The kitchen sink has been well and truly played with
Iglooghost popped onto my radar when I saw them mentioned in Bandcamp’s albums of the year last year. Iglooghost is an Irish electronica producer whose often mixing weird and wonderful sounds in a chibi-happy cartwheel way and with my hyper Vocaloid loving hat on, I really enjoyed the sound. Releasing two EP’s together, Steel Mogu and Clear Tamei, (inspired by his love of Pokemon apparently) means that music is split over two releases but musically they don’t really sound or feel all that dissimilar from each other. They are both well-formed song structures and each tells their own story in Iglooghost’s imaginary world of Mamu, where his albums take place.
Clear Tamei is more melodic with fusions of traditional eastern instruments thrown in for good measure between metallic crashes and smashes throughout, almost veering on industrial at times. It’s the melodic approach to all the tracks that bring in the human element. Be it in the warm and joyful tuned percussion in “New Vectors”, or the exuberant bursts of drum n bass alongside music box spasms and piano furls in “Clear Tamei”. The title track itself flips between a garage like beat, drum n bass and symphonic ambience and j-pop in a blink of an eye. It sounds like an epileptic fit inside of a drugged up episode of Tellytubbies and that is exactly why I love it. “Nama” has gentle nods to the chiptune genre which underneath feels like a huge inspiration to Iglooghost’s style before the electro-reggae closer of “Shrine Hacker” mixes heavy beats with woodwind, strings, bells and snippets of voices that have been deep fried in sweet, sweet sugar. I’ve no idea of the lyrics, but I can’t help but move about to it. It’s that unhinged joy that is the signature move for Iglooghost and it’s here in spades.
Steel Mogu is more focused in the feeling of multiple instruments. If I could liken it to a game, Clear Tamei is the level in the dark forest, Steel Mogu is the dark cave level. Here it’s all about harshness as the brooding ambience of the title track and then the aggressive retro throwback “Black Light Ultra” shows. The latter of the two is like a lost early 90’s Prodigy song that’s been sent to another world to be remixed. “Mei Mode” continues down the darker path with complex dissonance and so much twisted noise and vocal samples that become siren noises – you’ll be left guessing what you’ll hear next. The EP ends in the futuristic techno “Niteracer” which pulls no punches either with its shimmering synths and it’s stop/start on/off volume trickery to make every sound explode at you in a visceral way.
Although they really could combine to make a full album if you wanted to, both EP’s are an excellent continuation of the world of Mamu where strange myths and legends weave around crazy riffs and breakneck drums. There’s nothing quite as mashed up as Iglooghost and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Superb.
Recommended track: Black Light Ultra
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