PLANET MU (ZIQ282, 12” + digital)
One of the enigmas of the year is “Contact Love Want Have”, the debut album by Ikonika that has come out a bit crooked, half finished, and not quite convincingly completely. What did we expect from him? Further developments of the aesthetic motifs of Sara Abdel-Hamid after a handful of promising 12”s on Hyperdub and Planet Mu, or a complete twist from the dubstep scene towards unknown territories? Or was it just about consolidating the maturity of an important voice for the genre plus the coming of a new saviour? The LP didn’t quite turn out to be the obra magna–though it was good, it has to be said– because it’s neither the former nor the latter: there’s no significant evolution because Ikonika has opted to strengthen and consolidate his style, bass music with influences from the old bleep sound and vintage video game sounds, rather than take a leap of faith with half-finished experiments. But he has a trick up his sleeve for those who were in some way disappointed with Ikonika’s evolution, which will mark a redemption in his work and person: “Dckhdbtch” is his most recent outreach to funky and it’s laden with deep-house atmospheres and broken African-Caribbean rhythms that lean towards an elastic-textured 4x4. He doesn’t turn away from those recreative machine melodies, but at the same time he achieves a depth and sensibility (on “Ingredients” and “Shouldn’t Be Here”, particularly) that could be the beginnings of something very interesting. Less bleep, more funk and the bass lines fat as ever: the mechanism of that motor was working fine, he only needed to change a small piece. Now everything is dandy. Is it too late for a second album before the end of the year?
Ikonika - Dckhdbtch Ikonika - Ingredients