- With AKASE, Midland follows in the footsteps of Howling and Moderat, making downcast electronica that pays homage to moody, late-period rock music (think Radiohead). For this project—signed to !K7 with an album deal facilitated by Will Saul—Harry Agius teams up with vocalist Robbie Redway.
On the production end, Agius keeps lead single "Rust" just shy of mid-tempo adult contemporary. The instrumental behind Redway's vocal is subtle but busy, with gently clattering drums, funereal synth notes and a rousing garage beat that takes hold halfway through. But the mood is resolutely drab, and it isn't helped by Redway. His vocal feels melodramatic for the sake of being melodramatic—it isn't until the lilting bridge that he finds a hook to match his overwrought phrasing. The Midland dub is better, primarily because it sounds like a Midland tune. Here, Redway is reduced to a loop while Agius carefully reinforces his instrumental into something he might drop in one of his sets—refined and sturdy with just the right amount of grit. That the dub outshines the original suggests that Agius and Redway are still figuring out their new partnership, but there's enough natural chemistry on "Rust" to make it a solid start.
B1 Rust (Midland Remix)