By Bill Rah
Big Miz reveals he is dropping 4 EPs this year. He has become a staple of Scottish music culture. His production style is a slick series of house infusions combined with disco electro and hip-hop
He has four releases lined up for 2020. This includes a broken beat 10 inch two-track on DJ Haus label Unknown To The Unknown. “Up next is on Shall Not Fade. That’s made up of tunes I made down in Devon Analogue Studio.” That will be Volume II on Shall Not Fade. Expect another release on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams alongside a release on his own label.
“I wanted a side project to release stuff that didn’t fit with the labels I work with. First one went down pretty well and got a good remix from Mella Dee.” Miz wanted to make a record people would be proud to own with nice collective artwork. The next release will include a remix by Irish producer Dart. “When people buy the record, I want it to be something there proud to own.” His real name is Chris McFarlane.
Chris feels a sense of pride when he releases a record. That’s natural for artists. He is a passionate Celtic fan and discussed politicizing music and using it as platform to voice political opinions. “Dance Music has always been political, it stemmed from the African American LGBT community in America. I hate when people say keep politics out of music. It’s mental to me.” He is vocal but more importantly he is right. This shows his appreciation for house music’s cultural roots. Music has been a platform for political statements for generations.
Miz collaborated with Dixon Avenue Basement Jams to produce the EP Jail The Lot. DABJ is one of Glasgow’s premiere underground labels. “The tunes came first. Then we were trying to think of a theme. It was Kenny’s idea to come up with it. We thought fuck it we will do a political record.” He doesn’t try to be political when producing however the Jail The Lot concept eventually formulated. The thought provoking stylistic artwork depicts politicians behind bars.
Coronavirus has substantially impacted the music industry. “It’s been quite tough even if the lockdown finishes there, still not going to have mass gatherings, it means this industry’s fucked.” With the industry on halt, artists are focusing on production.
Born in Airdrie, Chris first started coming to Glasgow to study sound production. He has been producing for 12 years and DJ’ing since he was 17. Spinning tunes has become second nature for this Scottish selector.
Chris is highly opinionated and educated in the art of music production. He admits that he still gets frustrated.”It’s hard to keep challenging yourself and not get stuck on the same sound. Get new synths, hardware and try new production techniques.”
His style of energetic rhythms with house infusions combined with dynamic disco and soul vocals is diverse. He is always working on new production techniques to keep things fresh. Utilizing Binaural panning a DIY surround sound. “It sounds like it’s behind you, going around you. It’s using panning and a lot of reverb to emulate being in a hall. Made a tune out of that which turned out quite cool.”
The recently released Pick ‘n’ Mix album available on Bandcamp has provided Chris with income throughout this unprecedented phase. “Now all my gigs have dried up I need to find another source of income. it’s just a mix of tunes I’ve had sitting in my laptop for years.” The album is a mix of multiple genres and includes some new releases.
When you do something for long enough, you get quite good at. That’s abundantly clear as Biz Miz is arguably Glasgow’s best producer under 30. He didn’t always go by Big Miz. “I used to make music under Mirrors. All my pals shortened that to Miz. That’s what I was known as and they started calling me Big Miz. When I got my first record out, I just decided I wanted a fresh start.” That fresh start turned out to be a Good Thing.
These days Chris has his residency “Good Thing” in Glasgow club Room 2 where he
brings down friends and other DJs he admires for all night b2b sessions although, that
is currently on hold.
During the lockdown his lifestyle hasn’t changed drastically. His routine of making tracks and skating remains. However he remarked on how he can’t go to the skatepark anymore with his mates. Big Miz revealed the first thing he is going to do once the lockdown is over “Straight to the pub.” He has maintained a positive outlook despite the unprecedented situation.
Kicking back behind his laptop getting experimental, expect good things from Big Miz this year. With four EPs on the way expect plenty of funky house tracks and more. “Not a lot of pressure to make more tunes. I can just do fun stuff.”
His release on Unknown To The Unknown drops on May 1st. Pre-order his upcoming release here