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Boomkat Product Review:
More exemplary beat-crafting from the Dealmaker label, following up Lone's excellent Lemurian with this new long-player from Tom Keaver and Tom Brause - an album that sits comfortably alongside the productions of Paul White, Bullion and the like. After the slight wrong-footing of stuttering opener 'Cleff Rechard', The Middle Way settles into a mighty hip hop groove that calls upon old-school sampling aesthetics as much as it does more contemporary digital techniques. 'Airborn' flirts with Four Tet-isms, combining chopped strings, harps and heavy, hiccuping beats with great aplomb. Next, 'Bounce' includes what sounds like a series of bizarre bird calls interrupting the vulcanised bass throb, but it all adds to the sense of liveliness and the overall air of creative freedom at play. Channelling Dabrye and Flying Lotus, 'Laastic' continues to exploit some seriously weighty, rubbery low end, while further into the album, less polished, dusty MPC-style dynamics sound equally accomplished: 'Cedar Green' matches jazzy, scratchy old pianos with minimal, clicky drums, having latched onto some soulful, swinging rhythms using a similar palette on 'Awake'. Really strong stuff here for all you beat connoisseurs.