(The Other) G-Town’s finest: Big Miz

Having thought the fall from grace had been complete having to ask my Mam to come back in 5 minutes while I was conducting the interview previous to this, I was mistaken. Due to a bad internet connection, Chris [Miz] had thought it better to ring without the help of the internet. That prompted me to run upstairs and ask my Mam if it was OK to use the house phone to ring a Scottish number. She said it was fine, but to be somewhat quick with it. This in turn lit quite the Conemara bog fire under my ass while I held the recorder up to the phone as Chris answered questions, given that landlines don’t have a speaker setting.


When I first met Big Miz it was after he had headlined Electric in Galway’s mainfloor, while we ran a VSN residents night in the side room; Factory. We chatted for about an hour afterwards and managed to get through the left and right divide in the UK, Celtic and even Love Island too (Sparked from him having a ‘Miz’ Love Island sticker on the back of his phone).

From the onset of the lockdown, I had felt a recurring theme of people reverting to hobbies they’d had in their early and late teens, that being BMX and unhealthy variations between NBA 2K and FIFA in my case. We had to put the interview on hold due to intense Call of Duty sessions in Glasgow, with Chris skating plenty too from the looks of things. With a strong link between the skate scene in Dublin and some of its more prominent house producers, I’d always thought it a funny link given my very base-level knowledge had led me to believe it was solely a hip-hop focused sport.

“I don’t really know where it came from man, but there definitely seems to be a good few DJs now that skate. Maybe it was when the Palace guys started using some Detroit tunes in their edits and in some of the Supreme videos too, they started using house-y tunes. It had always had that Hip-Hop link alright, so I don’t really know where the house thing comes from.”

Glasgow has long been one of house and techno’s most fruitful hubs, with Big Miz well versed in the city’s raw takes on electronic sounds. Much like the skateboarding/house thing, I’d always wondered where Glasgow’s tougher than leather approach came from, and also what it was like to be surrounded by some of the most established institutions across the board; from labels, to clubs to record shops;

“Glasgow’s always had a strong link to stuff like Detroit techno and Chicago house. Back in the day, people that used to run Club 69 were one of the first people to bring a lot of acts over from America to the UK, so there’s always been a strong link there. I think as regards the sound that Glasgow has, it might be something to do with the industrial background in the city which is quite similar to the one in Detroit.

The shit weather also plays a part in the music too.

“The clubs only run from 11-3 so people always end up going back to houses and stuff, which leads to people building strong connections within the scene itself or starting ideas for projects and stuff like that. I’ve always been quite proud of being connected to Glasgow, it’s such a strong scene in the city and there’s a lot of reputable people here, so I’ve always been proud of here. Having guys like Kenny and Dan (From Dixon Avenue Basement Jams), if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today. At the start, I was sending them so many tracks and they were like my quality control.”

Despite the obvious benefits of a scene like Glasgows, it must obviously grate on someone to be constantly linked back to a certain circle or group, rather than being given their own credit where it’s due. In the past 12 months or so, it had seemed that Miz had particularly come into his own, with a residency on Rinse FM as well as a club residency at G-Town’s Room 2 (Apparently calling Glasgow that is a thing too),

“That’s what I wanted to do man. Before, I was giving all my tracks to DABJ and they kind of started to slow down their output. I’d seen friends like Denis Sulta start to put stuff out on their own labels, being in control of the artwork, putting out stuff they’re fully happy with, which has been really good for me and I’m excited for next year.”

Chris’ label got off to a nice start with ‘Passing Place’ a sort of chill track from him, with a club-tool remix coming from Mella Dee. The artwork particularly popped, coming from fellow Glaswegian (and Burberry’s Art director), Sean Bell. Karenn and Blawan’s most recent releases had all featured Sean’s work too, so it was cool to see his visuals alongside some house music;

“Me and Sean went through school together and I’ve always loved his work. I seen he was getting in to doing some records so I obviously had to get onto him. The thing with my label is that I want to release just single tracks with a remix on the other side and make sure that the artwork is nice. If you’re releasing something you want it to be something someone is proud to own or proud to have on their shelf. For the next one I’ve got one of my own tracks that I made down in Devon and then a remix from DART on the other side, and Sean’s going to be doing the artwork for that too.”

Aside from reminiscing about what was great music-wise pre-COVID, Miz had been particularly proactive with livestreams; on Twitch making tracks on Ableton or helping FLY Open Air raise money via their day long marathon of sets;

“I thought the Twitch stuff would be handy for upcoming producers just to get some tips and tricks when it comes to Ableton and that. Then when I did it, Mark Blair was starting the same sort of stuff and I quickly noticed I didn’t have the personality for it like him! I found it quite hard to be talkative. It can be boring watching someone make tracks on Ableton when they don’t really say anything.

“I’m a bit conscious not to have my social media and Instagram not just solely DJ promotion stuff. I’ve had it for about 10 years and I used to do some skateboard edits and stuff so I’ve always tried for it not be just ‘This gig is this week’ and just releases on top of that.”

Along with that, he released a 12 track collection of somewhat archived and re-worked old material on Bandcamp, not to mention too a 2 track EP on Soft Computing, a sub-label of DJ Haus’ Unknown to the Unknown;

“When it came about that there’d be no shows for a bit and Bandcamp said they’d be giving the full profits to artists, I hadn’t really been thinking of releasing anything until then. I went back and got some stuff that was sort of like slow, dreamy stuff and some tracks that I’d made as a joke and put them together. It was cool to release some things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise that people wouldn’t have really expected from me.”

Everything pre-prepared had now been covered, so we continued chatting for a minute about his ‘Jail The Lot’ artwork, the confusion in the UK about lockdown and of course, Celtic;

“A couple of weeks ago Annie Mac was playing one of my tunes on BBC and Pete Tong made it his essential track of the week on the radio at the exact same time BBC were showing Henrik Larsson’s last match for Celtic so it was a nice night.”

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