When you’re buying your next flying car, as historians have long predicted you eventually will, Ikonika will be bringing your vision to life and congratulating you on your purchase with a delivery of the far future right to your doorstep. Operating an ’80s electro/R&B swing that rolls its sleeves up, both in fashion (“Mr. Cake”) and graft, Sara Abdel-Hamid effortlessly connects grime subterfuge, maximalist parameters and ringtone investment (“You Won’t Find It There”). Her swooping out of polygon palaces, (“Eternal Mode”) flies with a faint purple hue, lining its golden curves made out of refracting straight lines.
Any malevolence is carried out in a utopia where violence isn’t so much a concept — you’re probably not even allowed to swear, Demolition Man-style – but hostilities are applied by digging down with the same hollowed out, tubular tools. Regulated by a robotic-armed conveyor belt, humans have long been driven out of the area, made to flee through the sleeve’s computer-designed maze, “Mega Church” boasting a 100% success rate when it comes to failed breakouts. Ikonika’s brave new world slides down the temperature gauge using sleight of hand and tricks of the light; “Backhand Winners” puts insubordinates in the firing line of a grand slam schemer, and “Manchego” uses a console converter to produce joypad grime in tune with original Chicago house.
Putting meat on bones — the key to the album’s success — Ikonika turns her crystal tips into burning spears and icicle keys into finger blistering platters. Absorbing.
File under: Rustie, Kode9, XXYYXX