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Review: Iglooghost, Southbank Centre – 22/01/2022

To say Iglooghost doesn’t do things by halves might be an understatement; taking over the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room for a weekend with an installation based around his recent releases and the music of Lei, he’s created something truly unique. The stage is filled with interactive artefacts created around the musical theme, with some of the elements making up part of the live show. All of this makes for a much more interesting setting than we would have got at a club show, extending the musical vision into a more complete experience.

I was a big fan of the most recent record, Lei Line Eon, and was very interested to see how this style of music would translate to a live performance. I appreciated the way some of the artefacts on stage were used to add to the music; the rocks in the centre largely being used to play back samples which usually added percussively to the tracks. Throughout the set he was joined by fellow producer/vocalist Babii, who provided live vocals for some tracks (from within some kind of futuristic prison, occasionally getting to wonder the stage), really adding a nice quality to the tracks. Half way through the set he was also joined by Miles Spilsbury (of The Physics House Band) on saxophone who’s unique effect laden playing really added to the sound. There are also live vocals from Iglooghost himself, delivered with a unique sound, kind of like a shouted whisper. During the encore fellow collaborator Kai Whiston appears on stage to lend vocals to a new track from the pair of them, Lux 3.

Musically the whole set is wonderful, the intricate soundscapes created are interesting and uplifting and something truly unique. I’ll admit I find it difficult to describe the music of Iglooghost, mainly because it feels like so many influences are drawn together and smashed up repeatedly to create it – there are jazzy elements, there are almost classical elements, there are huge bass lines and glitched out drums. Presenting it in this way, with the setting, the artefacts and the collaborators, creates a really engrossing performance. The artistic vision behind the whole project, from the history of the music to the stage design to the performance itself, is genuinely incredible.

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