Arnaud: Hey Matias!
Matias: Hi! Sorry for the delay. I’m overloaded with all these new releases. I’m going to die! Luckily, in this ocean, the new Neon Indian’s album was more of a pleasure than a torture!
Arnaud: Glad to know that you are still alive! To tell you the truth, last time I saw you, you looked a bit green. But yes, as you always look a bit green I didn’t worry about it. Anyway… I’m happy that you liked this new LP. I also do, like a lot of other people apparently.
Matias: Shut up! The album really cheered up my week and made me forget that the weather is already changing, that the days are becoming shorter. “VEGA INTL. NIGHT SCHOOL”, which is released 4 years after his last album “Era Extraña”, positions itself as an ode to the nightlife. Neon Indian’s mastermind Alan Palomo said about the album that “Most of what I’ve learned about human nature in my twenties has happened after dark”. I really identify myself in this quote as I would describe myself like a night owl. This album is simply full of potential hits and sincerely, it was a pleasure to learn with it, that the night is colourful.
Arnaud: Well, do you know that we are lucky to be able to hear this album? I have the feeling there is a malediction around it. First, three years ago, someone stole Palomo’s laptop, which was full of demos. They were intended to be featured on an album that unfortunately will not happen. Then, he chose to focus on “VEGA INTL. NIGHT SCHOOL”, a project that he actually has since the beginning of his career. And without the shadow of a doubt, he worked hard on it. But as a misfortune never comes one at a time, the whole LP leaked online one month before its official release…
Matias: When the people will listen to this album, they will buy it! With the Giorgio Moroder’s comeback, who seems to be echoed throughout the whole album, and Daft Punk’s last successful album, that also takes inspiration in this period, I’m sure the album will find an audience. Moreover, as you mentioned it, the reviews are great so far. Palomo achieved to create a very Studio 54 atmosphere in each track. It smells arousal, release, emancipation… There is also a nasty side in this album. Overall, it is sincere and beautiful. To some extent, Neon Indian appears like a Prince of our times. He even has curly hair!
Arnaud: You quote Daft Punk, Moroder and Prince, I would add Mr. Oizo, The Police and so on. Neon Indian revisits 40 years of dance music, multiplies the references and the genres without departing from his own style and his red wire. He is a master, a savant: there is a collage of samples, analogic basslines, funky vibes and messy, acid or cheesy noises. The whole thing is surrounded by an old serie or movie spirit; crackling TV or phone sex hotline… This is neo-disco, synth-funk, electropica… This is NYC which flirts with the Balearics, the modern electro which fucks with the latin disco groove of the 80s. I should stop myself now! As you can see, I feel very inspired by this album!
Matias: I’m not surprised at all! This album revives lots of emotions because it takes care of immersing you in its universe. This is smart and efficient: you can’t resist it! Of course, the music plays a major role but there is also a visual side in this album. You feel that Palomo studied film work and that he is interested in cinema. I don’t know if you watched the Sabrina Ratté’s videos that go with each track of the album but the result is totally psyche 70s or 80s. The imaging in “Slumlord Rise” is also very strong. You feel like going out with him, getting drunk with tequila shots. From what I read, he likes that. My latino side makes me close to him… I’m launching a call now: if you come to Belgium, a “San José” bottle is waiting for you in my fridge!
Arnaud: HaHa Caramba! Once I found you naked in the street. You should definitely stop Tequila! Since I saw you this day, I stopped it! You are talking about cinema and this is also something that striked me in his lyrics and his music. If you listen to “Street Level” or even in some other tracks, the description and the spirit of NYC by night is painstaking. You also notice that in the video of “Rising Slumlord” which was recently released. All these visual details let you open-mouthed. The same with “Annie” where he sings like a romantic guy but in reality, this is a polar and he is a stalker to the power 1000! I love this song, I have the feeling to be a mermaid!
The album is long: 51 minutes, but 51 good minutes! There is nothing to be thrown away. Everything is structured around the amazing “Annie” and “Slumlord” but the other songs have their function. All the tracks could be hits and they all find naturally their position in the album.
Matias: We have to remember this album belongs to a more electronic and funky project that he has called VEGA. When you hear “The Glitzy Hive” and its “Partyyyy Partyyyy”, there is nothing as equivocal. I also think that there is nothing to throw away. Palomo is a genius as Prince was in the 80s. This italo-disco break on “Slumlord” is just priceless and brings me to dark places where it smells poppers. Anyway… I think I mislead myself now!
Arnaud: Yes indeed! Let’s close this discussion before you say things you could regret! I will give the album a 9/10 because it is simply amazing in my opinion. It will be hard to quote one particular good moment but I would say that the singles were judiciously selected. “Annie” and “Slumlord” are dope!
Matias: For me, the special mention goes to each track of the album. It would be too difficult to only quote one. And I also give the album a 9/10.