Haunting vocals, tribal bass, and early morning bird calls: these are just a sampling of the diverse sounds seamlessly incorporated into CloZee's latest release, Neon Jungle.
Out today via her own Odyzey Music imprint, CloZee's sophomore album triumphantly announces the French producer's evolution past her signature "world bass" sound, pushing global sonic elements to the background of a melodically complex and emotionally nuanced aural fantasy world.
Neon Jungle's 10 tracks are cohesive yet distinct, each telling a separate story with proprietary samples and downbeat placements. The opening instrumental "Mirage" is dominating and dramatic, incorporating crunchy synths into its bass-driven bridge while the previously released "Air" featuring Sauvane stays sweet and simple. Title track "Neon Jungle," meanwhile, is upbeat and bright, weaving through delicate distortions and bright arpeggio accents to reveal the spiritual temple in CloZee's creative vision.
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Longtime CloZee fans will particularly appreciate "Nuages" with 9 Theory, which revolves around an ethereal melody created by the guzheng, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument. It calls to mind the distinct East Asian influences present in her 2015 breakout single, "Koto," as well as her 2018 debut album, Evasion.
Other standouts include the album's lead single, "Winter Is Coming," a fantastic fusion of melodic bass and chopped up tribal sounds, and the striking hip-hop crossover "Long Live the Chill," featuring Sir Bishop's earnest vocal flows over a whimsical background of wind chimes, guitar motifs, and bird call samples.
As a whole, Neon Jungle is inventive, textured, and immersive. At times it wanders into previously produced territory, calling to mind the cinematic drama of Alison Wonderland, the funk of Party Pupils, or the fanciful edge of TOKiMONSTA. However, this is outweighed by CloZee's overwhelmingly original point of view, full of organic sounds, freeform melodies, and romantic accents grounded in driving BPMs and strong chords.
Furthermore, Neon Jungle leans less on cultural samples than Evasion did, moving beyond "world bass" to incorporate these sounds into thoughtful, intricate arrangements with real creative depth. It places CloZee as an influential, driving force within EDM, who has powerfully provided a glimpse into the cultural melting pot of a world we all hope the future may bring.