Soundbite: “Neo Wax Bloom” by Iglooghost

Irish electronic music producer Seamus Malliagh, better known by his moniker Iglooghost, is steadily shaping up to be a breakout star in the experimental electronic scene. Malliagh debuted in 2014 with his “Treetunnels” EP on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder record label alongside titans of the industry like Mr. Oizo, TOKiMONSTA and Flying Lotus himself. In just four short years, Malliagh has built up a sizable discography with four more EP’s and the recent release of his first full-length record, “Neo Wax Bloom,” on Sept. 29. The record is a marvel of a project from both a technical perspective as well as an innovative one. It is an aggressive, textured and complex experience that rarely dips below 150 BPM. The entire record is masterfully mixed and each song flows into the next perfectly with no delay or any indication that the track has changed.

Best cuts

   “Solar Blade” is a magnificent cut from the first half of the record that fully delivers everything that fans of Iglooghost have come to expect from one of his featured singles. It mixes impossibly fast percussion and booming bass with quirky, cartoon-like sound effects and rhythmic saxophone fills. In any other context, taking all these sounds and throwing them into the blender together probably would not yield the best results. However, Malliagh does not sacrifice melodic structure and rhythmic integrity for overkill on the quirkiness. The cut features clearly defined patterns and breakdowns that reveal new components of their complex layers with each new listen.

   “Zen Champ” is a more conventionally structured cut that features all of the components you would expect in the typical banger of today’s electronic music scene: a melodic and rhythmic intro that builds suspense for a big drop that then melts into a more consistent pattern to conclude. However, the way Malliagh manipulates these staple structural components on the cut is literally breathtaking. The introduction uses bright and playful xylophone riffs and breathy vocal chants to invite the listener in before upping the tempo significantly and then bringing the whole thing to a screeching halt before dropping into the meat of the track. The drop itself is layered with glitchy synths and relentless drums with a surprise electric guitar fill that ties the whole thing together. A return of the hyper speed xylophone from the intro is paired with deep booming bass that leads the tail end of the track until its abrupt end, almost like the finale to a fireworks show.

   “Infinite Mint” featuring Japanese pop singer Cuushe lives up to its name. As the only track on the album that has any semblance of chill, “Infinite Mint” is a long-lasting and refreshing cut that blends thick syrupy bass and methodically stuttering percussion with the thin, airy vocals of Cuushe. Malliagh really displays his penchant for surprising his listeners with the amount of variety and complexity he can fit into a single five-minute track. Just when it seems like the track is over, Malliagh brings it back from complete silence with a fresh, jittery drum fill that textures the whole cut very nicely and makes it impossible to get the full experience from just a single listen.

Closing thoughts

   Iglooghost is a producer that understands what it means to be unique and innovative while still incorporating the tried and true conventions of the genre. “Neo Wax Bloom” is a breathtaking experience from start to finish that never lets itself become stale. With only one full record release under his belt, Seamus Malliagh is already shaping up to become a unique and enigmatic producer. “Neo Wax Bloom” is a top contender for the best electronic project of 2017.

Other great cuts

Peanut Choker; Super Ink Burst; White Gum; God Grid

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