The third album in Sudbeat’s ‘Sudbeats’ series is finally here, complete with Asymmetric’s Lonya and Sudbeat’s own label-manager Graziano Raffa mixing up 31 tracks from both Sudbeat regulars and a host of producers making their debut on the label. Let’s dive right in to the music.
Lonya’s mix kicks off with Rockin’ Beats’s deep and dubby ‘Calma’, one of the highlights of the whole collection with its haunting melodies drifting over a slinky bassline, followed by one of my favourite producers over the past decade or so, both as a solo artist and as one half of NameSpace, Ben Shaw. ‘Above the Clouds’ is chunky, warm and melodic, and Lonya pulls the tempo down for his mix to allow it to sit as a nice warm-up moment. Mariano Mellino & Maxi Degrassi’s ‘Ageworthy’ is floaty, and features a long breakbeaty-breakdown, leading to a twisting bassline, while Eran Aviner & BP’s ‘Muze provides another highlight in Lonya’s mix, with its stunningly beautiful vocal-led breakdown leading to a trancey drop.
Manuel Sofia is a Sudbeat veteran, with his 2010 Master-Series-climaxing ‘An Endless Forest’ being probably the standout track of his career so far, for my money. His ‘Python’ is spacious and dubby, with reverberating stabs meeting a rolling bassline and dancing melodies, and it’s followed by Natural Flow’s organ-laden ‘No Chance’, which boasts some attention-grabbing, sparkling hooks and hypnotic synths. LOM’s ‘Shades’ is super-moody, as its title would suggest, with eerie pads meeting a descending bassline, intricate trancey melodies, and swinging percussion, and it takes us to Lost in Venice’s ‘Get Lost’, with its bright top-end contrasting with its heavy, shifting low-end.
‘Zona Roja’ sees Kosmas & dPen craft an atmospheric slice of progressive house, with some nasty stabs adding further tension as the track develops, and Joan Retamero’s ‘Her Imagination and His Planet’ keeps those tension levels high with one growling bassline and a second rumbling one, topped off with melancholy pads and fluttering flute-sounds. Some Little Things drop the chiming, bleepy ‘Allegra’ next, before Quivver makes his return to Sudbeat with the mighty ‘Pictures’, nicely fusing the techier and proggier sides of his output with a kick-ass groove, splashes of his own vocals, and some seriously effective key changes.
Lonya himself gave us one of Sudbeat’s greatest moments of the past couple of years, with his epic remix with Guy Mantzur, and he offers up another collaboration for Sudbeats 3, teaming up with Maydan for the awesome, driving, bass-heavy ‘Fertile Lands’. Steve Slight’s return to Sudbeat, ‘Contact’, lightens the mood a little, with its weighty bass tones offset by exuberant melodies and layered vocal loops, and Henrik Zuberstein gives Lonya’s mix its climax with the delightful Guy-J-esque ‘Morning Struggles’, before things wind down with Wood Drift’s ‘Rainbow Slide’.
Graziano Raffa takes the reins with AudioStorm’s gentle, atmospheric ‘Old Caffe’ blending smoothly into Aman Anand’s tougher ‘Raikou’, with its chugging bass part, rotating hook, and uplifting breakdown. David Calo continues to impressive with ‘From Somewhere’, a twisted tech-house foundation beautifully paired with evocative, reverberating pads, and Hugo Ibarra & Antu Coimbra follow up their recent collaborative work on Plattenbank with ‘Chaptel’, packed full of groovy basslines, sweet pads, and trippy melodies.
Memo Insua’s ‘Trip Radio’ is low-key but bleepy and alluring, while Beat2’s ‘Sublime Memories’ moves us back into groovier progressive territory, with a compelling bass part and trancey melodic lines. ‘Tete-a-tete’ has a pretty hefty running time, but thankfully Alessandro Diga’s 12-minute long progressive/techno crossover is one of his best works so far, and it nicely sets up ‘Panorama’, Marcelo Vasami’s warped, wicked follow up to his recent EP on Sudbeat, and Tvardovsky’s motoring, disco-tinged ‘Phoenix’. Michael & Levan, Steven Rivic, and Simos Tagias team up again for some progressive action on ‘Vega’, while the crisp percussion, powerful bassline, and cool effects of Cid Inc.’s ‘Sensors’ are totally irresistible.
Subandrio’s ‘Timecode’ bustles with energy, with shimmering melodic lines working really with a simple but effective bassline, all leading to a great breakdown, before the weaving bassline and urgent hooks of Warm Hall’s ‘Transition’ take effect. Finally, Rick Pier O’Neil & Desaturate continue their recent run of outstanding collaborative work with the high-impact ‘No Alternatives’, and Stripped-regulars Phonic Scoupe’s ‘Elysium Gate’ finishes things off with warm, analogue-sounding synths.
Sudbeats 3 is an improvement on both of its predecessors, and though not every track is totally compelling, enough are for the album to be absolutely packed with memorable musical moments that are destined to dominate dancefloors and headphones for the foreseeable future. Both mixes work weave their way through the music nicely, though personally I’d have preferred more key-mixing. Overall, Sudbeats 3 is a must-have collection, which keeps the quality-levels high across a huge number of tracks from a range of fantastically talented producers.