Review Summary: A series of tubes.
Listening to the first official LP from up-and-coming producer Iglooghost would probably make the listener think Mr. Ghost has spent years harnessing his craft. He’s in the same vein as Flying Lotus
, who released Neo Wax Bloom
on his own imprint, Brainfeeder Records. FlyLo has been making music for over a decade, so he must think this new producer is on the same level in order to sign him. However, a quick image search reveals the truth: Iglooghost is a kid. Bandcamp’s description of his debut album says it was released “two years to the day since he made his debut as a teenager” on Brainfeeder. This blend of two cultures, the style of hyperactive and immense beats and the simple reality of being a teenager on the Internet, plays a crucial role in this record.
From the very first seconds of the album to the end when it all evaporates into a mist, every tiny gap in the music has been packed with pitched up vocals from unrecognizable rap songs. Some samples can be placed, such as the track ‘Teal Yomi / Olivine’, which contains lines from a deep-voiced rap verse that takes up the second half of the track. For nearly every other case, the syllables have been chopped and screwed to a point beyond recognition. This makes it difficult to pin any words to Neo Wax Bloom
, whether you want to review it or just write a lyric sheet. Everything is so dense and wacky. Like the Internet itself, the amount of information being run through it is inconceivably large. All of that has been compressed into a singularity, and Iglooghost arranges it into 11 songs for this album.
As for the songs themselves, it can take a long time for different songs to stand out as either positives or negatives. There are no breaks or pauses. Each song blends into the one that came before it and leads into the next one, so songs like ‘Super Ink Burst’ sound nearly indistinguishable from ‘Pale Eyes’ and ‘Bug Thief’. There are certainly slower tracks, though, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easier to digest. In fact, this is where Iglooghost’s production can really shine. There is more space for sounds to fit between every beat, and the song ‘Infinite Mint’ becomes something beautiful. Female-sounding vocals that don’t sound heavily edited or chopped up are a wonderful finishing touch.
If there’s anything negative to say about the album, it’s the part that you can’t hear. A unifying theme and story has tried to tie all of Iglooghost’s music together. On this album in particular, there’s talk of a pair of giant eyeballs floating around a mythical world, that then crash into the planet and encounter characters such as Lummo, a blind witch who is training a clan of melon-coloured babies. This kind of concept isn’t bad in itself; there have been plenty of splendid albums in history that either have a crazy thesis or silly titles. This story, though, is barely present at all in the music. No listener would’ve ever guessed there was any sort of universe in the music unless they examined the artwork with an incredibly careful eye, or knew outside information.
Despite the oddly-placed story behind Neo Wax Bloom
, it’s still an amazing album by itself. Every song is cohesive, and showcases what sounds like an eternity of work. The bounciness and general playfulness is dripping from every minute, making it impossible to feel malaise while listening. It’s so uppity
. Any fan of pop music, hip-hop or breakbeat/IDM beats should fine so much joy in this.