Progressive House Reviews

Dale Middleton – Kicking Fences / Sudofemme (DAR Digital)

Denis A’s DAR Digital started 2013 off with the release of Denis A’s ‘Not The Album’ which proved to be one of the most cutting edge collections of music we’ve reviewed so far this year. Now the label welcomes Dale Middleton to the label for its 21st overall release. The UK producer 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. Dale Middleton 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 Bermudos and Particles. Dale Middleton’s first EP for DAR Digital is entitled ‘Kicking Fences / Sudofemme’ and it comes with remixes from: Nick Muir, Bastards of Funk & Sonic Union and Tvardovsky.

The ‘Kicking Fences’ original gets things underway with a punchy groove, big claps and some futuristic electronics. Deliberate bass tones form a spacious groove while some soft stabs and additional rhythmic elements build some very floor friendly hooks. The elements build in intensity nicely and generate some huge energy as the main breakdown draws closer. The drop builds mightily with an escalating atmospheric presence and tension filled tones filling the air. The kick drops back in with a degree of subtly though which makes the anticipation that much higher for the reappearance of the drums which is the real magic dance floor moment here. Massive stuff from Dale Middleton.

UK producer Nick Muir hardly needs an introduction; his collaborations with John Digweed as Bedrock have yielded some of the biggest club records of the last decade. From remixing New Order, Underworld and The Orb to producing music for films and television Nick Muir has been at the forefront of electronic music for the better part of two decades. This will be Nick’s fourth appearance on the DAR family of labels with last coming in the form of his wicked ‘The Six’ production on the labels Kazantip Compilation from December of last year. Nick’s delivered a top notch interpretation of ‘Kicking Fences’ which uses the main elements from Dale’s original but on an even grander scale. The lead hooks are complemented with some electric sounding processing which cuts through the atmosphere with ferocity. The piece builds tremendously with clattering drums and aquatic electronics accenting the gargantuan groove on its way to a massive climax which should have your dance floor in a complete frenzy.

The second original on the package ‘Sudofemme’ currently holds the number one position in our overall Hype Chart which is no small feat and reserved for only about 25 tracks per year. Dale’s crafted a tough, floor friendly construction here with vibrant hits and poignant electronics which lock down a wicked groove. The standout element though are the grinding, key changing bass tones which dominate the first half and epic payoff following the main breakdown. It’s melodic but still with immense character and scope, something that’s pretty tough to achieve and Dale’s done it perfectly here.

The first remix of ‘Sudofemme’ comes from Bastards of Funk and Sonic Union who are making their first appearance on DAR Digital here. Daniel Sandberg and Erik Petterson are the two gentlemen behind the Bastards of Funk and Sonic Union production team. The Swedish producer duo have gotten 2013 off to a great start with their recent ‘The Peak / Abyss’ EP (on Erik’s Lowbit imprint) being widely regarded as their most cutting edge work to date. For their ‘Sudofemme’ interpretation Daniel and Erik have delivered what goes down as our favourite mix on the EP. Incandescent sounding melodic stabs highlight the top half with the unmistakable grinding groove from Dale’s original charging the low end. Undeniably catchy electronics, a gorgeous break and an overall vibrant dance floor appeal make this one of Bastard of Funk and Sonic Union’s most club worthy records to date.

The final remix of ‘Sudofemme’ comes from Stereo Paradise head man Tvardovsky. The Ukrainian producer has continued to be one of the cooler and more in demand names in the new landscape of progressive house and melodic techno. He finished off 2012 with a string of great releases on Sound Avenue, 99percentrecordings and Proton’s Compiled & Mixed Series and here he returns to DAR Digital for his fourth overall appearance. Tvardovsky’s ‘Sudofemme’ interpretation closes the package out with a wonderfully quirky melodic techno vibe. A warped and wobbly bass line lays down the foundation while spacious melodic bells cascade over the tracks framework. The breakdown features more twisted musical brilliance which builds for an epic second half and emotionally stimulating conclusion. Another standout package from Denis A’s DAR Digital and further evidence that Dale Middleton is a future star in electronic music. Release Promo Hype Chart #1

Review courtesy of: Release Promo

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