Neon Future I
On Neon Future 1, Steve Aoki expands his role as DJ/producer to near-shamanic proportions, transforming torrents of palpitating beats and swirling synth filigree into a manifesto for personal liberation and species advancement. As a high-profile record label chief, EDM guru, and all-around studio maven, he’s never been one to avoid the limelight. His latest work moves beyond dance-floor hedonism into something more rarified, by featuring spoken-word commentaries by visionary author/scientists Ray Kurzweil and Aubrey de Grey. Aoki backs up such brain power with insistent, body-grabbing tracks that embody the album’s expansive spirit. His guest list is a long and provocative one, matching pop stars like Fall Out Boy and will.i.am with hotshot rapper Machine Gun Kelly and dubstep wizard Flux Pavilion. Highlights include the hyperactive “Neon Future” (filtering Luke Steel’s vocals through Krautrock distortion) the ferociously funky “Delirious (Boneless)” (a showcase for Kid Ink’s relentless wordflow), and the anthemic “Afroki” (electrified by Bonnie McKee's impassioned voice).