Ikonika – Distractions

#AlbumReview An album of hard edged beats and undeniable groove

Four years after the release of her highly acclaimed album ‘Aerotropolis’, west London’s Ikonika has returned with another full length release on Kode 9’s Hyperdub label. The new album ‘Distractions’ sees the return of guest vocalist Jessy Lanza plus the addition of Andrea Galaxy and Jammz to add some vocal flair to Ikonika’s tough yet vibe filled soundscapes.

There’s a hard edge to the beats on the album which have the power to drill straight through your mind as you listen. But then this gets balanced by the unavoidable groove that comes through in the synth progressions she crafts. Take ‘435’ and ‘Not Actual Gameplay’ for a spin to test this theory out.

This idea of balance is a repeating theme, Andrea Galaxy’s early 2000s R&B flavoured vocal on ‘Noblest’ floats over the subterranean depths probed by the bass drone that slowly swells beneath, interspersed by synth pulses, whistles and reverberant drums that scatter the stereo field.

The game play glitter of early 90s console games radiates from the track ‘Lossy’ but despite it’s electronic tones the infectious bounce that Ikonika so deftly creates is still there. For us it’s the timing of the nuanced flourishes that bring this feel into the tracks, constantly challenging your perception of what the root of the song may be.

Ikonika’s ability to meld sonic influences and styles from the 80s to modern day is both unique and accomplished, this album being a shining example. For that, we tip our baseball cap to you Ikonika.

Ikonika ‘Distractions’ is out now on Hyperdub.