bit like how I want a progressive track to be. Also I’ve always been a big fan of the older UK indie bands, I’ve seen guys like Oasis, Kasabian, Ian Brown & Shed 7 who all inspire you in different ways with their stage presence and live shows.
15. Dale Middleton Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Drink: Iron Bru
TV Show: Band Of Brothers
Movie: Jungle Book (original cartoon)
Video Game: Championship Manager 1998
Album: Daft Punk – Homework
Track / Song: Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You
Producer / Band: Guy J
Record Label: Bedrock Records
Nightclub: Shindig (Newcastle/UK)
DJ: John Digweed / Richie Hawtin
16. If the final DJ set of your career was next week what would be your last record be?
Dale: Underworld – Rez
17. What can we expect to see in 2013 from Dale Middleton?
Dale: I’m currently working on various different remixes for Perspectives Digital, Lowbit Records, Sound Avenue & Classound Recordings as well as working on a few originals for myself. As far as gigs go I have played at the Bedrock Easter Party in the Lowbit Room which was a great honour and a brilliant night. Also notably I’m playing at Bloque Festival in Greece which I’m really looking forward to. I hope to just keep pushing on getting my tracks out there and working with so many quality DJ/Producers who I admire so much.
Interview courtesy of: Release Promo
Dale’s ‘Kicking Fences / Sudofemme ‘ is out now on DAR DIgital, you can purchase the release: here