Sudbeat’s latest release sees the label welcome Victor Ruiz and D-Nox for two tracks, plus an excellent four-way collaboration with Beckers and Alex Stein.

‘Arise’ leads with a sparkling progressive sound, before breathy pads carry us to a warm, buzzing bassline, echoed by summery, warped synths, while the breakdown offers a few moments of respite, with some lovely bass tones calmly sitting below the busy central motifs. What’s most appealing about this track is the mood it creates – it’s somehow at once both relaxed and alive with energy.

‘Music’ sees Victor Ruiz and D-Nox team up with the latter’s regular studio partner Beckers, together with Alex Stein. It’s a techier beast than ‘Arise’, punctuated by bleepy stabs and underpinned by a deep, chugging bassline and slowly building percussion. Gentle, melodic ripples soon emerge, building up to another lovely warm bass part, militaristic snare rolls, cool vocal samples, and a Balearic lead. Some lovely proggy melodies take the track into a hand-raising breakdown and finale. Dreamy stuff.

Finally, ‘In Between’ strips the production team back to just Victor Ruiz and D-Nox again for a dark, groovy ride, full of wicked percussive loops, threatening vocal samples, a sparse and menacing bassline, and the occasional glimmer of melody. A second bass part because a major presence after the first short breakdown, shooting intense waves of electricity through the track. The overall effect felt like a fresh take on the kind of dark progressive/breaks sound I associate with Shiloh’s work from about 10 years ago, which is no bad thing. Still, this didn’t appeal to me quite as much as ‘Arise’ or ‘Music’.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable EP from Victor Ruiz and D-Nox, with the collaboration with Beckers and Alex Stein providing the highlight for me, and ‘Arise’ coming in a very close second.

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