Iglooghost – Neo Wax Bloom (2017)

I’ve been disenfranchised by electronic music for years because it’s lacks a unifying musical identity. With the streaming era of music exploding into the mainstream, we’ve seen dozens of flash in the pan genres pop up that all fit under the “electronic” umbrella: vaporwave, chillwave, future funk, wonky, purple sound, witch house, etc. Some of these have done better and many of these are considered legitimate genres now with influences and new genres influenced by them. However, for the most part, electronic music fails to emotionally engage me because so much of it feels like trial and error. We have all these little flashes and ideas presented on various singles and EPs, but there hasn’t been a full length electronic album to break out of the electronic music niche and really raise the bar for the style in some time. In other words, I often find myself intrigued by electronic music, but rarely excited.

Neo Wax Bloom is the sophomore album from UK producer Iglooghost, and it is that grand, unifying, emotionally engaging electronic album I have been waiting for. It is an album that unites so many different styles together perfectly that’s it’s almost astounding that they had never been combined successfully before. We have aspects of UK bass, wonky, drum and bass, bubblegum bass, glitch pop, and vocal samples that sometimes just sound like straight up pop or UK grime. The whole album plays as an experience – it’s a nonstop thrill ride that changes over and over again, full of special moments, catchy grooves that exist for a split second and are gone, beat changes that are so fantastic they command your attention… I’ve truly never heard anything like Neo Wax Bloom. On double-digit listens, I’m still finding little details that I missed before in every song and the amount of effort that must have gone into producing this album is breathtaking. It’s full, loud, energetic, and just straight up fun. I’ve got absolutely no negatives to say about Neo Wax Bloom. 

It really is an achievement to listen to how well Iglooghost marries these sounds together from so many different types of electronic music and makes them sound like they were meant to be together, generally all in the same song. Neo Wax Bloom plays like an explosion of organized chaos. I am not at all an expert in electronic music, and I was finding little hints or details of a plethora of different genres here. Even categorizing the album into any genre is difficult, and that way it feels special and unique. Each song has so much happening at every moment, and it is positively riveting to hear each detail fit into its role and purpose like a piece of a puzzle. Neo Wax Bloom is diligently and intentionally crafted throughout. I wouldn’t take a second out of any of these songs.

Beyond that, I’m not going to mention specific details I like about each song as I normally do because part of the joy of this album is letting it play all the way through and letting it hit you as it’s designed to be experienced. Again, it’s absolutely packed with highlights, but I just don’t feel like going through those is an appropriate way to discuss this album. Part of the reason for that is that there is a clear life cycle and atmosphere to this album that needs to be experienced for the first time (and each time after that) by the listener. I don’t want to call it a story-line in an album with so few real lyrics, but there is a real emotional curve to the album that each detail in each song works to perpetuate. I feel immensely emotionally connected to the abstract joy and energy the album ruthlessly exudes. Neo Wax Bloom is a powerful and energizing listen in a way that’s almost freeing. The run from the start of the album with “Pale Eyes” to “White Gum” is absolutely phenomenal and essentially perfect. I don’t have tangible qualms with the rest of the album, but this 5-track run is truly legendary. I’m excited just writing about this album to jump back into it again.

I’m sure this review is going to feel short or perhaps a little unfocused. I don’t have a great level of experience with electronic music, and I probably would never have thought to review this album if I hadn’t completely fallen in love with it. Neo Wax Bloom is absolutely incredible. It’s a ceaseless outburst of positive energy packed full of beautifully impressive details that have been perfectly placed in each song. I couldn’t imagine feeling so emotionally connected to an album like this, but Iglooghost has crafted this perfectly chaotic world that I am utterly addicted to. I feel like I’m still discovering new exciting flavors in this album, and I implore my readers to check this out regardless of their experience with electronic music. This about is an absolute joy to listen to – I can’t recommend it enough.

9/10

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