- Midland established Regraded around 18 months ago, shortly after seeing Gerd Janson play Panorama Bar. As a disco-sampling house label, Regraded is a natural next step for Harry Agius, whose music and DJing has always been open to influence and sensitive to the needs of the dance floor. In an interview with Mixmag, Agius described his Graded label as "experimental yet functional." That balance is skewed towards the latter on Regraded. But in eschewing the strange flourishes of the sing-speak vocal of "Trace" (released on Aus), or the curling echoes of the more recent "Outpost," Final Credits follows the lead of its fun and uplifting source material.
The stringy, high-frequency synth on "Final Credits" initially reminded me of a similar sound on William Onyeabor's "Fantastic Man," and, more vaguely, the earthiness of an Arthur Russell remix. The synthy disco echoes of those artists linger, though "Final Credits" actually samples Lee Alfred's "Rockin - Poppin Full Tilting," a little-known 45 released in 1980. The original's ramshackle groove is smartly edited, but the vocal is Midland's trump card—pumped with a lot of soul and a little helium, it gives "Final Credits" a rousing second wind.
"Vigilante" sounds more like the Midland we've come to know: dramatic and elegantly melodic, with sour synth top notes that give the music a moody swagger. More than the two tracks on his first Regraded 12-inch, Double Feature, this B-side feels like an intuitive merger of ideas. Bringing together grainy disco drums and smooth, sustained organ notes, Agius anchors his recent disco influences with the brooding, after-dark moments that he's long made his own.
A Final Credits