Headspin at The Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Sat 21 Apr
To read Tom Middleton’s wilfully genre-dropping biography is to understand how much he makes a feature of his eclectic nature. Growing up as a surfing and street sports enthusiast who loved The Police and Prince in Cornwall, the classically-trained pianist went through the musical fashions of the time in startlingly flighty style. He was a new romantic, then a soul boy, and then a hip hop kid, before Richard James got his hooks into him at the turn of the 90s.
When James released his ‘Analogue Bubblebath’ EP - his first as Aphex Twin - Middleton was there collaborating on the track ‘En-Trance To Exit’. Middleton credits James with his introduction to the ways of creating dance music, though he subsequently took what was taught and forged a wide-ranging career of his own. Moving to Exeter a short while later, he teamed up with Mark Pritchard, who he met while they both studied graphic design at college. Together, the duo started Evolution Records and released a large batch of material under joint and solo aliases, the most famous of these being the ambient Global Communication and the house-focused Jedi Knights, while also helping to launch the career of Matthew Herbert and producing a compilation for Warp Records.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Middleton has recently become most famous under his own Cosmos alias, playing a more purist form of progressive house. Along the way he appears at the larger dance festivals and smaller club gigs like this, and it’s that long-fostered sense of eclecticism which helps him keep his varied crowds happy.