Artist: Neo Geodesia
Album: 2562 Neon Flames
Format: Digital / Tape
Master: John Hannon
Artwork: Saphy Vong
Release Date: 11th April 2020
The razor-sharp edge of life, death and rebirth is explored with an almost hallucinatory intensity in Saphy Vong’s new album 2562 Neon Flames, his first under the name Neo Geodesia. The album, which is dedicated to his mother Chun Leng and released two years after her death, revisits her sudden, tragic, shocking loss during the celebration of Khmer New Year 2562. It was made during a particularly trauma and cathartic time.
The compositions are sonic tales synchronously decoding and regenerating customary patterns of thought in nature; aural designs of crisis and harmony where contemporary meets folklore, orchestrating an artificial saga with a variety of illuminations and analysis. A matrix of dazzling sequencers, warped vocal samples, synthetic instruments, Khmer Melismatic Smot, Kantoam Ming (Funeral Orchestra), Beksloy, Karaoke DVDs, Abstract electronic and personal archives are arranged into holograms of dreams. Through digital superimposition processes, instruments mutate and take on new forms of articulation. Crystalline organs, mourning voices and insistent Bamboo flutes dance with metal drums and traditional Angkorian percussion as compositional schizophrenia or absurd fusion.
Saphy was due to return to Cambodia in April 2020, a trip which was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak in another cycle of bad luck, displacement, missed connection and sickness. This album is for all diaspora who struggle to return to a country, and for all parents like Chun Leng, who balance life between returning and helping relatives and making a new life for herself and her family. It is for everyone who has searched for a country, lost a parent, or found joy and new life in the bitter ashes of grief. Most of all, it is for Chun Leng.
'‘Typhoon Ω Moni Mekhala’ resolves from anticipation and frenetic discord into something more dreamlike, with delicately plucked and breathy arpeggios melting into sombre synth-organ – it evokes some massive futuristic requiem and cinematic longing; proto-religious and majestic.' IF ONLY UK
'It is this juxtaposition of life and death that will be the common ground for 2562 Neon Flames. By placing itself on the razor’s edge between life, death, and rebirth, Neo Geodesia intensely explores the despair of mourning, family unity, disillusion, and existential triumph against a sea of immense sorrow. ' Couvre x Chefs
'Sugar sweet eclecticism' Mixmag
'The restless nature of the music reflects that of the mind in crisis. Ideas stroll and gallop through the brain.' A Closer Listen
'Most ecstatic thing I’ve heard in ages, all the more remarkable considering the sadness which surrounds it.. There’s no right way to mourn or process death, and on 2562 Neon Flames, Neo Geodesia shows that sometimes the greatest tribute is to capture the vibrancy of life.' The Quietus
supported by 27 fans who also own “2562 Neon Flames”
It was a bit too much and samey by the end for me, but if you like dark atmospheres, if you are really interested in sound design or you enjoy the challenge of music that tries to wear you down, you should definitely check this record out.
I loved the echo-drenched drums and percussion and synths and hard to describe sounds on this, but it stays with the same sonic ideas for too long for me to enjoy to try to withstand the harsh wall of sounds minisculebarber