Release Date: Jun 2, 2017
Record label: Hyperdub
Following two well-spaced and well-received full length albums of innovative bass music, Ikonika is back after a four-year break with Distractions, an collection that builds on that solid foundations by pushing her sound forward. The London electronic music producer is known for her unique style, a playful mix of dubstep, 8-bit, and whatever else happens to be inspiring her, often with a strong melodic core. Distractions takes this blueprint and develops in it a way that is as adventurous as it is brimming with surprising mainstream appeal.
Last month at London's Corsica Studios, Ikonika, AKA Sara Chen, held a launch party for her latest album, Distractions. She played UK funky, techno, dancehall and an instrumental of Britney Spears's "Gimme More" at footwork speed. Ikonika's music can be similarly mercurial, from the angular chiptune of her early Hyperdub releases to the techno of, say, "Position." Distractions is another change: her latest full-length scales back the freestyle-inspired house of her last album, Aerotropolis, for a sound that's darker and more expansive.
London-based producer Ikonika (Sara Abdel-Hamid) titled her third album Distractions as a way to explain the four-year gap between it and her second album, 2013's excellent Aerotropolis. She implies that she was too preoccupied to complete the album in a brisk, timely manner, but she also means for the music itself to be a distraction from the horrors of the world's political climate and events. Distractions has a slight dystopian sci-fi theme similar to previous Hyperdub albums such as Kode9's Nothing and NOTU_URONLINEU by DVA [Hi:Emotions], but it doesn't seem anywhere near as bleak as those releases.