Apparently inspired by the endless flights that ship Ikonika around the globe from set to set, ‘Aerotropolis’ lands on Hyperdub as a major stylistic departure from her usual fare. It’s an album of ‘80s synth-pop jams. Say whaat?
While Sara Abdel-Hamid commanded 2010’s sphere of electronica with her wonky debut ‘Contact, Love, Want, Have’, her name has become invariably tangled up in the 140 side of things.
This LP sees her, by contrast, banging out some freestyle house and saccharine pop – the honey-dipped ‘Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)’ is her first vocal work to date (with rising star Jessy Lanza on lyrics). It’s a track that could sit quite happily in the UK top 40 as well as circulate the decks of east London clubs.
There’s a dark, droning element to ‘Completion V.3’ – the equivalent of the non-speedy boarding queue before your hand luggage inevitably exceeds the stated size – while the funked-out bliss of ‘Mr Cake’ is surely the enthusiastic strut through the airport doors into vitamin D-infused climes.
As a side note, this release poses the question: should artists be penalised for a sudden shift in genre? In this writer’s humble opinion, nope. Especially when the end result is immensely listenable, and so goddamn fun.
Words: Felicity Martin
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Read an archive Clash interview with Ikonika here
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