It's taken me a while, but I've finally grown into this record and learned to love it. Sometimes it just takes some mindless listening while preoccupied to let the familiarity and mood settle in. When I first spun this one I was initially turned of by the productions change of direction and general versatility. In hits me now like a slap to the face what this records about, on "My Own Private Video Game" Izioq ditches the recreational nostalgic aesthetics of "Retro Life" in favor of his own fantasy video game world. Possessing all the charm of its predecessor, this record plays out enchanting melodies in a new and adapt aesthetic.
Loosening up on the rulebook, the aesthetics in the percussion department see the biggest change, with tightly compressed kicks, snappy snares and tinny hi hats comprising a rigid sense of groove that brings a passionate off kilt groove to these tracks with beats that take control of the ride in the moments they crop into the songs. Avoiding any simplistic or entry level beats, Izioq gives the groove a breath of life that add another level to the songs character, like on "Wallow In Sorrow" with tight shuffling snare grooves or "Soundtrack Of A Soul" where the percussion becomes part of the atmosphere. This change in aesthetics extends to the electronics too which take full use of dense reverbs and a wide range of waves that wouldn't apply in the previous context. The expansion gives much freedom that Izioq flourishes in, "Pixel Cemetery" and "A Link To Our Past" using big atmospheric synths to guide some fantastic moments in the songs.
The chemistry between the texture and the music itself is spot on. As I said Izioq flourishes here and we get a collection of charming songs that dazzle and humble in the delights of imagination. There's warm, uplifting vibes to be felt, all in a relevant and meaningful context that explore many themes. One of the albums strengths is just how much substance there is from start to end and in the middle there's a run of songs that really hit the mark for me. These compositions have a dexterity and creativity that keep these short fresh songs continually evolving and unraveling as many of the multiple layers of melodies play and dance with one another and I just love how attentive the percussion is to this, how it will drop in and out, letting the focus shift without feeling forced.
After many listens through I barely recognize that initial reaction I had and I find myself truly loving this record and experimentation that has come to this sound and approach. The production is solid, the creative ideas are flowing and the execution is on point. Can't wait to hear whats next.
Favorite Songs: Reset, A Link To Our Past, Wallow In Sorrow, Soundtrack Of A Soul, I Guess I Should Play Minecraft, Seiklus Sky