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Steve Aoki (DJ): Neon Future, Vol. 2

Album Notes

Scientists and Hollywood futurists like JJ Abrams provide the spoken-word album interludes during Neon Future, Vol 2, EDM producer Steve Aoki's conceptual mix of scientific talk and awesome bass drops. It's a strange idea, but that matters very little once the growling highlight "Holding Up the World" hits the speakers with guests Harrison and Albin Myers contributing to the album's ultimate EDM assault. "Light Years," with Rivers Cuomo, is the spitting audio image of Skrillex doing a Killers remix and deserves placement on any alternative dance mixtape, then there's vocalist Moxie as dancefloor dominatrix during the shameless and slick "I Love It When You Cry (Moxoki)," because crying "let's me know that you're alive" and "the tears bring out your eyes." Gliding like a Eurodance hit during its slicker bits, "Darker Than Blood," with Linkin Park, is the expected mix of grave and grand, and if Snoop Dogg's appearance is just a bit too stoney, and maybe even moldy-oldy (he mentions "just" getting back from Jamaica and finally returning to rap), guests NERVO and Tony Junior temper this by being in fine form, both working on the Paul Van Dyk-like, prime-time number "Lightning Strikes." Twelve cuts long means this one is right-sized with no wasteful bits, and with the science-meets-dancefloor interludes making this identifiably Aoki, Neon Future, Vol. 2 is a fan-pleasing blast of what the mainstream dance man does best. ~ David Jeffries


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