Say what??? It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been four years since Ikonika’s last release. But, as the title of the renowned dubstep producer/DJ new one alludes, perhaps I was just DISTRACTED by the torrent of new music from other artists that’s constantly splashing me in the face like some sort of non-torturous form of waterboarding, because four years have indeed passed.
Throughout that time, Ikonika (a.k.a. Sara Abdel-Hamid) seems to have turned an ear toward new music herself: instead of churning out full-lengths for the Hyperdub label — where she theoretically keeps regular office hours right next door to Kode9 — she’s reportedly been working on a slew of remixes, recollecting tracks from Dawn Richard, Austra, Junior Boys, Chvrches, and more. (The Austra remix, in particular, took a song about [something, something] blind idealism and added some new resigned rhythms, reinforcing the notion that life is a constant existential struggle. I’m not a fan of the maggots in the original video…)
Remix time must over though, because Ikonika has just stepped away from her desk to announce that Distractions, her new full-length album, will be out June 2 on Hyperdub. A preview of the album left me with the following reaction: “These beats sound like they should be backing some Jessy Lanza vocals!” And sure enough, Lanza contributed said-vocals on the track “Hazelfield,” while Andrea Galaxy and grime artist MC Jammz, uh, say things on the tracks “Noblest” and “Sacrifice,” respectively. Pre-order the whole affair right here, and listen to the track “Manual Decapitation” (which is surprisingly chill, given that title) down below.
02. Noblest feat Andrea Galaxy
03. Manual Decapitation
07. Do I Watch It Like a Cricket Match
08. Sacrifice feat Jammz
09. Love Games
11. Not Actual Gameplay
13. Hazelfield feat. Sweyn J & Jessy Lanza