Tip: Tom Middleton’s ‘Sleep Better’ is the Natural Secret to a World-Class Night’s Sleep


Globetrotting DJ/producer/sound designer Tom Middleton has been burning the creative candle at both ends since the late ’80s in Cornwall, England. At the start of his production career he struck up a friendship with a then unknown chap named Richard D. James, whose Aphex Twin project was just getting off the ground. Not too long after Middleton had found his groove, creating genre-defining music with Mark Pritchard in Global Communication. (The duo’s 1994 album, 76:14, is a benchmark of excellence in the field.)

Middleton’s lengthy discography is truly something to behold — countless productions, remixes and a spate of brilliant mix CDs spanning ambient, deep house and downtempo. (2002’s sprawling three-disc opus The Sound Of The Cosmos is as sublime a mix collection as they come.) Factor in a variety of work as a sound designer, sample pack producer and that equals a busy man.

More recently, Middleton has come to learn and better understand the science of sleep, which invigorates the mind, body and soul, reduces stress, energizes, calms and plays an important role in overall wellbeing. If you don’t get enough of it on a consistent basis — a challenge for many of us in our always-on culture — then serious health problems may develop.

The cost of sleep deprivation in the US costs 1.2 million lost working days a year, costing $411bn or 2.28 percent of GDP. Middleton says if we could get just one more hour of quality sleep to make up to 7 hours plus, it would add £24bn back to the UK economy.

Middleton trained to become a sleep coach, learning about sleep architecture, sleep health and hygiene. Before long his two passions converged. It led to Sleep Better (Universal Music), an album of soundscapes designed to help inspire relaxation before bedtime. The tracks he created slow respiration with the goal of reducing blood pressure and stress levels, with the goal of activating the relaxation mechanism.

On the eve of the album’s release on World Sleep Day, Middleton recalls how he became interested in sleep science and why Sleep Better could be the important project of his career. Continue Reading

Premiere: Luca D’Alberto – Everywhere You Are (Yehezkel Raz Rework)

LUCA D'Alberto Reworks From Endless

In 2017 emerging Italian violinist/composer Luca D’Alberto presented his acclaimed debut album, Endless, on the new imprint 7K!, demonstrating his unique talents in the realm of neo-classical music.

On March 16 he’ll release Endless Reworks, a nine-track album featuring remixes by a coterie of rising electronic music talents. The remix album is accompanied by a visuals produced by D’Alberto and Fabio Bonomo under the moniker BODA.

We’re extremely pleased to world premiere the video for “Everywhere You Are” (Yehezkel Raz Rework), where the arrangement of the up-and-coming Tel Aviv composer/musician’s winsome, emotionally moving interpretation is paired with the visual simplicity of contemplative color-changing waves.

Says Luca D’Alberto of the release, “On Reworks great ideas emerged from fragments of music from Endless. And so ‘fragments’ became a key theme for this project. We decided to shoot fragments of fire, metal, earth and water to accompany the album’s release. So much of life, including music, is invisible. This is what Reworks makes clear: many other forms of life – and sometimes its antithesis – can exist within one composition. The reworks give the music of Endless the opportunity to live on the opposite side while still very much being part of the same coin. These visual pieces break the mold and make the music visible – giving strength to both the imagery and the music.”

‘Jane’ Party to Celebrate Cleveland DJ Icon Rob Sherwood


Cleveland DJ icon Rob Sherwood suffered a heart attack and passed away on February 18. He was 54 and had recently battled prostate cancer. To celebrate Sherwood’s legacy, a party called Jane (Sherwood was known as Jane to his friends) has been organized at Sachsenheim Hall on March 31 by The Disco Mafia. The night will feature drag performances and DJ sets by Sherwood’s Color Blind production partner Mike Filly, Lady Miss Kier, and Kenny Summit.

Sherwood was a beloved fixture in the city’s club music community. He spun at numerous gay and straight venues — as well as one-off raves — including Nine of Clubs, Alterhouse, Aquilon, Lift, U4ia, Trilogy, Metropolis, the Church, and Freak. From the mid-80s on he navigated himself through countless musical trends, DJing around the US and living for a stint in NYC.

“I went to New York and lived every single DJ dream I ever had,” he once said. “All of my heroes were coming out of the studio at night saying, ‘I just cut a disc, I want you to play it’ – my heroes. Not just some guys, my DJ and producer heroes. Every club I ever dreamed of wanting to work at, I worked at.”

the disco mafia rob sherwood

Sherwood, who contributed music reviews to Cleveland-based publications Underground News and Buzz, was an in-demand remixer in the ’90s and ’00s.

“He produced floor-filling remixes for Deee-Lite, Sparks, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, The Lightning Seeds, and Sagat,” says NYC-based dance-music label veteran Joe Berinato.

“Nightlife luminaries are rare breeds these days and none were like Rob Sherwood. The extent of immeasurable devotion, unwitting impact and ultimate legacy he left on DJs and club culture alike, not only in Cleveland but in many other cities across the country, will be honored and celebrated here on this night.” Continue Reading

Premiere: Pablo Nouvelle – Leave Now


Swiss musician/producer/former architecture student Fabio Friedli (a.k.a. Pablo Nouvelle) comes to electronic music by way of his adoration of artists like Marvin Gaye and Gil-Scott Heron to Radiohead and The xx. Early on he broke into production by crafting hip-hop beats. As he progressed technically, so did his sound. He soon developed a moody, melancholy style that incorporates elements of soul, pop, and dance music.

On March 16 Friedli will release his third album, Wired (Armada Deep), featuring collaborations with UK soul singer Andreya Triana (Bonobo, Flying Lotus), Cameron Bloomfield, Jessie Reyez, and others.

Ahead of the LP’s release, we’re pleased to world premiere “Leave Now” from the upcoming collection. It’s an emotional meditation about the horror of war inspired by the bloody conflict in war-torn Syria that’s decimated the country.

Says Friedli of the cut, “‘Leave Now’ was the first song I wrote for Wired. It was a time where, aware of my privileged life here in Europe, I consumed a lot of uncensored news from Syria. I tried to create a raw and dark techno song that relates to the subject of war, oppression and destruction. The song really came to life when I stumbled across an unreleased recording of Fiona Daniel. Her pitched-down vocals are somehow super dark and at the same time, through the endless repetition, also filled with hope, that there is a way out of this blind alley.”

Dr.Nojoke 5 Tracks of the Moment


Frank Bogdanowitz is a musician, producer, and performer based in Berlin. Working under the Dr.Nojoke moniker, Bogdanowitz espouses a taut minimal techno sound. What differentiates his releases on Sleep is Commercial, Concrete, and Destroy All Monsters lies in how he integrates field recordings and homemade sounds into his left-of-center ethos.

Bogdanowitz is prolific: In February he presented the Mental Health Hotline EP (Destroy All Monsters) and just dropped the zero.one EP on his vinyl-only CLIKNO imprint. In addition to prepping a follow-up EP titled zero.two will be released in June, he plans to introduce a new vinyl series, which will appear wrapped up in a silver metal-foil containing a 180g black vinyl and an insert containing an art-print and a text essay or poem.

We caught up with the good doctor and asked him to share five tracks currently in heavy rotation. Continue Reading

5 Classic Dance Tracks That Inspired Nick Muir

Nick Muir

Dance-music journeyman Nick Muir began his career in the late ’80s as a session musician, playing piano/keyboards with Take That, Fire Next Time and The Men They Couldn’t Hang. He even worked with the late rock singer Johnny Hallyday.

Muir gravitated toward the pulse of the nascent UK rave scene in the early ’90s, where he began DJing. Along the way he met an upstart DJ/producer named John Digweed, and together they’ve formed one of the strongest partnerships in dance music. Over the course of countless productions and remixes, they forged the blueprint for Bedrock Records’ matchless progressive-house signature.

Fresh from releasing an evocative solo EP, “Mirror Walk” / “In The Room,” on Bedrock, we asked Muir about early tracks that strongly influenced his musical point of view. Continue Reading