Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Izioq "World Of Izioq" (2016)

Time moves by fast! Already we have the second record this year from French composer Izioq. His first of the year, "New Songs For Old Kids", was my least favorite of the four but that's not to say it wasn't a good record, just a tad shorter and a little mellow in its second half as an ambient vibe drifted in. "World Of Izioq" feels like a cross between the first two. There's both recreational melodies of 8-bit wonder and lush, expansive, electronic synths which evolve from the strict set of oldskool video game sounds. In places we hear glimmers of new ideas and inspirations too which become some of my favorite moments in this latest record.

Again its a true homage to the innocence of childhood in the world of retro gaming and spirited imagination. With nostalgic carefree melodies and atmospheres of wonder there is no weight or burden for the listener. Its grounded in that innocence and is reflected so well by the record cover with its cuddly characters and welcoming smiles illuminated in the navy blue night by a friendly fire with the biggest smile. Kick starting the show with the self titled track we are brought into a rather jovial and lively upbeat set of melodies dancing around one another like the title screen of a game. As the mood continues in "Adventure Time" where we hear a distinctive accent as the song breaks for a slower moment. It may be me but I hear welcome echos of Final Fantasy and Nobuo Uematsu's story telling melodies. Again it emerges in the elegant "I Still Haven't Played Minecraft" where a flute like lead calls out a peaceful melody over lush strings and soft pianos. There are other moments where this noticeably different style emerges and it sounds fantastic, fitting in well with the overall theme.

In "The Passiest" there's an adorable moment where the song drops out to hear the clicking of controller buttons and the sound effects of retro games coming though television speakers. Its a charming touch and is very much the point of the record which develops some moodier, slower songs in the second half but never at any moment feeling a drop of sadness, with exception to Phill Collins. As we get to the back end of the record it unwinds with more abstractions and dream like melodies, finishing an arc from start to end that is quite satisfying for the thirty five minutes it runs for. A solid record and quite predictable one too. Although a few bright moments of creativity shone through this was very grounded in what has been established so far and expanded the depths of songs available for that Izioq itch.

Favorite Tracks: Adventure Time, I Still Haven't Played Minecraft, Bangers And Mash, Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat, Song To My Cat, Mind On The Moon
Rating: 7/10