7038634357: Neo Seven
Release Date: July 28, 2023.
Neo Gibson records, performs, and produces under the alias 7038634357. Their music is characterized by its formal precision, melodic structure, and an idiosyncratic emotional tenor. Up until this point, it has been primarily self-released on small-batch CD-R’s and performed in intimate settings. Synthesized and recorded entirely on their computer, Neo Seven is their first vinyl record, and perhaps their seventh release depending on where you begin amidst their prolific and fluid output.
Within a runtime of just over thirty minutes, Neo Seven contains a spare, beautiful, and raw journey through the artist's emotive, psychologically-charged ambient songwriting. The album’s seven tracks bleed into and out of one another, continually forming and deforming between soundscape, song, and silence. The record opens slowly with Winded, as brief intervals of soft noise, nearly indistinguishable from dust breeding on the turntable, gradually become the ground upon which harmonic form is built. As tones subtly shift across regular lulls of sound, one gets the sense they’re traveling amidst a pulsar in deep space. Neo’s heavily-processed melodies, gated regularly by silence, form the heartbeat of the record, creating an expansive field in which an interior, subjective journey takes place. Square Heart utilizes this motif to rhythmic ends, in what surprisingly develops into an achingly tender pop song, albeit one in which Neo’s robotic, heavily vocoded voice is distant, sullen, and mixed low. As each track explores its own interior logic, complex forms emerge out of simple structures, and layers of oscillations commingle and build upon one another. Rhythmic cuts of compressive texture begin to feel like meteors burning up in the atmosphere or hail upon the windshield.
The record begins and ends with Neo’s slowly built-up waves of ambient harmony being cut by grating digital noise. On the final track, Perfect Night, beneath the thrashing, a song-form appears nearly inaudibly. Hidden beneath the noise, Neo’s voice bears a clarity and a softness that is revealed only momentarily, when the noise flitters out cinematically toward the end of the track.
7038634357 is the alias of Neo Gibson, an electronic musician living in New York City. Their highly emotive music derives from a lifelong interest in melody, distortion, and precision. Previous releases can be found on Shanghai's Genome 6.66 Mbp and on their website, waiting-all-my.life.