Experienced Dutch producer Tom Ruijg rightly won praise for his first 12” as Tracey, Skyfall, which surfaced on Voyage Direct in early 2017. Combining elements seemingly inspired by vintage Detroit futurism, ‘90s ambient techno and his own love of colourful synthesizer melodies, the EP saw Tracey set out his stall in impressive fashion.Compare and contrast, for example, the two A-side cuts. While “Testarossa” is far-sighted and spacey, with Tracey wrapping intergalactic electronics and lilting synthesizer melodies around a darting synthesizer bassline and swinging, electro-influenced house drums, “Sidekick” is blissful and almost overwhelmingly melodious: all 16-bit new age motifs, head-in-the-clouds electronics and driving, locked-in machine drums.
The contrasts continue on the B-side, too. Many DJs may instinctively be drawn towards “Made My Love”, whose energy-packed groove (think vintage Chicago jack with a dollop of slick NYC house soul) is peppered with spacey chords, undulating electronic motifs and glacial melodies. Yet the track that follows, the wild and windy electro workout that is “Interceptor”, is every bit as potent when played over club sound systems. The track’s inherent hustle, seemingly the product of Ruijg’s darting synth stabs and feverish audio textures, is almost impossible to resist.