Review Summary: The female dubstep artist meets adversity, and along the way, she learns a thing or two about fun.
When word leaked that the fifth long-player to come from Hyperdub was to be released by Ikonika, female
dubstep artist, very few doubted there would be sufficient anticipation (or lack thereof) for her debut LP. Not surprisingly, the hype-train inched towards the debut record, touching upon her gender and a possible fresh take on the genre. However, anticipation seems to do ugly things to perfectly decent albums. High expectations change perspective, and Ikonika's debut could have eventually proven a bust. Fortunately, this is not the case. Ikonika's first long-layer is one that uses dubstep as a base to extend her musical ideas, thus granting Contact, Love, Want, Have
an eclectic property.
Different from her peers in her aesthetic, she is a more spontaneous artist than the established technical, heady style. Her style is one which, while not exactly elaborate, is enjoyable. It combines pulsating bass lines and dominating pitch-bends, but still bubbly bleeps and bloops are utilized. "R.E.S.O.L." combines 8-bit with an excess of bass to make an overwhelming track, yet "Millie" is more of a fluent, albeit slow, track. Still, Ikonika's sound is one doused in playful energy. The result strikes a polar opposite to the low-end of the genre's spectrum, a sound which uses thick, complex rhythms. For example, "They Are Losing the War" makes full use of chiptune sounds, and spontaneity is still a staple. Ikonika's nature is not to be dynamic, but thoroughly energetic. Her injection of fun is an appreciated step forward in dubstep, yet, her full-length is not a landmark release. Though certainly not a jocular mess, her album lacks a certain amount of technicality and depth, which could easily disappoint some listeners. However, her songs are distinguishable and found different moods throughout, leading to a solid base for Ikonika's sound to grow.