For the past few years, Tobax has been quietly ruling the single landscape in neurofunk and hard drum & bass. If there’s a crazy neuro-tinged banger on at the club and few people know who it’s by, there’s a decent likelihood it’s a Tobax tune. Since this time in 2018, Tobax has released multiple singles on Bad Taste, C4C, Empire, Kill Tomorrow and Druid, so suffice it to say the elusive producer with the chunky synths and spinning drums was due for an EP.
The Seized Moment EP, out on Eatbrain Monday, May 13, is definitely making up for lost time with all the different elements Tobax has injected into the release. Something not often talked about in Tobax’s work because the impact of the drums and synths is so big is the emotive quality to a lot of his work. It’s also something that really stands out in Seized Moment and it seems to be something Tobax wants to bring more of to his style.
Even when the emotions are not necessarily pretty ones conjured with melodies on Seized Moment, there’s still an emotional impact in tracks like “Burning” and “Kappa.” For lack of a better description, it’s that sort of Current Value quality: the listener may not be able to put a finger on it but it somehow tugs at the heartstrings. Or, in the case of “Invisible Spirit,” the collab with Bad District, perhaps there are more primal emotions involved.
One track on Seized Moment that is quite blatantly emotionally charged is the title track. Featuring vocalist Helo, this track’s melodic, ravey intro and breaks with Helo’s haunting vocals will surprise Tobax’s diehard fans. Until the drop, that is. Tobax somehow rolls his super-fast snares and neuro-inspired synths into these more ravey elements and ambient atmospheric tones to create a track which has many seemingly contrasting elements but which works on the whole. It’s danceable, hard drum & bass that’s also hauntingly emotive and melodic.
With his first EP in a very long time showing he has the chops to put together a cohesive group of tracks, here’s hoping Tobax will continue this trajectory both in terms of his releases and in his style. After the release of Seized Moment, fans will certainly be clamoring for more so it’s just up to Tobax himself if he enjoys the long play format.
Seized Moment will be out on Beatport exclusive on Eatbrain on May 13 and will be available on other platforms on May 27.