PopMatters home | short takes home | archivesPopMatters Music Short Takes
Igloo, Igloo (Bubblecore)
Igloo's debut is a collaborative side project by Adam Pierce of the experimental New York band, Mice Parade, and Doro Tachler of the German group Alles Wie Gross. Igloo is an imaginative, mostly instrumental record. The album expands on Mice Parade's Obrigado Saudade's Latin-inflected percussions and incorporates ambient electronic arrangements with German and English vocals (actually, chants) on the record's eight tracks. The album was home recorded on a cassette four-track and on a Fostex half-inch tape machine. This gives Igloo a crisp quality that would have been subdued in a larger recording studio. The result is an album that at times is more suitable for background, coffee shop music or something that just Mice Parade fans would enjoy. Perhaps it's that Igloo treads the same familiar territory already explored by other bands.
For example, the first song, "Cricket", treads an Uwe Schmidt (Senor Coconut) percussion, while "Flashback", prefers a backward Kid A musical track with accompanying chants. While these beginning tracks lay the album's ambient foundation, the acoustic sing-along "Found" is a simple melodic pop song that introduces structured lyrics (and once again recalls Senor Coconut) before morphing into an atmospheric guitar instrumental. Aside from allusions to Senor Coconut (who exemplify the way electronic music should sound if it wasn't electronic) and Radiohead, Igloo's stronger, more original tracks are the up-tempo songs like the tropicalia two-step of "Frog" or the Afro-Caribbean feel of "A Ye Yo." These two songs are also the most uplifting tracks on the album. Pierce constructs them with intricate arrangements and the minimal use of vocals only work as ornate dressing to Pierce's compositions. Although, Igloo is 40 minutes of lo-fi acoustics that span only eight tracks, any more would definitely make this album taxing.