Thursday, 8 October 2009
PRE-ORDER: Ikonika - Smuck/We Could Be Ikons [Planet Mu]
Both the furious release schedule and gradual sonic re-shuffling of Planet Mu continues with Ikonika - one of the seemingly never ending list of artists dubbed as 'rising stars' - being coaxed away from Kode9's Hyperdub camp to deliver her latest 12".
'Smuck' essentially picks up where the brace of Hyperdub releases left off: Ikonika's somewhat melancholy sweeping synths are overlaiden by bleepy smatterings and then coupled with big beefy marching band kick drums and off-kilter snares that maintain a the common underlay whilst the foreground does much the opposite; continuously switching between competing synth lines. One can end up feeling a little woozy; as if travel sick from the brace of outer worldy visions and the battle to lock onto the awkward groove, but Ikonika's progression comes across as masterful, even though sometimes the pulsating under synths jar with the minor key riffs; if anything there are almost too many ideas explored here. Consequently the overall feel to 'Smuck' is slightly awkward; it often sounds out of key, yet it manages to snatch those momentary pulses of inspiration, uplifting the listen and sounding positively intergalactic.
If 'Smuck' was the journey through space, Ikonika's remix of Eero Johannes' beautifully named'We Could Be Skweeeroes' is the planetary landing and initial greeting of a bouncing, quirky intergalactic race (with a penchant for aquatic wind instruments and an overly enthusiatic variation of the morris dance). What it has over the A side is that retention of a main theme as she builds upon the riffs gradually and subtly, squeezing more squeak out the melody, over the taught steppy drums. 'We Could Be Ikons' somehow retains a unique, borderline cutesy property that makes the track feel like a Joker penned soundtrack to an 8 bit, roll play romp through bubblegum fields and pixelated lands.
Words: Murray Gray
Out: 26th October