Dale Middleton continues to impress. Since bursting on the scene in 2012 with releases on Lowbit, Outside the Box, Sound Avenue and Mirabilis Records, Dale has established a strong foot hold on the progressive house underground, gaining valued support from artists as disparate as Above & Beyond and Agoria. With regular performances at clubs and festivals the world over, Dale has earned the title of “one to watch” and now also has a monthly radio show syndicated across the world and downloadable as an iTunes podcast.
We caught up with Dale to chat about the secret to his success, his past and his views on the scene.
Hi Dale, wonderful to meet you. We’ve been keeping an eye on you here at TIP Towers and to say your career trajectory has been stratospheric is maybe under playing it. To date you’ve released 7 originals and 16 remixes. In 2 years! Where do you find the inspiration? And frankly, the time?
Thank you, its great to meet you guys too, I’ve followed TIP since you started and always have a listen to the mixes & read through the interviews so I’m really pleased and honoured you guys asked me. Haha I know I’m always trying to keep pushing myself via my tracks and also radio mixes so I spend a lot of time in the studio working on new music, so I suppose I would have to say I have a very lovely understanding (tolerant) girlfriend.
Adam Shaw has been a massive influence in your production career. Tell us about how you guys met, its a wonderful example of how social media has made the careers of the modern artist.
We actually met around 2009 I think it was, I entered a DJ competition up in Newcastle that Adam was actually the judge of following his Mautrap release, the question you ask is did I win….. nope I didn’t, and I’m still sure it was a fix!! Following that we stayed in touch through Facebook and started to meet up in his studio where I learned about production with him.
Talking of social media, do you find you have to take more care about what and when you post? Do you subscribe to the DJ Sneak school of raw honesty or do you think that a more measured approach is better?
Erm I think you do and you don’t, I don’t get the whole being offensive just for the sake of causing a fuss just to “raise” your own profile which is what I feel of so called artists seem to do now though their social media. Personally I take my music and career very seriously, I always try to be as professional as possible and to treat everyone I speak to, no matter who they are with manners and politeness. That said, I like to think I’m a fun person so I’m always up for a laugh and a joke anytime.
Your roots are in French House, your sound is anything but. At what point did you tastes change and do you look back fondly at those days still?
Well I actually ordered a Daft Punk belt buckle yesterday (yes I am that sad) but yeah I look back on it very fondly, when I have some time at home on a nice day I some times get the old Roule vinyl’s out on the 1210’s and have a mix of the older stuff. It started to change really when I was 18-19 and started going out to clubs myself, seeing and hearing guys like Digweed, Sasha, Danny Tenaglia, Pete Tong & Carl Cox soon made me love this style of house music.
How important has that musical journey been in defining your sound?
Massively important, its been by far the most important thing. When I first got decks I was 14 and enjoyed mixing in my bedroom and I just liked the music. From seeing these guys perform, how they built sets, playing music you didn’t know but still wanted to dance to, trying to second guess what they would drop next, how the crowd reacted, trying to remember tracks they played so when you got home you could search and see if you could find it yourself, for me turned the art of DJ’ing into a massive passion and to be honest an obsession of mine. This is how I now try my best to carry out every set I perform to them very same principles.
So whats in the studio? What DAW do you use and do you have any favourite toys/vsts?
I have Ableton as my DAW it’s what I have always used really, I find it good to work with and seem to get my best results from it. I currently have a older Novation X-Station as my controller, although I’m looking to upgrade to either a Virus or Prophet sometime in the future. I like to use a few different vst’s but I always seem to go back to working with a couple of trusty ones such as TAL, Korg2, Mini Moog and Reaktor.
Money no object, what piece of hardware would you instantly go out and buy?
Schmidt Analog Synthesiser, it’s an absolute BEAST!! Plus you did say money no object so thought I would splash out.
Although you’ve only been in the public arena for the past 2 years, you’ve been a DJ much longer. Any good stories from the pre famous days you’d like to share?
Hmm I don’t think I can class requests for Rhianna/Lady gaga or being asked the question “do you play any good music” every half an hour as a good story! But in my teens and early 20’s we held some really cool house parties which were very good fun and always ended up very messy! As well as that a few friends and I ran our own small night in the local town of Northallerton which was a nice platform to start playing out or style of underground electronic music to a local crowd.
How about tour stories? India and Greece must have been breath taking. How much time did you have to see the sights between gigs?
Ah it really was unbelievable, being able to travel to different countries and play to crowds of people who are so excited to hear my music and what I have to play is a huge dream come true for me. The tour of India was pretty hectic as it was 3 nights in 4 days but we did have a little time between gigs to go see some of the sites. One of the guys in Chennai was very cool and showed me round the fantastic city & beach, also I got to hang out with good friend Praveen Achary who took me round Bangalore so that was really good fun.
Where else is on the tour hit list?
Ah there are so many places I would like to have on my tour list, the top one has to be Argentina. The argentine people seem so passionate and knowledgeable about the music scene and from what I have seen the parties look absolutely amazing, so that is defiantly a place I would like to/and hope to tour soon. Also I would have to say to be able to play at one of the mega clubs in Ibiza, I have been there several times over the last few years, there is something special about the island and its just a non-stop party with the best DJ’s from around the world performing every night.
Are you playing anywhere here soon where can we catch you?
I’m playing at Pasha (London) for the Get Greedy Viva Warriors party on Friday 23rd May with Detlef, Anek, Mr Dorris + others, so that one should be a great night. Also you can catch my Subsidence Sounds radio show & podcast every month via itunes or through my Soundcloud page. I’m really proud of the show as I have had some brilliant artists providing an exclusive Guest Mix every month, some of these have included Guy J, Ramon Tapia, Nick Muir, Deepfunk, Omid 16B, Marcelo Vasami, Marc Poppcke & many more, with some fantastic names lined up for this year.
The recent passing of Frankie Knuckles caused a massive outpouring of emotion across the various social media platforms. What was clear from it was just how much of a legacy he had created by being a founding force in House music. If you could write your own obituary, what would be your legacy?
The term legend is banded about a lot about many people not really deserving this title, but Frankie Knuckles is a legend and so much more, he’s not just a pioneer but THE pioneer of our whole scene. As far as writing my own obituary I have no idea, I just hope it wouldn’t be boring read!
The Deadmau5 troll. Genius or Pest?
Haha unfortunately for this one I’m going to have to sit on the fence. I’d have to say he is a very talented producer in his own right, Joel and his mau5 team are fantastic at putting on massive performances perfect for EDM style crowds. But that said I feel that whole side is starting to be cast in the shadow of these irrelevant twitter arguments, much the same can be said for Sneak.
Hows the nightlife in Newcastle these days? Apart from Loop and Shindig, what else can the rave tourist enjoy?
Well I live at the very top of North Yorkshire, so my closest city for properly partying is Newcastle, as you said Shindig really leads the way with the events here, I have been partying to their night & day last year as well as countless nights of theirs, for me they have one of the best atmospheres you can experience. In Newcastle there is also a new night named ‘You Belong’ who are promoting really good music and are about to have Funk D’Void at their night this month, also there is Axon Recordings which is a very cool locally based label who constantly have a high quality of releases. Also in Middlesbrough just down the road there is “Riff Raff” hosted by Lee Pennington & all the gang who always have really good underground guys playing, plus there is a new night by “Loose Cannon Events” who have hosted people like Nic Fanciulli, Hot Since 82, Heidi + others so they are the guys really pushing the scene and doing good things up’north.
How about for chilling out? Great bars and restaurants?
Yeah Newcastle is literally packed with great Bars & Restaurants, I really like it down the Quayside it has loads of cool bars along the river that you can just go chill out and enjoy a cold beer.
Your new track Ando is doing the business. Eelke Kliejn has charted it, among others. Do you still get butterflies when those analytics get emailed over?
Yeah massively so, when one of the big guys chart my stuff I always think it’s amazing. These guys are like heroes to me and what I aspire to be like, because of this seeing my music in their top 10, or played on their show/within one of their sets is a brilliant feeling.
As far as releases go what’s up next, can you reveal any of the “big ones” you have teased about signing in your posts recently?
Well I have been keeping these a sworn secret till now, but as it is you guys I’ll reveal that I’ve singed two brand new original tracks to the unbelievable label of Hernan Cattaneo, Sudbeat!! So this is a big dream come true for me as Hernan is one of my idol DJ’s and to be on his label is amazing. Also I have been working on a few remixes for the likes of Grum, Juan Deminicis, Amber Long and East Cafe so I look forward to sharing these with everyone soon, they may even be included in my mix (hint hint).
I love the mix you’ve sent us. What was it made on and is there a story behind the musical choices?
Cheers I’m really pleased you guys like the mix, its lovely to be able to put together a full 2 hour mix as it means I can go on a mini journey with the music, starting a little deeper working my way through the melodies and into the techno towards the end. I made this set using Ableton, I feel with radio mixes it gives me a good platform to plan my set thoroughly and really get a flow going. Saying this though when I play out at gigs I’m always on the cdjs, I sense you get a better connection with the crowd/music as you’re mixing and manipulating the tracks.
Whats your current top 10? Are there any producers really making waves for you?
There are producers I always look to for new music, such guys like Guy J, King Unique, Dosem, Christian Smith, Henry Siaz & Petar Dundov. Also there are some fantastic guys that are really pushing things forward at the moment, people like MUUI, Jelly For the Babies, Hot Since 82, Sonic Union, Khen & Scotty A. This is my Top 10 Just for you Guys:
- King Unique – Yohko (Rodrigo Mateo Remix)
- Dale Middleton – Ando (Original Mix)
- Hot Since 82 – Planes & Trains (Fairmont Remix)
- Asten – Right Things (Original Mix)
- Oliver Lieb – Caldera (Scotty.A Remix)
- Chris Gavin – Random Forest (Original Mix)
- Hunter Game – Antartide
- Pedro Aguiar – Gerudo Valley
- Dmitry Molosh & Michael A – Resolutions
- The XX – Angels (Phonic Scoupe Dub)
Its been a delight to chat with you Dale, anything you would like to add?
I know it’s a cliché but just want to say a massive thanks for asking me for this interview and letting me ramble on, I’m a huge supporter of the site so it’s really pleasing seeing my mix aired and interview up for everyone to see. Hope you guys all enjoys t and I hope to see you at a party somewhere soon. Cheers, Dale.
1) Barklas – Fragmentos (Intro Mix)
2) Orson Wells – Endless (Original Mix)
3) Nick Daring & Sam Havlag – People High To (Original Mix)
4) Chris Gavin – Random Forest (Original Mix)
5) Robert Mason & Amber Long – Eggshells (Dale Middleton Remix)
6) Dale Middleton – Daylight Darkness (Original Mix)
7) Dale Middleton – So Much More (Original Mix)
8) Sandrino & Frankey – The Edge (Original Mix)
9) Deep Shepherd – Some What You Need (Pete McCarthey Remix)
10) Dale Middleton – Ando (Original Mix)
11) Paul Martinez & Fiddler – Take Off (Vocal Mix)
12) East Cafe – Hurt (Dale Middleton Remix)
13) Chicola – Maganda
14) Rich Curtis – Flipped
15) Alex George – Moth
16) Mantu – Artbridge (Cozzy D’s 5am Remix)
17) Huminal – Morphosis
18) Pedro Aguiar & Himan – Rocket Science
19) Pig & Dan – Slash
20) Vince Watson – Magma
21) King Unique – Raydrop (7 Hours feat Natalie Arnold)
22) Juan Deminicis – Strange (Dale Middleton Remix)
More information about Dale: