- This reissue highlights the Texas artist's unmistakable ear for melody and emotion.
- Most people in Dallas's electro scene first heard of Cygnus at the old Laptop Deathmatch competitions, where he would triumph with frenetic IDM and breakcore fusions. He was a natural, the kind of artist who could whip up a track in a few minutes. That knack for effortless beatmaking, along with his ear for melody, are what defines his output as Cygnus. There's a lot of it, and much of it is excellent. Neon Flux is a vinyl reissue of a 2018 digital-only album originally called Rainy Days that Cygnus put out on his BioSoft label. World Building presents the album in a well-sequenced, truncated form with the push of a more established label behind it, giving this brilliant IDM album the wider release it deserves.
Neon Flux presents Cygnus' more pensive side, unfettered by dance floor concerns. Some tracks come off like a homage to some of his UK heroes. The wispy, childlike vocals in "The Bodyscan" trigger memories of classic Global Communication, while few artists could tap into the rattling, deep underwater funk of Autechre's Tri Repetae like Cygnus does on the ten-minute closer "Vectra Datasonix."
Cygnus's work is singular. You can generally expect melancholy pads, trebly drums and melodies that drip with soul and meaning. "Oak Cliff Cybernetics," named for his home neighbourhood, has a pitch-bent synth lead that warbles like a wounded human voice, with a hint of G-funk. The title track is intimate and comforting, glowing and humming with the light of electronics in a dark room. Here, many of Cygnus's most appealing qualities come together, with leisurely keyboard playing and pads that float by like clouds on a windy day.
The original Rainy Days had some of Cygnus's best music on it, and World Building's rearranged Neon Flux does that music justice, presenting it in a pared-down form with restored artwork that highlights how important it was the first time around. This unlikely reissue is Cygnus's best work, streamlining the eccentricities of his discography into an hour of poignant electronics.
A2 Neon Flux
B1 Oak Cliff Cybernetics
B2 Coleco Visions
C1 Default Mode Network
C2 The Bodyscan (Album Edit)
D Vectra Datasonix