On Rubber Sole Beatch and Davidson are as nonchalant as ever. The Neu Balance formula goes something like this: a handful of processed samples are finely chopped up into percussive notes and longer melodic smears, then arranged into off-kilter dance tracks. With the exception of a voice deadpanning the word "house" (as well as the duo's name) a few times, the human presence is limited to miniature grunts.
Most of the sounds Neu Balance use are microscopic, but they're often bunched up to make a stronger impression. On "Better Off Alone," we're presented with a hobbling, raw clump of sound, like we caught the duo before they were quite ready. But give them a minute and they untangle those elements, letting the song slip into an easy saunter. You can hear the creative process at work with "Restate," an abstract array of beeps and bloops that gets retooled into a peppy club track on the "Dance Edit" that follows. On "Guu Yuu," the duo show that their psychedelic sweeps can be funnelled, layer by layer, into rushing techno.
Rubber Sole's shorter sketches, like "Tread" and "Sheffie," are strong as well, distilling the duo's essence into bite-sized chunks. They show a fondness for dreamier sounds: the ambient interlude "May B. So" is strikingly ornate, and "Get Up" uses long, lazy brushstrokes of melody, as if the two musicians were absent-mindedly doodling. This casual attitude defines much of Rubber Sole, and it might be Neu Balance's greatest attribute.