neon indian psychic chasms
  • MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010

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I'm starting to wonder if the it-artists of the tens will be the ones who outwardly try to defy all ability to categorize themselves. Even Pitchfork, kings of the critique, had trouble nailing down what to call Neon Indian's electronic exploits. Alan Palomo is a child of musicians; his roots come from a life surrounded by creating and absorbing. He also happens to be a really nice guy; young, unassuming, and happy to chat about his experiences (we met a few weeks ago. Anyway, the quick summary: Psychic Chasms is full of Palomo's carefree attitude, half lazy-80's-summer, half freakout-pysch-wash.

Making music with a computer can be really awesome sometimes, especially when you have a background in playing piano. The progressions move, the beats drop and re-engage at the appropriate times, and Neon Indian works wonders for washing out all other thoughts when listening; a mini-audible escape. "Deadbeat Summer" almost makes you forget where/who you are.Like a Dan Deacon construction, Neon Indian leans more towards crafting compositions than writing "songs."

Part of the complexity has to be the layering. Palomo takes the texture to a really interesting collective feeling. On one hand the melody writing and synths have a distinctly 1980's aesthetic, but they are also colored with another level of noises and drums. Even more knobs twisted and mangled gives the entire thing not only a timeless feeling, but simultaneously futuristic and vintage. This is kind of confusing sounds that makes heads explode. Really Psychic Chasms sounds like a paradox; a splitting of realities in the space time continuum. Daft Punk travels into the future and meets some space artists, and then releases a single in 1983. That kind of thing.

Almost all of the album sounds like a trip, "6669", "Mind, Drips", etc. Palomo's vocals sift to the background as if we're not supposed to hear him completely; lost in the auditory swirl of sounds and emotions. "ephemeral Artery" is particualy fun in a "I'm feaking out" kind of way. But my favorite track is also the most grounded (which isn't saying much). The title track, "Psychic Chasms" has this straightforwardness that a lot of the rest lacks; like a purpose in the madness that the other songs take for granted. It's not a question of good or bad, I just like the fact that Palomo clearly holds the keys to just how much ambient weird he funnels into his work.

Psychic Chasms is an incredibly enjoyable romp in a lava lamp of synthesizers and noise. Jump in with both feet, or maybe drugs (or both). -joe puglisi

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MP3: Neon Indian - "Deadbeat Summer" (Psychic Chasms)
Neon Indian on Myspace

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