Alexis Gideon Flight of the Liophant

A "liophant,” according to the album art of Flight of the Liophant, is some kind of winged elephant/lion hybrid. Portland’s Alexis Gideon has built this album on similar absurdities and unlikely crosspollinations. Gideon goo-ifies and moulds together dream folk, casio synths, slide guitars, drum machines, samplers and distortion pedals into a wonderfully brazen set of songs. Best of all though are Gideon’s raps, laden with non-sequiturs, which glue the album together. While the warped awesome daftness of lines like "When I smack back half clap rat pack dung wrap/left floating in the wind like a nut sac” will certainly be lost on some listeners, Gideon’s playful delivery and tinny beats are wonderful vehicles for his all-too-likeable sense of humour. But this isn’t all ironic MCing and genre mashing — there’s real skill and imagination in how Gideon has refracted his myriad of influences into a cohesive depiction of his creative consciousness. That this depiction is represented visually by a "liophant” is all too appropriate. (Sickroom)