It looks like 2018 might be the year when producers come out from behind the mixing desk and into the spotlight. The trend started last year, with Angry Baby favourites Jeanes and DIDI, and it’s gathering pace with the emergence of Thirteen Mile, the music brand of Manchester-based producer and songwriter David JL.
Thirteen Mile’s debut EP Don’t Stop Never Stop is a collaboration with vocalist Tristan Henry, another studio man whose session vocals have appeared in UK Club charts. With rich tones, solid tuning and a range to die for, it’s time he got the credit for his work, right?
Before you read on, Thirteen Mile is giving a FREE download of “Don’t Stop”, a special edition remix of the Fleetwood Mac classic just for Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
You’d have to have been living under a rock for the past 40+ years not to have heard the Fleetwood Mac track “Don’t Stop”. It’s embedded in our collective psyche, so it’s a brave musician that takes it on for anything other than a karaoke-style cover. Step forward Thirteen Mile, with a fresh, contemporary remix that reloads the song for a new generation. The arrangement rocks electro, with respect for the original given an invigorated interpretation. But it’s the vocal that transforms the piece. Henry delivers with depth and pathos, bringing a dimension to the story that’s so much more than inspirational.
Offering a reply to “Don’t Stop”, the first of two original track on the EP lays a challenge not just to think about tomorrow, but to prepare. “Are You Ready Now” is raw, rock-edged and powerful, with words that are more than mere tune-trimmings:
‘You’ve been waiting for the right time to be free
It’s time to change into the person that you want to be
You’ve gotta face the fears that are holding you back
You’ve gotta stop believing you’re going nowhere fast’
There’s a fusion with Thirteen Mile’s dance roots through a persistent, underpinning percussion and, once again, Henry knocks it out of the park.
Continuing the reflections on life lived to the max, “Hurricane” is the song of support from the friend we all need. Pure dance, it lands full-force with Henry’s vocal, building with rhythmic insistence and rapid-fire lyrics. Visual story-telling via a superbly constructed video completes the mix.
Bracketing the two originals is a second bite of the “Don’t Stop” cherry as Thirteen Mile returns to his stimulus with “Don’t Stop II”, proving that he is no one-trick-pony in the regeneration game. With all the hallmarks of a dancefloor masterpiece, expect this track to be a mainstay of clubs across the Costas and beyond this summer. Once again, Henry proves to be much more than a voice, adding an energy and urgency to his interpretation that deliver another variation on the message of the original. Decorated with interludes of jazz sax, this is genius at work.
Don’t Stop Never Stop delivers a subtle showcase of Thirteen Mile’s influences, which he cites as The Cure, Chemical Brothers, deadmau5, The XX and Depeche Mode. Wherever his style originates, he gives it his own signature, reliably dance with twists, turns and nods to the world beyond.
Thirteen Mile’s advice to anyone just starting out with their music promotes resilience:
Make as much music as possible… the more you create the better you’ll get. Be prepared to make mistakes and get negative feedback, it will make you better in the long run!
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