Ikonika

Aerotropolis

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    8
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After Contact, Love, Want, Have, Ikonika's sound became fuller and more colorful. Her scope of inspirations widened. Consecutive tracks on 2012's I Make Lists EP, for instance, incorporated acid house and early Latin freestyle without sounding the least bit slavish. Aerotropolis, her second album, adds even more references to the mix and leaves her fine debut in the dust. At times, it sounds like the air-travel equivalent to techno concept albums like Carl Craig's Landcruising, Model 500's Deep Space, and Raiders of the Lost ARP's 4; the producer once lived near, and worked at, Heathrow Airport. Various tracks contend with Dâm-Funk's modern funk, out-slug much of the revered Night Slugs catalog, and prod with as much force as anything on the Clone label. "Mr. Cake," her brightest track yet, is a gleaming hybrid of electro and house with a complex arrangement of intersecting melodies, tough drums, handclaps, and cowbells. "Manchego" draws from Mr. Fingers with its rattling stop-start foundation -- akin to tracks like "Washing Machine" -- but piles on delightfully noodly synthesizer patterns. She still has a knack for track titles; her aerotropolis is expansive enough to accommodate a "Mega Church," where drums slam hard enough to evoke half-ton doors as ghostly tones are drowned out by an outsized synthetic organ, suspenseful bass thrums, and snaking/prickling percussion. The briefer tracks aren't there strictly for the variety and demonstrate that she could score films ("Completion V. 3") and video games ("Practice Beats") with equal ease.

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