Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Review: Neon Insect – 'Glitches'


Neon Insect is one of those acts that just likes to keep throwing curve-balls at you. On the whole quite an experimental project, elements of industrial, metal, IDM, cyberpunk and ambient electronic are chopped, blitzed and reformed into something confrontational and intriguing. With a background in computer game audio and music composition (as well as a previous project in Eternal Nightmare and a host of other contributor credits) Nils Sinatsch presents and grinding and aggressive sound that is still cinematic in its scope.

The opening tracks 'Thoughtcrimes', 'L.L.T.Q' lure you in with hard distorted beats, metal guitar, shout-a-long lyrics and all the trappings of classic gritty industrial. But then things get really interesting. '不協和音' and '不安心' drive home the name of the album with their chopped up and glitched-out interludes.

'Sneaky' draws on cinematic sound design and epic percussion for a sci-fi tinged instrumental. 'The Council' shows off a more mellow yet progressive blend of IDM and ambient, while tracks such as 'To The Moon And Back', 'Grey Hat', and 'I.D.C' go for a grittier blend of industrial and ebm while maintaining the progressive slant of 'Sneaky' and 'The Council'.

Production-wise the album is incredibly well crafted. The mix of ambient passages, catchy melodies and the use of female vocals contrasts the harsh glitches, distorted beats and more aggressive male vocals nicely. But the elements never clash unpleasantly, even in songs where they could potentially jarr, they never do, instead they draw your ear deeper into the mix.

This is an impressive album that shows off some brilliant skills from the composition through to the production. Hard, dance-friendly in places, cinematic and compelling, it covers a lot of ground but does it very well. Hopefully there will be a follow-up in the near future.

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