One of Hyperdub's many forward-thinking talents, Ikonika follows on from the exceptional Contact, Want, Love, Have album with four dancefloor-orientated versions of the album's highlights. Rejigged with DJs in mind, songs like "Look (Final Boss Stage)" are given longer intros for greater mixing potential, and they'll certainly create heavy dancefloor moments. Listen to the rollicking kwaito funk of "Psoriasis" if you don't believe us - that walking synthline has to be one of the highlights of the year!
Having left some breathing room after her Hyperdub album Contact, Love, Want, Have, Sara Abdel-Hamid is back in the fray with the long-awaited party rocker "I Make Lists". Fusing a taut breakbeat with nagging trance stabs may seem like an unlikely pairing, but everything gets pinned down by the warmth of the bassline before the euphoric pads that come in to meld everything together in the track's climax. "Take Pictures" opts for a different tack with a kind of electro house daubed in melancholia and acid, while "Catch Vibes" bashes out on a more overtly peak time rave tip. With six fully realised tracks there's plenty of heat to be enjoyed and smashed out in the dance on this EP.
The title for West London producer Ikonika's second album Aerotropolis supposedly refers to a city centred around an airport, and was apparently chosen because the album is "about height, getting high and become distant". It supposedly underwent more significant polish than her previous productions and it shows; lead single "Beach Mode" sounds like a classic '80s house track, while "Mr Cake" glimmers with all the sheen of classic US boogie and the shimmering arp of "Eternal Mode" shows hints of disco in its DNA. But Ikonika's connection to the darker strains of UK dance music still shine through; the thick bass and syncopated rhythms of "Manchego" are pure grime while the monolithic "Mega Church" sounds like futuristic, high concept dubstep. Incredible stuff.
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