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Judge for Neon Highwire

London, United Kingdom
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Portrait of Neon Highwire
Neon Highwire offer up everything from precise, lean pop reminiscent of Devo to sweltering builds that hark as much of towering electronic influences like Daft Punk as avant-garde art punk like Sonic Youth. Their sound is a melting pot of eclecticism tied together with a coherence which gives them their distinctive style. Part electronic dance machine, part balls-out rock, part pop darlings, there's a maturity in the sound borne from a near-fanatical perfectionism which has led to many iterations of each track on the journey to its final state.

Formed in the autumn of 2008, the group began creating relentless dance music driven by a distorted bass guitar and a simple sampler in order to cleanse their palettes from previous Bristol-based projects Antistar and Antiba. Both of these previous bands had shown a great ability to create guitar based rock that was simultaneously infectious and unafraid to try new things. The results of the initial jams was an uncompromising sound falling somewhere between Death From Above 1979 and 65DaysOfStatic that evolved further as the band became familiar with the setup, each other and themselves. Over time songs emerged from these beginnings which were mercilessly edited to reveal the deeper melodies within. These tracks were to become the Luminescence EP.

The tracks taken from the forthcoming EP Luminescence deftly combine sophisticated layering in the song structures whilst simultaneously leaving hooks stuck in your head long after the music has finished. From the commanding stomp of Neon Blink to the electrifying onslaught of Don't: Wait, the tunes are fat free and incredibly addictive.

Their live show is an explosive, somewhat theatrical affair where the tracks meld together as one big mood aligning mix whilst the band themselves are a blur of energy belting out note after note as though it's the most important of their existence. This has helped them gain a fast growing reputation which sees them regularly play in London venues such as 93 Feet East, The Old Blue Last and 333.

Tom Robinson championed Under Moonlight on his BBC 6 Music show, and with good reason. It's a straightforward song that shows a knack for knowing where to add more and where to strip away. The pounding breakdown and build that appear where usually you'd find a more traditional middle eight in a song put your hairs on end with anticipation. By the time it kicks in to the last chorus, you're powerless to resist.

Neon Highwire are currently booking a UK tour scheduled for 2010 to promote the release of the Luminescence EP.