Iglooghost
Steel Mogu


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kirk Bowman USER (56 Reviews)
August 11th, 2018 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: let's ride

Iglooghost is known for his freneticism, and watching his evolution from imitating Low End Theory to someone not only signed to Brainfeeder but also producing its most successful and influential music has been awe-inspiring. And now, somehow, he's only getting faster. On his fourth EP, and tenth long-form original release, his production still engulfs you. Unlike so many other artists, who often struggle to find any middle ground between the slow arrhythmic atmosphere of vaporwave and similar genres and the rapid-fire breaks of footwork, he has managed to pull from the best of both worlds to make something entirely his own, equally Flying Lotus and Aphex Twin, without really sounding like either one.

This specific release is important because not only does it continue on his past legacy but it improves on it. It's not a radical reinvention like Chinese Nu Yr, it's a step or two or three forward and out of the comfort zone. This should be appreciated when an artist is inventive enough that they could easily stick with one style for years to come with no questions asked. From the intro, "First Voids," it already sounds deeper and, oddly, wetter than ever before. But it’s just an engine revving up for the next few tracks. "Steel Moju" is a bit slow after that massive build, but certainly showcases the expanded pallet, with squealing horror strings, Sinjin Hawke-esque choral samples and some extremely visceral vocal-fry bass. This track, despite being the weakest of the 5, is really the best showcase for what the EP is all about, peering down every avenue that the rest of the tracks zoom across. These next three songs are fantastic accelerants, all extremely fast-paced and more importantly wildly momentous. These songs are bridging the gap between IDM and EDM, minus all the stupid connotations those terms entail, something that has expanded its potential territory from headphones to the aux cord. Going along further on this path could lead to legitimate dancefloors (and this is one step closer to that highly anticipated Danny Brown collab with the chipmunked "Ain't It Funny" sample in "Black Light Ultra"). The frantic scratch synths of "Mei Mode" sound like a traditional brostep drop in the best way, and it is genuinely difficult to listen to the finale "Niteracer" without feeling as if you are hurtling forward.

For the first time in his career, it sounds like Seamus has finally succeeded at building his own world. This has clearly been a long-term conceptual goal of his, so it is relieving to see it actually happen. Steel Mogu’s world is fast-paced, urban, dark with flashing lights, and vaguely alien. In embracing this specific path, it does lose some of the emotional resonance gained in Neo Wax Bloom, but that's to be expected from a briefer, less ambitious EP. In the meantime, it's also lost the meandering that so much of Brainfeeder (and experimental electronic music as a whole) is stuck on, which lets Steel Mogu shine just because it shows its intentions. Within a glistening exterior, deeply complex textures and attention-grabbing sounds mark,for the first time, a clear structure: a method to the madness. The joy is in the journey, for once, and the next stop is the destination.



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user ratings (84)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
granitenotebook
August 11th 2018


839 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

streaming: https://iglooghost.bandcamp.com/album/steel-mogu

big thanks to conmaniac and especially OuTbREaKRT for editing and making this a million times better

AsleepInTheBack
August 12th 2018


5914 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"sounds mark,for" needs a space after the comma. I'd also stick a semi colon I place of the comma in "It's not a radical reinvention like Chinese Nu Yr, it's a step or two or three forward and out of the comfort zone."



Other than me being picky, this is a beaut of a review, very convincing recommendation. Been meaning to check out this chap, this a good place to start or nah?

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2018


24322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah lovely stuff, only checked out the other EP but if this is anything like it then im excited

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 15th 2018


24322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

listening to this finally, def a bit darker than clear tamei but that was prob to be expected

neekafat
September 4th 2018


14275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is what music of the future will sound like

bgillesp
September 4th 2018


6574 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this one slightly better but love both

Digging: Grateful Dead - Anthem of the Sun

neekafat
September 4th 2018


14275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wasnt super into the album but yeah these just clicked

Mei Mode especially for some reason

brandontaylor
September 8th 2018


767 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

probably my fave iglooghost release so far.. definitely prefer this project in smaller doses



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