If you've been to a festival this summer, it's likely that you will have heard "Surrender", the first collaboration between Running Back man Gerd Janson and Black Jukebox curator Shan. A pleasing slab of feel-good disco-house with added carnival percussion, the track's appeal likes as much in the duo's ability to place life-affirming peaks (built around colossal disco samples) in all the right places as the rock solid nature of the production. Basically, it sounds like an anthem and is fast turning into one. There's a similarly old school feel to "Gentle Place", too. The track's analogue bassline and layered, carnival house style percussion is brilliantly off-set by the kind of swirling Balearic chords and eyes-closed vocal samples so familiar from Janson's Talamanca System work with Phillip Lauer and Mark Barrott.
In the words of the man himself, Midland's new ReGraded label - an offshoot of his established Graded label - was set-up to focus on "sample-based, disco-tinged house". "Double Feature" hits the spot from the off, combining his bouncy, 129 BPM drums with hand picked string, orchestral and horn loops from an unspecified old disco record. Style wise, it sounds like a looser, chunkier version of the hypnotic, locked-in heaviness perfected by Soundstream and Tiger & Woods. "Stop (Don't Let The Beat)" inhabits similar territory, with whispered vocal samples and a nagging, slowly rising bassline riding tough, techno-tempo disco beats. It's a little more obviously energetic than its' accompanying A-side, and arguably the more instantly accessible of the pair.