Vancouver studio heads Neu Balance breathe deep on Pacific Northwestern air and exhale a debut of meticulously dazed hybrid house and ambient electronica, synthetic and playful with a twisted holisticism.
“Rubber Sole” drifts in and out of a borealic yet lush minimalism and over to a jumped-up maximalism that is also present in their live shows. It also blurs from a sort of pre-apocalyptic and overtly filtered, processed and generally heavy synth layers and partially dismantled beats into a bright naturalism/pastoralia.
Though their name is a light goof on notions of balance, duality and cushioning, “Rubber Sole” sincerely explores the threshold of balance through accessible house, supremely produced and assembled with excessively customized signifiers that are opposed with stylized washes of ultra crisp digital ambience.
Tonal dualitys play out through both the more direct, dancefloor-ready tracks like “Guu Yuu” as much as headphone drifters like “trsx moon”, but generally soft and cushioned touch runs throughout the duration. Elsewhere on the more gradual “Get Up”, these opposing elements converge for one of the cassettes weirdest moments of fried 95bpm wobbles.
Comprised of Sam Beatch (of Plays:four) and Sebastian Davidson, the interplay at work is explorative and often wonky, working through a handful of revised hauntological ideals like subtle field recordings, pitched down (and up) vocal snippets, disembodied gear bleeps and dream-drived keyboard melodies that never stick around for long that all leads towards a clean, intricate psychedelia.