The ‘Gum Drop LXXXVI: Hear New Malcolm Middleton, Win A Traktor Scratch Duo Digital DJ Hub

Ex-Arab Strap wordsmith Malcolm Middleton’s back with his fifth solo album, Waxing Gibbous. As he puts it, “This is a very self-aware record, which is hard if you’re aware that what you’re doing may not be any good.” Thing is, it is good, especially the standout “Carry Me,” though sadly it may be his last:

Being a singer/writer/musician I’m not really prone to histrionics or ego-antics, so I can thus say with no little weight that this’ll be my last solo album for a few years. I’m not quitting, I just think that Malcolm Middleton has said enough for the time being. I’d like to try something new, something instrumental, someone new, something different. Who knows, but That all seems more exciting than This these days.

Before he decides to get rid of those words, we decided we should ask him about “Carry Me”‘s storyline. We couldn’t fit his entire response in the Drop, but it’s here in its entirety. Take a listen to the track and then catch up on your reading.

STEREOGUM: “Carry Me” has a hopelessness to it, but the character’s situation is complicated via your use of humor. What’s the story behind it?

MALCOLM MIDDLETON: I suppose “Carry Me” is really an adult’s reaction to the failed promises of youth, where we turn a point and realize we’ve lost our imagination and innocence. It’s an autobiographical expressive rant. Watching Roxy Music and Duran Duran videos, Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts on TV … this is the way I thought life would be when I was seven years old! Musically it’s quite circular and descending and I think this creates the nostalgic and familiar mood. Recurring mistakes, leading to positive realizations. It does reek of death and remorse a little bit; our declining society and over-saturated culture. The chorus is the consoling hug thrown in to help things a little.

STEREOGUM: The narrator’s reaching out to someone who might be able to carry him home, etc. Do you see the situation getting any better? Does someone help him when his legs fail? Or has that yet to come?

MM: This part of the song isn’t really about being lifted home, or failing limbs. It’s a simple desire for help and answers. Yes, I’m worrying about death again! An old man facing the abyss and balancing the mistakes of his life with the potential he had as a child. I suppose the fact that he’s asking for help implies that he must believe something or someone is actually listening and capable to offer assistance. That’s a plus…


Waxing Gibbous is out 6/1 via Full Time Hobby. You’ll find additional info at MySpace.


This week we also offered the chance to take home a Traktor Scratch Duo two-deck digital DJ hub. One winner gets the Duo, a new two-deck digital DJ hub with MIDI and time-code control and based on the Traktor Pro platform. For folks who want to “spin” digital tracks on vinyl and CD, it provides the software and hardware to fuse analog and digital with features like auto-syncing, looping, integrated EQs and filters, etc. And, as the folks at Native Instruments add:

Automatic beat-gridding in combination with the “Sync Lock” function makes sure that the tracks never drift out of sync, giving users more time to focus on the creative aspects of digital mixing. Extensive “Crate Flick” cover artwork support also allows users to visually browse music libraries in an especially efficient way…

Two performance effects sections offer six studio-quality algorithms including DJ standards like flanger, delay, reverb and more. To give DJs convenient control over their performance, the DUO versions also offer state-of-the-art MIDI controller integration, and come with mappings for all relevant hardware controllers on the market.

Take a look at DJ Craze & DJ Klever testing out the gear. Both recently adopted Traktor as their DJ platform.

It looks like this when not in use:

One winner gets the Traktor Scratch Duo, which includes the TRAKTOR PRO-based TRAKTOR DUO software: Enter to win here. You can get more specifics at Native Instruments and download free demo software download here. Also, there’s still some time to Win an Audio-Technica Turntable and Passion Pit swag.