Forma Off/On

A year-and-a-half ago, when Forma released their self-titled debut, the trio's dusty electronic sound perfectly mirrored their album art — an aerial look at a rocky, barren landscape. With follow-up Off/On, Forma chose to adorn the LP sleeve with a close-up of molten lava pouring down the side of a volcano, making the album's sinuous, forward-moving rhythms that much more obvious. To say that Off/On is an all-around more palatable effort would be overselling the band's sophomore release, but once the listener ventures into mid-album territory, it's easy to point out Forma's mounting melodic maturity. "FORMA360B" shows off the Brooklynites' cinematic side, as synth sounds are layered and intertwined, while 11-minute centerpiece "MECANIQUE" works as a pulsating, motoric rumination. The simple concept of Forma's music — instrumental, drum machine-shaded, analog synth — makes it easy to either fully dismiss them as artistically perfunctory or celebrate them as heavily stylized mechanics. Those choosing the later will find much to love on Off/On. (Spectrum Spools)