Neon Cloud: Knit

On its seventeen-minute debut EP Knit, Neon Cloud presents a rather ethereal take on the bass music and dubstep genres that ends up memorable for offering a rather personalized riff on the forms. In a typical Neon Cloud track, trudging dubstep grooves are overlaid by breathy female vocals, resulting in three originals (inexplicably, all of them titled using geometric shapes) that help the Tokyo-based group to register more powerfully than it otherwise might. The opening cut (represented by a square) is a brooding, even menacing slice of bass music topped by a haunted vocal chant, whereas the dubbier second (a circle this time) is a little less heavy, with the emphasis equally focused on lighter-than-air vocal melancholia and acoustic shadings. The third original (now a triangle) soups up the Neon Cloud sound by adding string and synthesizer elements to its dense flow, after which a remix of the same by Luxembourg act Sun Glitters exploits the dreamier dimension of the group's sound by adding twinkling keyboards and lush synthetics to the song's swirling vocal exclamations and low-end lurch. In essence, the dream-pop aspects of the EP's material makes the group seem like a natural addition to the Flau roster, while the dubstep dimension suggests that the label's branching out, stylistically speaking, which certainly isn't a move to be discouraged.

January 2012