Monday, 29 June 2015

Izioq "Retro Life" (2015)


Emerging from the from the year 1982 this mysterious musician "Izioq", a name that looks confusing to pronounce, brings us a dose of nostalgic bliss with a retroactive worship of childhood memories inspired by the technical limitations of early computer game consoles. The cover alone gives you a strong sense of what to expect, and behind the hood we find a dazzling production that brings the best out of the buzz-saws, sine waves and digital synths of times gone by. It is not an unfamiliar concept, but on this project the focus is on the charm of the era.

On "Retro Life" the listener can take a step back in time as these songs allure like lullabies swooning you into a simpler, innocent existence, one very familiar for 90s kids with each of the track titles referencing the culture of that time. The titles are direct and so is this music which doesn't over extend itself, yet finds a balance to develop short layered compositions with jubilant, delightful melodies that transcend the simplicity they are reflecting. The compositions are adept with the techniques used in 90s VGM and even finds moments to integrate the ambient and "power up" effects into them. These songs are deep, heart felt and meaningful, all of which is apparent on the glimmering surface of every song which has a story to tell.

The compositions have a grace thats amplified by the gorgeous production, so carefully respecting the original sounds and delivering them in layers with soft reverbs that like them ooze and meld together for a rich and polished tone that can do no wrong. The chemistry is sublime and powerful, allowing the expression to shine through. For all I love and respect about this record it does not suck me in as much as id like. These sounds and the nostalgia it worships are not one I share, but I hear it clearly, on a personal level its a charming listen, but objectively id say a very special one.

Rating: 6/10

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