NEON CLOUD | 22

I like how Tokyo label, Flau Records, just dropped a link to a surprise NEON CLOUD track, “22”, on its website with the declaration, “NEON CLOUD is back”. It’s as if they too were thinking what any listener who heard the group’s 2011 EP “Knit” would think: When are we going to hear some new music from the group. The four songs on “Knit” were good enough to make the “Best EPs of 2011” here at Their Bated Breath. The music was so different, and idiosyncratic, that it’s hard to mistake it for anyone else. The EP was shrouded in mystery, with symbols standing in for song names, like “△”, “□”, “○” and “△ (Sun Glitters Remix)”. I’m still unsure who makes up NEON CLOUD, but you can hear a female vocal track on “22”. That’s about it as far as anything biographical. And that’s fine, because the music speaks for itself. Once again, there’s a stomping bass beat, a number of overlapping sounds, scratches, intermittent electronic scrapes, and swirling warped noises that become rhythmic through their repetition. It’s an impressive reappearance from a group that’s stood out to me as one of the more original soundscape creators, that could find an audience among fans of artists like Burial and Four Tet. — David D. Robbins Jr.

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