IKLAN ‘Album Number 1’ (Soulpunk)

Even before we arrive at their gloriously diverse and eccentric productions, the background of Bristol/Edinburgh-based recording collective IKLAN is compelling. Their coordinator is producer Timothy “London” Brinkhurst, whose biggest brush with fame was as Soho with ‘Hippychick’, the Smiths-sampling hit from 1990. In recent years he’s mentored Young Fathers, jointly writing and producing with the Mercury Prize-winning group. It’s also where he met vocalist Law Holt, a key part of the IKLAN collective, alongside Soho sisters Jacqui and Pauline Cuff.

The prevalence of female voices aside, IKLAN mirror Young Fathers’ fusion of cut ’n’ paste sonic collages assembled around driving rhythms and focused political consciousness. ‘Vicodin’ is a trippy dub nursery rhyme about homelessness and mental disintegration, ‘No Use’ is an irresistible electro song, over which Holt yearns to know “how the world make me no use”, ‘Train Is Coming’ is a mechanical, adrenaline-raising fusion of electro and R&B, which closes on a beautiful, ‘Sopranos’-like note of unfulfilled expectation. It’s a strikingly diverse record, which reflects, yet also elevates, the experience of wading through everyday life in 2020.

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