Iglooghost Tidal Memory Exo Review: A Hard-Hitting Genre Mash-Up

The album largely finds the producer confidently carving out his own identity as an electronic music innovator.

Iglooghost, Tidal Memory Exo
Photo: Igor Pjorrt

The difference between Tidal Memory Exo and Iglooghost’s previous album, 2021’s Lei Line Eon, is akin to the difference between a torrential downpour and a gentle drizzle. While both albums showcase Seamus Malliagh’s mastery at crafting dizzyingly dense bass music, the Irish producer’s third studio album deviates from the intricate world-building that characterized his past work, opting instead for relentless sonic maximalism.

Malliagh’s music is characterized by quick tempos and an eclectic mix of instruments—cellos, mallets, flutes, kotos, and drums—but it’s rarely overwhelming. This is due to his meticulous sonic layering and dynamic sense of compositional structure, imbuing his songs with a playful sense of improvisation. A myriad of sounds rush by on Tidal Memory Exo without overlapping too often, maintaining clarity and coherence on tracks like “Alloy Flea” and “Pulse Angel.”

This type of chaotic yet orderly genre-mashing of choppy IDM, larger-than-life techno, deconstructed club, and trippy house is where Malliagh truly excels. As he introduces and adds on element upon element, ensuring that not a single beat cycle repeats itself, the experience of hearing all these parts working together harmoniously is consistently exhilarating.

Advertisement

Even more impressive is Malliagh’s ability to seamlessly incorporate his own voice into his soundscapes. His vocals feature more prominently on Tidal Memory Exo than on his previous projects, and without getting lost in the mix. On the seismic, grime-soaked “Coral Mimic,” Malliagh even distorts his vocals to the point that they almost resemble static noise, perfectly complementing the track’s industrial soundscape.

As always, Malliagh shines when collaborating with outside talent, as on “fluxCocoon,” whose processed female vocals provide a much-needed contrast to his own. Easily the biggest outlier on Tidal Memory Exo, as it abounds in its own ethereal, nocturnal ambiance, “Spawn01” credits a “secret band” called Cyst (who may or may not just be Malliagh and frequent collaborator BABii), whose singer’s fairy-like vocals add a refreshing dash of whimsy to the proceedings.

Aside from “Spawn01,” though, the album’s nonstop ferociousness becomes somewhat predictable. And Malliagh’s use of Brooklyn drill basslines on tracks like “Dewdrop Signal,” where he lowers his voice to a husky rasp in an apparent imitation of Pop Smoke, feels more like posturing than an organic integration of the sound into his own music. Which is a shame since, while it lacks the cohesion and tenderness of Lei Line Eon, Tidal Memory Exo largely finds Malliagh confidently carving out his own identity as an electronic music innovator.

Score: 
 Label: LuckyMe  Release Date: May 10, 2024  Buy: Amazon

Paul Attard

Paul Attard is a New York-based lifeform who enjoys writing about experimental cinema, rap/pop music, games, and anything else that tickles their fancy. Their writing has also appeared in MUBI Notebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

A.G. Cook Britpop Review: An Epic Expedition into Pop’s Past, Present, and Future

Next Story

Beth Gibbons Lives Outgrown Review: A Devastating Portrait of Time’s Creep

xxfseo.com