There’s a lot of love for Kode9’s dubstep label Hyperdub at the moment, but a bit more, and in the direction of someone who may have passed you by, can’t hurt right?
Right. Meet Ikonika. Freakscene caught her playing at Saturday’s Nail the Cross mini-fest in New Cross and, in technical terms, she smacked it. It’s not easy to keep the attention of a room of half-cut first year Goldsmiths students but when she dropped her own ‘Sahara Michael’ the room erupted. Cue flailing American Apparelled limbs everywhere.
But who the hell is this Ikonika? She’s not giving interviews until her album drops later this year but I can tell you she is from London, has a background in hardcore bands and makes the sort of skewed bass-driven, bleep-laden electronic music that some sorts term ‘Wonky’. And she does it bloody well.
Her debut release on Hyperdub was the esoteric ‘Please’ back in early 2008. It combined garage syncopations with 4/4 thuds, raved-up klaxon calls with twitchy pitch-bent arpeggios that essentially sounded like a Casio keyboard’s battery dying. For a taste of the reaction it gets check out this video where Scuba takes the disorientating ping pongs of Ikonika’s tune and shoves it with the serrated halfstep monster that is Distance’s ‘V’. ‘Please’ drops at around the 1:13 mark.
The next few months will see a couple of key releases drop. Firstly there’s the off-kilter ‘Smuck’ on Planet Mu, worth checking if you’re in a particularly energetic mood. Then there’s the aforementioned ‘Sahara Michael’ which, like the early instrumental grime of Joker, is powered along by Sega synths and a sponginess that finds assonance in a certain type of cheesy 80s R’n’B production. On the right system, it makes the nasal membrane really itch – or maybe that’s just me.
Like most producers of the dubstep persuasion her MySpace calendar is pretty chock-a-block with DJing dates so there’s no excuse for not catching her. You really should.