Album Review

Iko – “’83 & Extra Studio Works” – [Le Backstore / On The Roof]

Thurston Hunger   5/10/2023   12-inch, A Library

Reissue of Montreal trio, with a love of synth and lyrics often citing movement (elevators, escalators, subways) make it hard not to hop on the Autobahn. Gatefold liner notes connect the KfrafTwerk motorvation while spelling out the IKO recipe – aka “Intelligence Knowledge Orgasm” Some of the songs seem to have that old nerdy need for non-automaton relations. Digital pheromones for the luteinizing hormones? The sound is heavily sequenced keyboard programming with those little key shift move up, move down moments. Quaint quasi-robotic singing and happy little handclaps, there’s a kind of retro-techno cosmopolitan optimism that would make chatbots of today smile. The first record is a reissue of their debut (and only official album from ’83) it’s very clean and percolating. I dig the bonus material unearthed on the second record (at 45 rpm!!!) – a little murkier and hypnotic. “Surrender to the Dream” what a nice way to go.

-Thurston Hunger

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