Footwork is no longer confined to underground venues in the South Side of Chicago. The twisted style of house music has evolved to become a muse for electronic music producers across the globe, infecting deep into the rosters of prominent UK labels such as Hyperdub and Planet Mu. This expansion of the genre is no more apparent than when listening to this latest release from 20-year-old Irish producer Iglooghost.
Neō Wax Bloom blends frantic, syncopated footwork rhythms through grime, bass, RnB and pop. Although this collage of sounds reads like a complete mess, it provides a surprisingly uniform product, making it unsurprising that the album was released on the label of wonky pioneer Flying Lotus. Soulful vocal samples and sparkly synth lines neatly weave between hard kicks and deep bass, perhaps best heard on ‘White Gum’: a 160BPM+ grime banger which ends in a particularly uplifting breakdown. The grime-influenced tracks in general tend to stand out on the album. Pitch-shifted rapping becomes just another instrument in the onslaught of sine-waves and dirty kicks washing over you.
On the more pop and RnB influenced tracks an undeniable Asian influence shines through. Tracks contain scattered string plucks and vocal samples, reminiscent of the productions of Japanese Shibuya-kei artists such as Cornelius. ‘Infinite Mint’ utilises layers of breathy vocals and bursts of percussion to make something both loud and intimate. Although, within this intense maximalism lies the albums downfall. Sometimes the footwork skeleton of a song is so obscured in overdubs the music starts to feel fussy and robotic. This is particularly true on the frenzied outro ‘Göd Grid’.
Despite this, the album presents a riveting collection of wonky-footwork. In a genre full of young and ambitious producers, Iglooghost has undoubtedly distinguished himself from the crowd.
Neo Wax Bloom
Artist: Iglooghost. Label: Brainfeeder. Top Tracks: Sōlar Blade; White Gum, Infinite Mint. For Fans Of: Jlin, Flying Lotus, PC Music. 40 minutes