We are in the midst of an evolution. Since you’re reading this website, I’m sure you’re aware of it by now. Countless trend pieces have been penned in dedication to these young producers, all sporting UK ties, who have used bass music as a launching pad to venture into the darker recesses of techno. And with this most recent effort for the acutely curated Works The Long Nights label, Midland and Pariah have managed to etch themselves firmly alongside contemporaries like Blawan and Objekt as already established purveyors of bass now taking a plunge into that abyss, sans abandon. The untitled A-side starts with a slight pitter-pattering kick, not very indicative of the destruction to come, but from there, things become a bit unhinged. A scraping drum pattern gives way to a walloping hump of a beat and a vocal sample bent to ride on top of the 4/4 propulsion. The detached moan arrives concurrently with the climax and seems to be stating “heaven, heaven” over and over again, although the overall vibe is about the furthest thing from celestial. A masterclass in build, the patient lead-in and understated outro almost guarantee this a peak-time slot in many a ballistic set to come.
If the A is about careful construction, than the B-side, also untitled, reads like the direct inverse. A caustically creepy half-minute ambient intro sets the scene and then they’re off. With a barreling, double-time rhythm accentuated by a mighty cymbal clop, the track is likely to evoke a number of decapitations via over-enthused head-banging. And unlike it’s flip, the peak actually arrives when the clipping slows to a crawl, inducing a panic-stricken weight of tension, allowing for a more voracious return to form when the duo resurrect the vibe. Notably more menacing than anything released from the supposed standard bearers of hardened techno in recent memory, it’s probably due time that we stop envisioning Midland, Pariah, and the like as fledgling techno producers and begin hailing them amongst the best doing it right now.