So what is Igloo Trax?
Review by Paul Lloyd (www.igloomag.com
). Igloo Trax Volume 1 was originally released in September 2004 as a limited run CDR and re-released digitally in early 2010.
Igloo Trax Vol. 1 is a compilation of predominately electronic tunes that are no longer available via the website. With contributions from around the map, and from artists known and unknown on the electronic music scene, the content of the Igloo Trax Vol. 1 CD is stylistically diverse but keeps a watchful eye on quality control. Encompassing glitch, abstract, melody, drum ‘n’ bass and slanted techno throughout its course, Igloo Trax Vol.1 has something for everyone.
Opening with the storming “The Frigid Sigh Got Me High” by Eight Frozen Modules (8FM), Igloo Trax Vol. 1 greets you with a blast of hard hitting abstract beats followed by the equally obscure cutup technique of Add’s “Havohood.” Whilst both tracks are dense and busy, 8FM concentrates on making his track an enjoyable romp while Add slowly introduces some structure resulting in the fusion of cutup sounds and piano melody. Another Electronic Musician (AEM) brings fast bouncy beats and clockwork Oriental chimes to create a catchy almost childlike charm in the form of “Clearly Stated.”
On a more relaxed tip are Broca’s “Q=A” and Maps & Diagrams’ “Sova Bureau,” both from the UK’s Cactus Island label, who introduce a sense of calm with their gentle rhythmic beats and flowing swathes of synth beauty; Maps and Diagrams adds a computerised voice to capture a classic electronic mood. Calmer still is Ochre’s aptly titled “REM Sleep Research,” which is beautifully melodic and dreamlike with perfectly paced rhythmic beats. Displacer’s “Artificial Living” is similarly melodic but adds a layer of metallic breakbeats to form an atmospheric rhythmic noise creation. Maintaining with the mellower side of the compilation is Ecotone’s “Mei Mau,” with its dubbed bassline, relaxed breaks and tonal backdrop. Of comparable construction but with a sharper edge is Line Noise’s “THC Signoff.”
Shifting back to a glitchier and more techno orientated sound is edIT’s “4am in Four Parts,” which starts out with disjointed buzzes, slowing the pace for a while before turning into a techno anthem by its close. Following edIT is Exillon with “One Night of Raving Summarized in 4:55,” a full-on rave track with an experimental edge that breaks down in to a dark swirling atmospheric journey. Taking a slightly different approach to things is Mad EP with the jazzy beats of “Mathamaddeck: Cinco Dan Mayo,” where a catchy saxophone loop and some addictive breaks are joined by a rap sample for good measure. Also making an appearance is n5MD’s Portland with “Security 80,” an ominous sub-2 minute track that pairs a vibrating tonal backdrop with springy almost glitchy beats. Lightening the mood is Renku with the intriguing proposition of “C001-01,” an initially bass driven track that evolves into a rhythmic percussive take on itself, subtly switching its composition as it progresses. Closing the compilation is Un-Co with “Syntecs,” an ambient leftfield techno track with drifting tones, computer blips and an assortment of rhythmic beats.
For a first release, Igloo Trax Vol. 1 is quite an achievement. Collected together are 15 tracks covering a diverse range of styles, all of a consistently high standard, from new and familiar artists resulting in an album that is both cohesive and enjoyable. There really is something for every electronic taste to be found on this compilation.
released September 2, 2004
All tracks originally published by Igloo Magazine (www.igloomag.com
) and associated artists in September 2004. Re-released with permission as a digital download via Bandcamp in February 2010.
Compiled by Pietro Da Sacco (email@example.com). Mastered by Mike Wells (5-25 Audio / Mike Wells Mastering). Layout by Michael Morton (Displacer). Track 1 courtesy of Zod Records (USA); Track 5 courtesy of M-Tronik Records (France).