Review of Tom Middleton's album One More Tune.
Cornishman Tom Middleton has been DJ-ing almost since somebody first accidentally mixed two records together, was one half ambient pioneers Global Communication and with his idiosyncratic Jedi Knights and The Trip mixes has pretty much been there, seen it and put the t-shirt away in the airing cupboard as it no longer fits.
His last couple of projects though have felt a little like going through the motions, as the new-age codswallop of Lifetracks was then followed by an ok-but-what's-the-point triple album of retro house frippery for the Renaissance label.
One More Tune however is a different animal. Based around the concept of re-imagining the killer tracks which climax many a mad one, his take on Last Rhythm (By Last Rhythm) and Budai & Vic's All Night Long will instantaneously transport listeners back to the time when all you needed for a top 20 hit was a 303 and a Dina Caroll sample.
Middleton has in the past described his DJ mix tools as "...A deep knowledge of psychoacoustics, audio telemetry and E.S.P", so as you might expect the only concession to Dave Pearce-dom is the inclusion of Humate's Love Stimulation. Elsewhere he boldly tackles classics such as Derrick May's Strings of Life, Agora Rhythm's Circles and Joe Smooth's hands-in-the-air anthem Promised Land, in the process reminding everyone zestfully of how Moby's Last Night should've sounded.
All this as they say is a welcome reminder of a blinder. But shame on Tom's PR outfit, who - presumably to thwart illegal uploading - sent us the unmastered, low bit-rate version with what sounds like Stephen Hawking reminding everybody what they're listening to every five minutes. Where's the trust?