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Boomkat Product Review:
Ikonika’s full-length follow-up to her 2010 debut arrives not a moment too soon, showcasing a leap forward in terms of production technique and a shedding of many of the 8-bit tropes she’s most commonly associated with.
A hint of the direction she would take on Aerotropolis came on last year’s synth-led house EP I Make Lists, and the Londoner has spoken recently of her pursuit of a more polished sound, graduating from the grimey imperatives of Fruity Loops to the slicker possibilities of Logic. Depending on your disposition, this is either a good or a bad thing: certainly the fanatically floaty Aerotropolis lacks some of the low-riding grit of its predecessor and its swooshing, hyper-synthetic ebullience misses the mark at times. But there’s plenty to get your gnashers into all the same, be it the circuit-bent techno of ‘Eternal Mode’, the expansive Lone-ish boogie of ‘Mr Cake’ or the breezy, radio-friendly vocal house of ‘Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)’ (sung by Jessy Lanza). Whether the title of ‘Manchego’ is a reference to the cheesiness of its Megadrive melody we couldn’t say, but we prefer the codeined-out, Rustie-esque build of ‘Mega Church’. The second half of the album boasts a more refined dancefloor minimalism, notably on the terrific darkside cruisers ‘Cryo’ and ‘Zen Sizzle’.