Review: As ever, the legendary production stylings of Ikonika have done it again as she unveils an absolutely stunning selection here on Don't Be Afraid' under the EP name 'Bodies'. It's always an enjoyable experience taking in one of her new EP's, but this one stands out for sure as we firstly dive into the stunning harmonic layerings and melodic inputs of 'Your Body', before sweeping smoothly into the more moogy bass punches and tight drum switches of 'Nobody'. Next, 'What Kinda Pain Are We Talking About?' combines moody sub-lines with hypnotic arpeggios and softer carnival rhythms with really fun results, finishing up with the shimmering delays and sweeping pads within the Roller mix of 'Bodied'. Awesome stuff as per!
You Won't Find It Here (VIP) (Alex Deamonds remix) - (3:12) 65 BPM
You Won't Find It Here (VIP) - (3:58) 65 BPM
Review: On her latest release for Hyperdub, Sara Abdel-Hamid is in as eclectic and confrontational a mood as ever, delivering razor sharp modernist beat constructions and mind-bending synth work to get the dance well and truly hyped. From the cavernous drum throwdown of "Position" to the melancholic, melodic reflection of "Praxis", the Ikonika style is ever broadening and ever unpredictable. There's also snappy electro stylings to be enjoyed on "Strawberry Underlay" and poppy house overtones on "You Won't Find It Here (VIP)", while Perc and Alex Deamonds turn in remixes that bring completely fresh perspectives to her music.
Review: 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.
Review: Over the course of numerous albums and Eps, Laurel Halo has made a name with her experimental, uncompromising take on electronic music - can she do the same with her DJing? Listening to this, the 68th instalment of DJ-Kicks, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. It moves from the abstract chimes of her own "Public Art" to the bruising rhythms of Stallone the Reducer and Red Axes' low-slung electro into the next-wave Detroit techno of Fit Siegel and the bleary European sound of Dario Zenker, representing here with "Koraimer Bro". However, Halo is also aware that to understand where electronic music is going to, you must first understand its past - and the inclusion of tracks from Jeff Mills' Final Cut band and Blake Baxter's catalogue showcases her deep knowledge and passion.
Review: It's time to dive deep into the realms of experimental tech on this one as we are introduced to this hard hitting four track compilation from the K7 imprint, showcasing 4x4 creativity at its very finest. We kick off with Laurel Halo's fabulous 'Sweetie', a moody rolling tech adventure, packed with percussive melodics. Next, Ikonika returns with her OG mix of 'Bodied' which plays off both grimey and techno themes, followed by the hypnotic synthesizer ramblings of 'Cricoid' from Rrose. Finally, it gets very tribal indeed as Nick Leon ventures forth with the Amazonian rhythms and rhythmic twists of 'Pelican Dub'.
Review: London's Night Slugs are back with their class of 2016 and if this is anything to go by, it's going to be quite the graduation party. Be prepared for some bass driven, street level, low end theories as per usual. There's Bok x Sweyn J featuring Semma on the sexy future R&B of "Good 2 U", Helix with some superb hyper-riddims on the explosive and syncopated "Funky 1irst", while label mainstays appear too, rest assured. There's Jam City with the brooding and powerful rhythm workout of "Direct Drums" and of course L-Vis 1990 with the sultry vocals of Ronika on the late night noir thriller "Sweet Spot".
Review: The ten year celebrations from Hyperdub continue apace here with the second of four planned label compilations arriving with the stated intention of casting "some sunshine" over the label's sometimes "dread filled reputation". Arriving on just one disc this time round as opposed to two, the fourteen tracks nevertheless features productions from DVA, Morgan Zarate, Cooly G, Jessy and Burial among other Hyperdub regulars, who are joined by the vocal talents of Dam-Funk, Fatima and others. Perhaps most exciting is the inclusion of an unreleased track from the defunct partnership of Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland; fans of the latter will also be intrigued by Kode9?s "Lies Lies", which features the talents of Inga in her new solo guise, copeland.
Review: What a line-up. Featuring the likes of Bok Bok, Teki Latex, Helix & Hrdvsion and Surkin & Todd Edwards, this compilation is an essential purchase. From claustrophobic, dead-of-night meanderings to Miami-highway cheesefests and back again, there's no style to pin down here, just a ton of excellent tunes vying for your attention. All the way from dark, insular beats to New Order/Depeche Mode-esque arms-in-the-air whirlwinds (Crystal & Ikonika - thank you), there isn't a time you'll be bored, and that's a guarantee. Get this now.