Before Alan Palomo was known as Neon Indian (a godfather of the chillwave genre) he went by VEGA and released the Well Known Pleasures EP in 2009. At this point, Palomo was toying with the 80s VHS-synth inspired retrowave sound, relying on lazer-like synths that pulse and flutter quickly as they zoom towards outer space.
But, Palomo's love for his current style of synth pop is apparent in his breathy vocals and corky synth patterns that occasionally surface in Well Known Pleasures (see the last 90 seconds of "Fondly" for the latter).
"Other End" is a special look at the production style that would define the chillwave genre. There's elements of retrowave but everything is much slower with filtered vocals. It's like psychedelic RnB.
It's fascinating to think about Neon Indian's latest album, VEGA Intl. Night School (his most pop-friendly album to date), and realize that WKP's retro-futuristic quality was one of its early stepping stones.
WKP is also a huge signifier of where Palomo was headed in terms of manipulating artificial sounds and merging them with guitar (such as on "Terminally Chill" from Neon Indian's debut album) as well as where he would eventually be in 2016. The fiery, Prince-esque guitar solo that closes out the EP is VEGA Intl. Night School's tone and flavor in a snapshot. WKP is a window into the creative mind of a musician that would soon be an indie superstar and for that, it's priceless.
Enjoy Well Known Pleasures below via Musically Proper's Soundcloud.