Ikonika’s third album ‘Distractions’ builds on 2013’s ‘Aerotropolis’, and the title answers the question “Why has the album taken so long?” In the last few years she’s been building up a strong CV of remixes, from Chvurches to Dawn Richard, Austra and Junior Boys, as well as DJing and working on this album.
‘Distractions’ distils the character of Ikonika’s music productions across a wider set of styles than previous albums, and she subtly fuses and switches elements from contrasting genres, giving the whole set a uniqueness and consistency that puts it in its own lane.
Furthermore what sits at the centre of ‘Distractions’ more than ever is her love of R&B and hip hop, in all its forms, which has opened the door to bring in a selection of guests in a way she’s not fully explored before. From the full throttle blend of grime and 80s synth soul ‘Noblest’ with Andrea Galaxy, to the reflective ‘Sacrifice’ with up and coming MC Jammz, a slowjam that merges dubstep with hip house drums.
The final vocal track is the languid ‘Hazefield’ co-produced with Sweyn J and featuring Jessy Lanza on vocals. Its mix of mechanic clunk and minimalist, lulling funk could only happen in 2017.
The LP artwork takes its inspiration from West London’s Golden Mile, a stretch of the Great West Road where the A4 meets the M4, and the road takes on the character of the arcade game Poll Position, with art deco factories and illuminated, hi-tech signage selling lifestyle products.
It’s this kind of mix of futuristic and industrious with a touch of gentle glamour that the album exudes.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Girlfriend 2. Noblest ft Andrea Galaxy 3. Manual Decapitation
Side B: 1. Lear 2. BGM 3. 435
Side C: 1. Do I Watch It Like A Cricket Match? 2. Sacrifice ft Jammz 3. Love Games
Side D: 1. Lossy 2. Not Actual Gameplay 3. Not 4. Hazefield ft Sweyn J & Jessy Lanza
Hyperdub is happy to announce the first release from Edinburgh born and bred producer Proc Fiskal - otherwise known as Joe Powers.
Like a Scottish relation to the recent faster Grime productions Lewisham MC Novelist has coined 'Ruff Sound', Proc Fiskal ups the energy of the stark cubist rhythms of the early Grime of Wiley and Ruff Sqwad by accelerating and retooling them to fit the faster 160bpm grid, engineering a delirious hybrid that also subtly makes explicit the relationship between Grime and Jungle and Happy Hardcore.
The EP starts with '£', which is the most classically 'Grime' sounding of the tracks, with 8 bar switches, chord stabs, sino-motifs and a bassline that ripples underneath. 'Lamentation' combines airy swing, rolling percussion and chunky dubwise bouncing bass that recalls Digidub. 'Skulka' opens up the flipside with surreal whizzing, wheezing and gunshots, dropping into a rolling melodic bassline and caffeinated strings. ‘Acidic Hoes’ has a bassline that bubbles and warps with an airy melody whirling over the top and incidental coughs and sword clashes.
Proc Fiskal’s debut EP is joyfully aggressive and an energetic contrast to the slowing down of most contemporary Grime, plus it mixes into Footwork really well too.
Laurel Halo returns to Hyperdub for her third LP with a fresh approach and a new sound. Routed out of the electronic abstraction of 2015’s In Situ - but with clear reference to 2012's sleeper-hit Quarantine - Dust is an album revolving around loose and languid songs; warped, sun-filled, melted and at times, heavy-hearted and obscure.
Recorded over a period of two years, the writing process began at EMPAC in upstate New York in January 2015. With access to microphones, percussion, keys and a wide range of routings, Laurel spent days alone in the cavernous space, later inviting musicians Eli Keszler and Lafawndah to join her there.
Those sessions would eventually become this album: a collection of breezy, broken songs, based on woody instrumentation, sub bass and restless, intricate electronics. Earnest songwriting meets with modal cut-up strategies, improvisational playing with higrade digital dust. Tactile and fibrous throughout the record, the vocals and percussion coalesce and breathe life into each other. Swung grooves eddy and collapse; acoustic drums are warped into sensual, febrile melodies.
The lyrics are themselves bricolage, without a specific narrator or place in time. They slip in and out of view, something that is visualised in the album’s inner panel. Extending the influence, the album opener ‘Sun To Solar’ is an adaptation of 'Servidão de Passagem' by Brazilian concrete poet Haroldo de Campos. In line with the album’s sound, Dust is 'Laurel Halo' as a flexible cast of characters.
Filled with dialogue, the album helms an interchangeable ensemble of vocalists and musicians, featuring vocals from Klein, Lafawndah, and Michael Salu, as well as musicians such as Eli Keszler, Craig Clouse ($hit and $hine), Julia Holter, Max D, Michael Beharie and Diamond Terrifier.
Laurel’s omnivorous influences play out in mutated fashion - coalesced, unfettered and inclusive - a broad musical palette free from entrenched modes, catalysed by digital production that could only happen in 2017.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1.Sun to Solar 2.Jelly 3.Koinos 4.Arschkriecher 5.Moontalk 6.Nicht Ohne Risiko
Side B: 1.Who Won? 2.Like an L 3.Syzygy 4.Do U Ever Happen 5. Buh-bye