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VEGA INTL. Night School

4.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2015)
  • Original Release Date: October 16, 2015
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: MOM & POP MUSIC
  • ASIN: B0143SH8JK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,695 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Were Neon Indian's Alan Palomo somehow born in 1958 rather than 1988, he surely would have risen as one of the preeminent producers of the Eighties, on par with the likes of Giorgio Moroder. That being said, it's a privilege to have him here and now, producing in the 2010's, as his latest work is a brilliant reminder of everything that made 1980-1989 the best musical decade ever. On 'VEGA INTL. Night School', Palomo is lost in the dirty streets of 80s New York at midnight, chasing cocaine, sluts and the shadows of the music he grew up listening to.

Talking with an online music mag recently, Palomo describes 'VEGA' "like a screwball comedy about nighttime New York." Anyone familiar with Tim and Eric Awesome Show's appropriation of 80s jingles and VHS-tape distortion effects will instantly appreciate openlude "Hit Parade", which sets the bar for what's to come, as the album is chock full of hazy hits. Breezy first single "Annie" finds Palomo in the subway, begging her not to run away "where I can't find you / the game has gone too far." Back at "Street Level" he's already moved on, finding a new girl to get high and survive the night with ("til I see thru sunrise / til my eyelids capsize"). Bored and restless again, he takes a brief detour into a seedy Chinatown brothel to get his rocks off in "Smut!"

The twisty trip continues as Palomo stumbles into a NYC Soul Train on "Bozo", "The Glitzy Hive" and "Dear Skorpio Magazine". While he sweats out his dance fever on "Skorpio" to a guitar solo that recalls Bryan Adams' 'Reckless', Palomo promises his love to the girl who makes his heart "beat on display / if she ever came this way".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Neon Indian is the one-man electronic band of Alan Palomo. Neon Indian came out of nowhere in 2009 with "Psychic Chasms", a delightful debut. The album was re-released in 2010 in a deluxe version as "Mind Ctrl: Psychic Chasms Possessed", which was my No. 1 album of the year. Yes, it was that good. In 2011, the next album "Era Extrana" was released, which couldn't possibly top "Psychic Chasms" (and didn't). Now, after what seems like forever (4 years), comes a new album from Neon Indian.

"VEGA INTL. High School" (14 tracks; 51 min.) opens, very Neon Indian-like, with a 1 minute cocktail of sounds, only to then plunge straight into "Annie" (1st single), which features a reggae-lite groove and the song seems like its ready-made to conquer the world. (Alas, with the state of mainstream commercial radio as it is, the song was promptly ignored.) "Smut!" is classic Neon Indian, with a heavily distorted soundscape, just delicious. "Bozo" is another short intermezzo. "The Glitzy Hive" (3rd single) is a bit bland for my taste, and a curious choice for a single. Side B kicks off with the irresistible 8 min. suite "Slumlord/Slumlord's Re-Lease". "Slumlord" (2nd single) is another dance tune as only Palomo can dream them up. "Slumlord's Re-Lease" is the funky instrumental outro, just fabulous. This is followed by "Techno Clique", featuring a heavy sound, and another highlight of the album. At that point, we could've closed the album as far as I'm concerned, but instead we get what I try to think of as 4 bonus tracks that are neither essential and sometimes not even compelling. The worst of these is "Baby's Eyes", a 6 min. 'ballad'.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This whole album is incredible! I spot checked a few songs off Spotify but I knew this was all I needed since there were some impressions this might yet be an incredible one from Neon Indian. I was right! The mixes going on in this brought to mind an underwater nightclub. Thanks Alan Palomo and please keep up the work. Definitely planning to buy Psychic Chasms next which I sampled whole off Spotify.

Extra: The album booklet had fun artwork.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like their previous albums, this is a super creative release. The departure here is the much more refined production and slick songwriting. I believe Alan channels the soul of Prince throughout several songs on this album. Songs from this album have been stuck in my head since its release and since seeing them at the Majestic in Madison WI. Please keep up the great work. Favorite songs: Street Level, Smut!, The Glitzy Hive, C'est la vie, and News From the Sun. Though all the songs are totally great.
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Format: Vinyl
Rarely predictable, VEGA INTL. Night School finds Alan Palumbo searching and often hitting artistic stride ("C'est La Vie" and "Bozo"). The record's most accessible tracks paying musical homage: "Slumlord" is a Toro Y Moi Xerox copy, "Techno Clique" as LCD Soundsystem and "News From The Sun" as Prince. Lacking the beginner's mind of 2006's Psychic Chasms and the stunning glow of 2011's, Era Entraña, VEGA INTL Night School, is its own creature altogether—a delicious synth record that challenges Com Truise to improve his game. Following up on Era Entraña, it's hard to know what would've been the right direction for Neon Indian to go, but this sounds like a good enough response. Less a proper band record and more of a document of chillwave's legacy and ongoing evolution, it's a terrific update.
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