I always like to do a bit of research before I plunge, pen first, into a review, but Alicon, like many artists working in the experimental/electronic/dance field, seems to be a bit of a mystery. But that’s okay. What is life without a bit of mystery? And isn’t it better not to get too tied up in facts and just let the music do the talking?
Yes, it is, and talk it does. High Patterns is a collection of dance-fuelled, groove-heavy, beat-driven sounds that feel as if they are the soundtrack to both the most sophisticated uptown club and the most exclusive underground basement scene. Consequently, the music is perfect for the casual clubber and the most discerning electronic aficionado.
And if that might sound as if you have heard it all before, sure, there is a lot that is familiar here, but only to make things consistent with the musical marketplace that Alicon calls home. But what he adds to the established template is what really makes things stand out.
Cosmic Karimba, for example, is a clash of traditional African sounds and subtle, soulful piano, lovely lows and shuffling beats. This may be EDM, but EDM that comes from other worlds and cultures, a mix of the old and new, the traditional and the cutting edge.
Bouncin’ Legs is a salvo of complex beats, cosmic rays, glitchy samples, and groovesome energy and Girl is the closest the album gets to a mainstream pop-dance crossover record. However, it retains the Alicon air of outsiderness, and Joyful Little Boy is infectiously blissed out to euphoria.
If you think there is nothing new to be done in the dance or electronica field, then you haven’t been paying attention and haven’t been listening to Alicon.