27 Nov In:Focus / Iglooghost
The manic, hyperactive, and sometimes macabre planet that Flying Lotus has created in Brainfeeder is an entity so unique in hip-hop and electronic music that it should almost exist in another galaxy. Since its inception in 2008 Brainfeeder has almost single-handedly ushered in a weird and wonderful era for underground electronica, providing a suitable home for the lightning fast bass licks of Thundercat and George Clinton’s Afrofuturist soundscapes to Kamasi Washington, Teebs and TOKiMONSTA.
Over the years Brainfeeder has travelled the Atlantic and have created a British contingent to the label. Ross From Friends and Lapalux have found a home in Brainfeeder for their technicolour productions. So too has Iglooghost, who since 2015 and his second EP ‘Chinese Nü Yr’ has found a suitably strange home in Brainfeeder for his madcap productions.
Iglooghost’s music glistens like a disco ball made from bubblegum spinning at 5000MPH and smashes together alien samples and soundscapes in a single 2 minute track. It’s an audial landscape that’s unique to Iglooghost. Visually, as found in the video to his new single ‘Clear Tamei’, he’s crafted his own folklorish ecosystem of cartoon characters and brightly coloured mascots who have also been introduced to his new, upgraded live show for 2018.
Before Iglooghost touches down at The Marble Factory and introduces us to his world on 14th December alongside Lapalux and a 3D show from Brainfeeder boss man himself Flying Lotus, we delve into the madcap mind of Iglooghost to talk Digimon, starting a book club with Ross From Friends, and death.
What sorts of cartoons, films, games or pop culture characters were you obsessed by growing up? Has that inspired and influenced you becoming Iglooghost?
When I was a kid I used to be obsessed with anything with weird creatures or lil guys in it. It started with dinosaurs but turned into anything with its own fake ecosystem & biology. Stuff like Pokemon, Digimon, Monster Rancher, Cardcaptors, Beyblade… that kinda shit. I kinda realised now I’m older I pretty much get immediately bored of anything that doesn’t feel like a living thing. I like drawing eyeballs because it feels like the simplest way of anthropomorphising something inanimate. Slap em on anything and suddenly you empathise with like a fuckin piece of paper or whatever.
Given you grew up where the Hovis advert was filmed, how did this vision of stereotypical Britishness lead you to the hyperactive music you make today?
Hardly at all – but I reckon growing up by trees and hills and stuff helped me make things up in my head. I used to imagine stuff running around and jumping off branches all day and big giants on hills in the horizon.
How have Flying Lotus and Brainfeeder allowed you to explore your weirdness in your music and visuals? Before you joined the label was it perhaps difficult to find a suitable outlet for that?
I found out about FlyLo on Last.fm when I was like 13 or something and I stole his ‘Reset EP’ from Mediafire. I thought it ruled but it wasn’t until I heard ‘Cosmogramma’ that my fucking lid got flipped off. I remember putting it on in the background and hanging out with my friends and it just fucking stole me away.
It was in the middle of summer a few days before my friend Luke moved to America and we were just all fucking around in my room doing something stupid on the internet… and that first track ‘Clock Catcher’ just stole me away. Everything became a big ass blur and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I think I let out like a ‘yo guys this is crazy’ or something but everyone was distracted with something on a laptop I think. I couldn’t fuckin’ believe how visceral and pulverising that song was. It felt like being on a hyperspeed bullet train or being blasted somewhere. That song still almost physically makes me feel a forward motion.
Alongside names like Lapalux and Ross From Friends do you think of yourself as a British contingent to Brainfeeder? Do you all hang out? Do you prank call each other?
I need to invite them both round for tea now I live in London. Fuck it I might start a book club.
Your live set has gone from pushing buttons to incorporating dancers, live A/V and your own Iglooghost mascots. Where did the idea for this layered live show originate, and why did you want to take your music beyond ‘pushing buttons’?
I got so bored of doing normal ass sets and it just didn’t feel fitting to my music, my visuals and my world. I also used to always think about how – as far as anyone’s concerned – I could just be on my emails when I perform. I wanted to poke fun at that and make an entire 45 minute visual show where it shows what I’m doing on my laptop. I get hacked and everyone sends me mean messages. Also I download digital eggs and hatch them.
Where do your characters come from? Are they creations made by yourself, inspired by friends or family maybe?
They’re real and I see more and more in real life every day.
Are you trying to tell a story or tale through your live show? It definitely strikes me as a form of futuristic folklore…
Kinda… it’s like a 2018 laptop version of ancient stories about mischievous sprites and imps. But it’s also true.
Your music sounds like it’s scoring a pop music dystopia, are you a fan of pop music?
I listen to it a lot but I dunno how much trickles in to my music. If I see any music video with over a million views I usually click it even if it’s some boring new Swae Lee song where he’s doing a cash grab moombahton joint. It’s all fascinating to me. I try and log all the trends and aesthetic choices in my head so I can build up like a monthly record of how it’s all changing. I’ve been making pop songs with my girlfriend at night when I wanna do music that’s less serious. It’s well fun and we been trying to make songs that sounds like fucking Tyga and Chris Brown except with sound design.
And finally, whatever it may be, what are a few of the things we can expect from you next?
I’m trying to make as many new things as I can and I have seven million really cool ideas and I’m scared I’m gonna die tomorrow or something so I’m trying to do them all really fast.
Iglooghost joins us on the 14th December: Tickets here