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Dilated
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  • Dilated
No Cure
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  • No Cure
Thro-Yo!
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  • Thro-Yo!
Rasclap
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  • Rasclap
Thro-Yo! (Starkey Remix) (Digital Only)
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  • Thro-Yo! (Starkey Remix) (Digital Only)
No Cure (Ean Remix) (Digital Only)
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  • No Cure (Ean Remix) (Digital Only)

XLII

Neon High EP

EP - CIV034

Release Date: 21.05.2012

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Available formats: Source Audio (24 Bit Wav), mp3, Apple Lossless, FLAC, mp3HD, AAC

‘Neon High’ is XLII’s debut outing for Civil Music, and his first extended player outside Japan. The EP is a futuristic, innovative take on hip-hop incorporating a spectrum of club sounds and is focused on the half/double time tempos and drum patterns around 80/160BPM and 70/140BPM. Disparate influences are given hi-tech dynamics forming effortlessly diverse dance weapons that are simultaneously cohesive, intrepid and dangerous.

 

Flipping from hip-hop swagger to dancefloor bounce ‘Neon High’ is a visionary blend of ‘up to no good’ beats, 808s, global melodies and gangsta leads and, as you would expect from someone who has just produced 2x DMC world champion DJ Kentaro’s forthcoming album for Ninja Tune, the EP is sonically exceptional with substance and artistry in every beat.

On the retro-robotic ‘Dilated’ XLII’s vocoded vocals are beamed into pitch bent arabic leads, spiraling cosmic arpeggios and Balkan synthlines. They ask “Are you high?” “Your pupil’s dilated, are you high? Don’t hide your face, show me your eyes.” “No Cure” has a ghettotech feel, it’s the imagined evolution of juke produced with a hip-hop palette. Punchy and tough, its changing double time beat dynamics just add to its genre bending dancefloor appeal. On ‘Thro-Yo!’ step sequenced keys and rattling high hats transition a spacious beat through pulsing rhythms and heavyweight 808 kicks, reaching a frenzied climax as the track evolves into a dizzying club workout and the screaming vocal hooks asks you to “Throw your hands up”. “Rasclap” wears its sonic affiliations on its sleeve. Dirty, distorted and strangely grimey, a trouble making funk lead makes way for a ragga beat, jarring claps and dancehall vocal samples. Starkey’s remix of “Thro Yo!” toughens things up, wide space port synths count down before aggressive snares divert the energy into a neon grime riddim. ‘No Cure’ is remixed by ex Various Productions main man and Ghost Poet engineer EAN whose new artist persona is only just being unveiled. Beautifully produced it’s delicate and intricate synth patchwork forms an abyss to envelop an epic slowfast footwork flux.

XLII (pronounced slee) is a respected figure on Tokyo’s electronic underground. Pushing the latest sounds, throwing parties and releasing genre bending records via his celebrated ‘Raid Systems’ label / collective that he runs with Broken Haze has given him a cult status and avid Japanese fan-base. No stranger to European exposure and there have been many opportunities to experience XLII’s distinct sound. Copious amounts of unreleased & forthcoming material has been aired across Rinse & 1Xtra, on France’s Radio Campus, via his shows on Berlin’s BLN.FM, guest spots on Dalston’s NTS and his admired podcast series for the London based, Rhythm Incursions. There have also been two brief official outings. On Jus Like Music’s “Oscillations Compilation” alongside Slugabed, Alex B, Kidkanevil & Mr Beatnick and on “Nihon Kizuna”, the compilation that XLII curated alongside Laurent Fintoni, DJ Audace and Broken Haze that featured Kode 9, Kuedo, Rudi Zygadlo, All City Records, Illum Sphere, Ninja Tune, Om Unit, Paul White, One Handed Music, BD1982 and Mux Mool amongst others, and which topped the Itunes charts and raised in excess of $30,000 for the Japanese Red Cross Earthquake relief efforts in Northern Japan.

Released on 21st May 2012 by Civil Music ‘Neon High’ is already being supported by Kutmah and Starkey amongst others and will undoubtedly turn many more onto its makers unique style, one perhaps rarely deserving of the “future” tag—but with none of the stigma attached.