Skyfall is his first 12” for Voyage Direct, following a fine contribution to the First Mission compilation – alongside friend and sometime studio partner Efde – back in 2015. More pertinently, the EP marks the first time he’s used the Tracey moniker for a release.
The title track offers a near perfect balance between head-in-the-clouds melodiousness – delivered via cascading, new age influenced synthesiser motifs, starry electronics and crystalline lead lines – and serious dancefloor grunt. The beats are crunchy and distorted, with that distinctive swing that comes from vintage drumcomputers. As a result, “Skyfall” feels timeless, as if it was a pan-generational collaboration between Tracey, early Detroit futurists, and early ‘90s ambient techno producers.
There’s a similarly enduring quality about the equally impressive “Earthrise”. While the restless rhythm track is reflective of 21st century European techno, Tracey’s hi-hat hits recall classic Motor City productions. Throw in the kind of ghostly chords and TB-303 bass you’d expect to hear on vintage Larry Heard workouts – not to mention some complimentary electronic lead lines – and you’ve got another ageless composition on your hands.
On the flip, Tape Records co-founder Deniro – a producer famed for his analogue-rich take on techno – delivers two tasty interpretations of “Skyfall”. The ‘Mental Mix’ flips the original on its’ head, delivering a rugged, acid-fired box jam that replaces Ruijg’s cascading melodies with starry new electronics, and seemingly unstoppable waves of TB-303 tweakery.
The chiming, life-affirming melodies return on his Oude Remix, which smartly fixes them to a thrusting, energy-packed rhythm track full of scattergun fills and bassbin-bothering kick drums. It’s a fittingly sweaty end to a superb first Tracey outing on Voyage Direct.