This is another feature I wrote for the Halcyon blog back in July. Ikonika has been a favorite of mine for a long while since her first release on Hyperdub. Her style has progressed since then, taking on other styles and adding more layers and melody to her computerized compositions. Her album on Hyperdub this spring has slightly under-repped in my opinion (though routinely supported by annie mac and other top radio dj's) and is an album that clearly stands out for its merging of dubstep and grime with funky drums and bristling lo-bit aesthetic. Built for the home listening massive as much as the club bangers. Full feature after the jump.
In this choice selection of edits from her Hyperdub album, we hear Ikonika merging her own "computerized" instrumentation-rich sounds with funky trends in dubstep's more recent mutations. With a startling edge and density of tones similar to her ground-breaking Hyperdub work, Ikonika has fused the analog grit and gloss of 80's electro, with the crass melodies and recombinant rhythms of grime/dubstep/funky. This sort of combination can be heard at its most direct in "Psoriasis", which, as the name suggests, is mostly dry of reverb and other effects. Here a wailing high-energy synth-pop lead drives the track over a down-sampled funky riddim and stomping sub-bass. "They Are All Losing The War" also pairs funky and two-step rhythms with a melancholy chorus of square waves and bubbling arpeggios. "Video Delays" is my favorite off the EP for the drums and bass alone, which are matched by a lovely array of pads and twinkling highlights. "Look" is a close second with it's uncanny vibraphone and bashy drums sounding like Boards Of Canada and Marcus Nasty in a Street Fighter match. Sara Abdel-Hamid has put a tremendous bit of heart into this album and if you like what you hear in this dancefloor oriented selection you might want to seriously consider buying the full album. Both are available on vinyl at the Halcyon shop and online in digital format.