West Indian Girl
West Indian Girl
Label: Astralwerks
Genre: Electronic
Online: Artist Website


In 1963, renowned chemists Bear Owsley and Nick Sands developed a strain of designer LSD which had a reputation for inducing tribal hallucinations. This strain of acid was called "west indian girl." Flash forward forty-some years and however many psychedelic revolutions later to find the Los Angeles duo of Robert James and Francis Ten deciding to call their musical collaboration "West Indian Girl."

Close your eyes, put on West Indian Girl's self-titled 2004 Astralwerks debut, and feel how apt James' and Ten's choice of moniker is: the ensuing auditory hallucination will bring you back indeed, back to a time when Blur were considered shoegazers, when My Bloody Valentine wrote anthems posing as crystalline soundscapes, when U2 was more concerned about the great beyond than politics and Stone Roses vied with Primal Scream as the sexiest, spaciest, stonededest band around.

It's not that West Indian Girl is derivative of those bands, or even sounds like them per se, as much as it is born out of a similar ethos. Like those bands, all deeply transformed by England's post-Acid House movement, West Indian Girl is born out of a similar ethos: a devotion to the expansion of all things mental, musical and mood elevating, a desire to find that transcendent missing link between rock's human pulse and electronica's man-machine meltdown. At the same time, West Indian Girl are no mere Anglophile nostalgists but true products of their time and environment. West Indian Girl remain next-level, next-generation journey-to-the-center-of-your-mind rock, the v.2.0 version: The first single Hollywood suggest the abandon of a dreamy, slightly unreal Southern California landscape just as "Madchester" dance-rock evoked vagabond free parties in the middle of some remote pastoral field.