Ikonika - Contact, Love, Want, Have
The majority of dance music genres and sub-strands are more often than not the preserve of 12" singles and EPs, aural landscapes littered with fallen artists who failed to make the grade when it came to the nitty-gritty of cobbling together full-length efforts. But the opening stages of 2010 are proving there are plenty of musicians out there who are up to the challenge of keeping their quality control up for the duration. Following hard on the heels of Breakage's darkly brilliant Foundation and SCUBA's techno-tinged Triangulation comes this terrific effort from Ikonika, AKA West London producer Sara Abdel-Hamid.
The Hyperdub and Planet Mu-approved beatmaker has attracted plenty of buzz thanks to the likes of 'Sahara Michael' and 'Please', dazzling chiptune-funk joints submerged in kick-start drums and heaving synth ruptures. Happily, Contact, Love, Want, Have more than lives up to the high standards of those earlier releases, from the catchy robotic vocal hook that adorns the silky-smooth crunch of 'Ikonoklast' all the way through to the contemplative shuffles and pulses of 'Red Marker Pens (Good Ending)'. The throbbing, day-glo stomp of 'Idiot' has been going down a storm in clubs all over the country for months and sounds as brilliant as ever here, while the blaring sirens and skipping drums of 'fish' add up to another impressive dancefloor-orientated workout.
Late stand-out 'Psoriasis' is a sonic boom to the solar plexus, a rolling, flexing track that takes absolutely no prisoners, while 'Video Delays' shows off a darker edge to Abdel-Hamid's sound, with ominous rumbling bass employed to crank up the menace. A thrilling blend of propulsive scattershot beats and underwater synths make 'They Are Losing The War' another winner. The net result is a top-drawer display of dubstep brilliance, and we break off with the heady scent of expectation in the air as we wait and wonder who'll be next to step up to continue this winning streak of groundbreaking electronic LPs.