King Midas Sound: Cool Out / One Ting (Dabrye rmx) / Lost (Flying Lotus rmx)

Ikonika: Millie / Direct

If the name King Midas Sound is unfamiliar, certainly the name Kevin Martin (aka The Bug) isn't. He and group partner Roger Robinson give us a foretaste of the duo's upcoming King Midas album by pairing “Cool Out” (which first surfaced on Kode9's 2007 Sonar mix) with B-side remixes of two album cuts by top-tier producers Dabrye and Flying Lotus. Those who loved The Bug's London Zoo should grab this single immediately. With Robinson's reverb-drenched voice emerging out of a cloud of static noise, “Cool Out” casts a narcotic spell almost immediately, something the tune's immense bass line and crawling beat crunch only deepens. Though Dabrye opts for a “cleaner” production approach in his trippy head-nod handling of “One Ting,” shadowing Robinson's breathy vocal with a shrieking obbligato is one more example of Dabrye's genius. Apparently the words coursing through Flying Lotus' “Lost” remix constitute a suicidal Japanese monologue but it's the head-spinning beat rumble, bleepy synth accents, and atmospheric swirl that'll lure you in most. The three tracks add up to a mesmerizing ten minutes.

It may sound hard to believe but Ikonika's second Hyperdub release is just as strong as King Midas Sound's. An early starter, she began by playing drums in hardcore and metal bands at the age of eleven before creating hip-hop tracks under the Kill Kip guise and eventually lending her prodigious skills to Hyperdub. A neck-snapping beat pattern and crisp handclaps lead the charge in “Millie” though it's quickly joined by bleepy thrums and synth melodies that gloriously writhe and sputter. The ceaseless flow of invention and ideas is head-spinning to say the least and the material's so fresh it'll leave you dazed by track's end (it's named after her cat, by the way). On the flip, accordion-styled synth wheeze opens “Direct” in mellow mode before a thrum of synth blips somersaults into position alongside a throbbing bass kick, hi-hat swing, and punchy beat attack. Halfway through, the track moves into slinky future-fusion mode with a sleepy Moog line gliding over a silken pulse before the cascading blips return. Put simply, it's a totally amazing two-tracker by the Hyperdub “queen.”

November 2008