DJ Chart: Big Miz
Following the release of the blinding Safari Park Nonsense EP, Offbeat's Chris McFarlane aka Big Miz gives us a peek inside his record bag.
Earning early acclaim for your music within Glasgow’s infamously crowded electronic scene is by no means a given. Of course, it helps if you’ve honed your skills from a young age and fully immersed yourself in the party scene through which most of the city’s creative juices flow. This is certainly true of Chris McFarlane aka Big Miz, one of the latest artists to be given a spotlight through Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. Announcing his presence with the Midnight Man Handle EP last year, Big Miz capably distills the vibe of the much-loved Offbeat parties which he co-founded, drawing on classic house and techno influences with notable aplomb.
McFarlane’s latest release, a rare digital-only offering from DABJ, is evidence of the young producer’s impressive range and his growing confidence in the studio. Lead track Foundations is a pulverizing acid workout which will undoubtedly do the damage in darkly lit basements for some years to come, while Morse Dance is a beautifully layered deep house groove with similarly potent dancefloor appeal. Urgent maintains the momentum with an unashamedly overripe 80s-style vocal set against a simple but effective jacking house backdrop. Closing an accomplished EP is Winger, which once again utilises the mesmerizing power of 303 bass squelches, this time complemented by crisp stabs and a soulful looping sample of chanting crowds – a sound anyone who has been to an Offbeat event will be well acquainted with.
Giving us a glimpse into the diverse array of influences which inform his work as a DJ and producer, Big Miz’s 10-track selection includes bona fide techno classics and favourites emerging from the rich local scene that has nurtured his talent over the last few years.
The Fog – Been a Long Time
Starting off with a classic. I play this track out nearly every set and the vocal always gets a good reaction. I really like the drums on this one too - the hi hats are on point.
Kim English – Nite Life (Armand Van Helden Remix)
This track is an absolute belter from Nervous Records. Starts off pretty heavy but when the vocal comes in and you feel the swing of the synth line you can’t help but go nuts. Could have put a few from Armand Van Helden in this list. The guy is a boss.
Ian Pooley – Celtic Cross
This is one of the first records that I bought, and it actually sat in my room for months before I properly listened to it. The drums are so jacking and, when the vocal comes in, it gets me every time. A sure fire party starter!
Atlus – Gum
This is a fairly new record compared to the rest and it’s an absolute weapon. Full-speed-ahead disco edit from Atlus aka Glasgow's own Denis Sulta. This man is definitely one to watch this year and it was a hard choice picking one of his many belters for this list.
KMA Productions – Cape Fear
I first heard Jackmaster play this record at a certain infamous afterparty when I was around 17 and it’s been a firm favourite ever since. The catchy vocal and the way the beat slows down nearly to a halt before coming back in full force is enough to send any crowd wild. Dancefloor destroyer if dropped at the right time!
Basement Jaxx – Fly Life Extra
This is a record I just acquired recently after hearing it on a Boiler Room. Quite a simple driving beat but the synth line over the top is an absolute belter. Dropped this recently in Aberdeen for the first time and the place went nuts. Definitely a good tool to have in the bag.
Casino Royale – Hell House
This one is the most recent release on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, which can do no wrong in my eyes. A record of four weapons but this one takes it for me. Top drum machine work, coupled with the mad vocal sample makes this one an evil belter, perfect for the dancefloor.
Galaxy 2 Galaxy – High Tech Jazz
An absolute classic on Underground Resistance and a must-have record for any techno fan. It’s seen many a 'techno karaoke' in Glasgow and perfectly combines funky elements with the classic Detroit sound.
MMM – Nous Sommes
Full speed ahead banger from the MMM troops here. This track has been dropped at many an Offbeat in the La Cheetah basement over the past few years. Never fails to send the crowd over the edge.
Deacon Blue – Real Gone Kid
Last up is a perfect end of set track, when the lights are up and it’s nearly time to go home. Keeping it Scottish as well!
Safari Park Nonsense by Big Miz is out now.