The young lo-fi producer returns this autumn with his new release, but not before he tells us all about his favourite synth in this outlandishly retro vid
Known back home as 20 year-old producer Alan Palomo, Neon Indian first made waves in 2009 with his debut, 'Psychic Chasms', and was perhaps inadvertantly lumped as one of the leaders of the 'chillwave' scene, owing to his lush and ethereal lo-fi sounds. Whilst touring with humongous acts like Massive Attack, Phoenix and Chromeo to The Flaming Lips, Palomo has since collaborated with the latter on a release earlier this year, and is set to return this Autumn with his 'Era Extraña'.
Taking on a darker mood than before, the record made in Helsinki last winter flickers between '8-bit shoegaze' and otherworldly pop, heavy with astral synths. We speak to the producer whilst he shows us a little something about his favourite synth...
Dazed Digital: What's the story behind the name?
Neon Indian: It’s actually the one name I can't really take credit for in all the projects I've been involved in. It’s ironic that it’s the one that has become my primary focus. Sometime shortly after the end of high school when Ghosthustler (my first band) was starting, I remember my friend Alicia in mock retaliation thought that if I could have an electro band called Ghosthustler than she'll have her own band and guess what, it'll be called.... Neon Indian!
Her and her friend couldn't really play any instruments so the myspace page kind of just sat there blank for a few years. When I started writing songs for this new project, I decided that, given so much of the subject matter and lyrics were about her, it only made perfect sense to name it after this band conceived in the halls of my high school that never really materialized.
DD: Is it annoying to be pre-labelled genres i.e chillwave? How would you describe your music, if you had to?
Neon Indian: I guess at some point that used to bother me but at the end of the day, if it helps paint a picture in someone’s mind about what the music could entail or make them excited that similar things exist out there I guess it can't be that bad. Labelling my own music has never been easy. I think I'm a little too close to it to be able to articulate it in any productive way. I'd probably just start making robot noises and break-dancing.
DD: What are you listening to now?
Neon Indian: I’ve been listening to a lot of Lone, Com Truise, and Stockhausen.
DD: What are you most excited about next?
Neon Indian: I think just being able to finish the record was an enough of a personal goal so having it see the light of day is surreal. I think I plan on touring relentlessly, and sleeping very little. Sleep deprivation is kind of ideal for zoning out in the studio. I kind of want to try to write two records in the next year so we'll see what happens with that.
Go HERE to listen to Neon Indian talk to Dazed music editor Tim Noakes about the 198X, Era Extraña, and his all time favourite Synth Heroes