Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have (2010)

04.05.2010

There are a couple things that separate Sara Abdel-Hamid, better known as Ikonika, from the dubstep masses. First and perhaps most obvious, she’s one of a scant few female producers gaining any sort of widespread notoriety. Second, she counts many decidedly non-electronic acts such as Glassjaw and Dillinger Escape Plan among influences. Lastly, her calculated chaos of 8-bit blips, deep bass, and sophisticated rhythms put her miles ahead of many in the dub game, and right at home on the prodigous Hyperdub label. She’s been putting out tracks since 2007, but many first took notice with her two highlight entries on Hyperdub’s 5 retrospective last year; the slippery, pitch-bent ‘Please’ and the plodding throwback synths of ‘Sahara Michael’ which appears again here on her debut full-length.

The video game theme that runs through the synth styles and song titles on Contact, Love, Want, Have might seem limiting at first, but Ikonika teases a great deal of mileage out of the template. Upbeat workouts like album standout ‘Idiot’ balance nicely with the slower dubs like ‘Sahara’, creating a sense of cohesiveness, pace and an album-oriented approach rarely found in the track-focused *step world. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing this girl’s name mentioned in the same breath as some big names very soon.

For Fans Of: Joker, Zomby, Floating Points

Myspace / Buy

– Brian B.

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