Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Hate

Contact, Love, Want, Hate reminds me a lot of the sonic experiments Coldcut did back in the early 90s.

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As a rich and interesting mix of beats, noises and attitudes (and I’m sure they all have their individual moniker) and genuinely tuneful pieces, this LP is a real grower. It’s not one to push the listener around at first listen; rather, it allows an initial genial interest to unfold into genuine liking by the set’s end.

It’s funny that a number of the opening tracks are the most unprepossessing. Idiot is a perfunctory if passable slab of dweeby electronica and Yoshimitsu is slightly uncertain as to what it wants to do with itself. Be a mood piece or kick off into something a bit stronger? Maybe that’s the point. Once Fish turns up with its wibbly synths and ultra naïve melody, things begin to take a more determined path. R.E.S.O.L. is funny with its pretend lion roars, whilst the charming Heston and They Are All Losing the War are more upbeat and seem to have a clearer direction mapped out for them.

Contact, Love, Want, Hate reminds me a lot of the sonic experiments Coldcut did back in the early 90s. Tracks like Sahara Michael and Continue? have the same slightly academic, slightly grubby lo-fi approach. And it sounds fun! Sahara Michael is a slothful plod, but enjoyable nevertheless, whilst Continue? comes on like a slacker rnb number until it sees sense, picks up temo and morphs into a bedroom trance workout. The most enjoyable tracks are left till last; Psoriasis is a funny mix of incredibly annoying synths and a (literally) bouncing bass line. It’s hideously addictive. Video Delays is a slab of shiny menace, offset by some great washes of synth and Look is an incredibly tinny rave track of the first order, especially when things start going decidedly off-key. Red Marker Pens is possibly the best of the more reflective tracks in that it allows a certain tension to be built up by clever use of tempo and texture.

So there you have it, a very enjoyable listen if slightly patchy at times.