Chinese Nü Yr
is a trainwreck, its visual aesthetic is a tired and ugly plasterboard of vomitous, childish imagery. The conceptual themes behind Seamus Malliagh/Iglooghost’s music are about as flaccid and unappealing as the visuals promise, so much so that they don’t even deserve a moment’s notice in relation to what is the only saving grace of this unfortunately-named EP: the music.
And it’s in that spirit that the final nail in the coffin for Chinese Nü Yr
is a depressing detriment to what could be something truly wonderful: it’s too short.
Despite all of the conceptual, visual and general aesthetics of Iglooghost’s 16-minute EP, the music is a delightful tapestry of colourful plunderphonic ambiance, sampled glitch beats and hip-hop rhythms that roll through multiple vicissitudes over a fleeting and sporadic runtime. It’s a difficult notion to dislike something as musically complex but simultaneously engaging as this, the sugary melodies are a pure joy to absorb as it layers in pitch-shifted voices through ambient bridges and heavily detailed beats.
Opening track ‘Xiangjiao’ is a fast-paced and short-lived run through these initial styles. ‘Mametchi / Usohachi’ is a bit more deliberate in its tone, with Malliagh’s nostalgic-sounding samples feeling like Daniel Lopatin meeting hip-hop with a rap verse by Mr. Yote in its final moments. ‘Gold Coat’ is the album’s high point with a repetitious vocal harmony rising and falling with the music’s writhing, wiggling and molasses-like structure, a style that just begs to be explored more as it demonstrates the album’s most addictive and diverse qualities, as well as the greatest strengths of Malliagh’s songwriting. ‘Peach Rift’ closes out the EP with the bulk of its runtime, which is more or less a culmination of all facets of the previous tracks, and ends with a conclusive tie-in to the opening tracks first few seconds.
Though Chinese Nü Yr
explores such dynamism and rich musical patchwork, it leaves the listener wanting, and unfulfilled. Such carefully constructed music begs for a larger platform, a bigger, fuller voice. And through this, its greatest quality becomes its greatest flaw, as not even the beautiful music can rally enough enthusiasm and energy for this to be anything more than a promising footnote in your music library, or Iglooghost’s discography.