At the forefront of avant-garde creation, we find Iglooghost. His complex, rich and sometimes hermetic experimentation have earned him a spot among the most innovative creators of our time. His newest album, Tidal Memory Exo, is just another testament to his incredible skills—both musical and audio-visual. Consisting of twelve different tracks, it feels like chaos is the common thread uniting them. Multilayered and unexpected, each has a life of its own, and it takes you to places your mind had never previously been to.
His newest record is also violent. The sound is pummelling, dark, almost post-apocalyptic. “After making such a pastoral, serene record with Lei Line Eon [his previous album], I immediately wanted to swing the pendulum into the opposite direction and make something mechanical, feral, and polluted,” he tells us in this interview. The title might give it away, but this album is heavily influenced by water. You can imagine it isn’t the calm, crystal clear waters of the Seychelles though. Instead, it’s “the big ugly brown waves smashing into the concrete seafront” of a little village on the Kent coast that served as inspiration to Seamus, the artist behind the moniker Iglooghost. He got stuck there and ended up squatting in a garage, where he wrote and produced most of these songs. Today, we speak with the artist about his new record as well as his upcoming tour, his collab with Marina Herlop, and more.
Hi Seamus, thank you for speaking with us. We interviewed you back in 2019 Since then, you’ve worked tirelessly and released a lot of music, collaborated with other artists and producers, toured the world, etc. Where do you feel you stand now compared to five years ago, both personally and artistically?
I just read that article—what a little rascal. I am definitely a bit uglier now. I think since then, I’ve managed to redefine what Iglooghost is on a  personal level to me—I think back then, I genuinely believed I needed to make twenty sequels to my first album. Everything is so much more exciting to me now. I know every album can be its own, self-contained ecosystem. I did make a museum though, so I’m glad I didn’t 100% betray my younger self.
Congratulations on Tidal Memory Exo, your newest album. It’s been three years since you released the previous one, Lei Line Eon, so I imagine you’ve spent this time crafting it. I’ve read that you made this album while squatting within an abandoned garage on the Kent coast. What were you doing there, and how would you say that atmosphere/situation shaped the album?
I got stuck there because a giant magnetic storm isolated the coastal town from the rest of the country. There’s loads of prehistoric mysterious junk washing up on the beaches and rumours of ancient trilobites in the sewers. The town has its own shitty DIY version of the internet that I’ve been hanging out on and trying to get in on the local music scenes. They don’t really like me though. The album is kind of my interpretation of the Tidal Scene.
I might be wrong, but I’d say this album sounds more violent than previous releases, it’s almost post-apocalyptic. Could you give us an insight into how you crafted these songs and the overall sound of the record?
I was really inspired by the big ugly brown waves smashing into the concrete seafront. I’d ride my bike along there every morning and seagulls would dive-bomb me while I listened to the demos. I would stare into the rock pools in the evening and watch little decapods devour each other in the bronze sunset. After making such a pastoral, serene record with Lei Line Eon, I immediately wanted to swing the pendulum into the opposite direction and make something mechanical, feral, and polluted.
As far as I’m concerned, this is the first time you sing or use your voice in your songs. Why do you feel this was the right time to do it, and what was it like incorporating this new element to your process?
It’s always quietly been in there somewhere, in whispers or pitched/sped up. But I found it so exciting to carve out a space in the song for my actual raw vocals, forcing me to think a lot differently about how to build songs and avoid the classic go-to tricks. I like yelling and jumping around… now I feel like I can do that at shows and not be imprisoned behind my laptop.
Water plays a paramount role in the album. It’s an extremely versatile element, which can go from calm and relaxing to violent and destructive. I guess it was the latter that inspired you most. But could you tell us in what ways has water been important in Tidal Memory Exo? From the album’s title idea to the the songs per se.
It’s funny you say that… the really earliest prototype of the album was about rivers and ponds and streams. I was thinking more about the womb-like qualities of water and how to tiny organisms it’s almost like this slow-moving thick gel. In the end, I was going for more like a pummelling jet cannon of polluted primordial salt water.
The songs are incredibly intricate. They have lots of different layers, involve different synths and tools, the rhythms are hard to follow sometimes from all of the sudden changes… There’s a lot of complexity to them. I understand it takes you a lot of time to produce them. When do you know a song is finished?
I definitely haven’t considered a song finished recently unless I’ve got vocals fully embedded into it. It sounds so weird to say that after being known for instrumental music. I also really need a song to sound like its own separate colour—in the way that Bionicles have distinct beings with their own niche and elemental theming. I find it really hard to finish a song that has a redundant purpose to me at least.
“I was really inspired by the big ugly brown waves smashing into the concrete seafront. After making such a pastoral, serene record with Lei Line Eon, I immediately wanted to swing the pendulum into the opposite direction and make something mechanical, feral, and polluted.”
As a curiosity, what would you say was the hardest song to complete in Tidal Memory Exo?
I think the hardest thing to develop was the visual aesthetic and motifs this time. The music came so quickly but I was constantly adding new songs and cutting old songs as I honed in on the imagery. I scrapped an album cover last minute before shooting the final one with Igor Pjörrt, and then everything came together. Igor was the final force that helped me seal this restless album into its final form. But yeah, when I think about the songwriting process, it’s so dwarfed by the 500TB of visuals that I’ve amassed and hacked away at over the last year.
You released Coral Mimic as the first single of the album. Do you feel like it’s the one that best represents the entire record, or were there other reasons behind that choice?
I think it felt like the cheekiest, most polarising choice. The drum pattern is so repetitive and boneheaded… it felt almost illegal to be an Iglooghost tune.
Last year, you worked with the incredibly talented Marina Herlop on Collision Data. I’m obsessed! What was it like working with her, and how do you see your practices complement each other’s?
She’s so good it’s scary. Her music is largely vocal-based but with words and sounds that don’t resemble any spoken language and it sounds constructed like some kind of interlocking mutating garden hedge maze filled with multicolour bird angels or something. My favourite shit ever. I went to send her a fan mail type message a few years ago on Instagram and noticed she’d sent me some really nice messages years and years ago that I never saw, which was crazy to me. Literally nobody is doing it like her right now, I swear.
After releasing most of your music via your own imprint, Tidal Memory Exo is the first record you publish via Luckyme® records, which work with other innovative, avant-garde artists like Nosaj Thing, Nathan Micay, or Baauer. Why that change? What has been the best about it?
Such an honour that they offered to help put the album out. Aside from it just being some teenage internet bucket list shit, they have to be one of the best curated labels of all time. Even their earliest records are still consistent reference points to me and there are echoes from their catalog throughout all of music. They changed how everything sounds. If you are a world wide web music lurker, then you know…
Now that the album is out, you’re touring Europe – including Antwerp, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Lyon, London, and more. I see it’s an A/V show, and as we know from the previous interview, the visual aspect is almost as important in your work as the sonic part. What can you tell us about this new show? How does it complement or even enhance the sonic experience?
It’s gonna be really, really fun. I worked with Yaz XL to make a ton of otherworldly structures and glowing eggs. There’s a big mysterious custom circular rock screen that contains a prehistoric pet that hatches from an egg. I’m gonna jump around and yell and clamber up rockpool structures. I am really excited to be freed from my laptop DAW prison. Come through!