Ronika announces ‘Marathon’ EP. Released December 1 via RecordShop.
Radio IMPACT: Monday 8th December 2014.
LIVE: Ace Hotel, November 26 (Headline Show) || DJ: November 16, Big Chill Bar ('Late Night Tales' compilation launch).
"A Nottingham-born disco alchemist...refracting everyday life through the escapist prism of pop" Guardian ****
"One of the most exciting new British pop stars (and producers) in years" NME
"Summoning the feel of a Greatest Hits...a triumph" Mojo ****
"One of 2014's most assured and fun-filled debut albums" Mixmag ****
"It's not clear whether Ronika knows how good she is...'Selectadisc' is the real deal" FACT
Ronika has announce details of her 'Marathon' EP, which will be released on December 1. The glorious title track premieres today, whilst the rest of the package includes a brand new collaboration with fellow DJ and producer Mighty Mouse – ‘See Through You’ - together with a fresh take on 'Forget Yourself', a stand-out from this summer's debut album, 'Selectadisc'. Already hailed as an album of the year across NME and The Quietus, Ronika will follow sold-out dates at the likes of London's Birthdays with a special headline show at Ace Hotel on November 26 (further live and DJ plans TBA shortly).
She also features on the forthcoming 'Late Night Tales' series curated by Tom Findlay of Groove Armada ('Automatic Soul') which will be released on November 4.
Warm, joyful and immediate, 'Marathon' is the sound of an artist and producer whose craft is taking new strides. Befitting her DIY ethic, Ronika wrote, produced and played every instrument on 'Marathon', and the result is an uplifting mix of classic Disco and Electro-Soul - Imagination, Chaka Khan - with contemporary, clubbier electronics (Aeroplane, Breakbot): all held together by Ronika's sweet but tongue-in-cheek vocal. Lyrically, 'Marathon' is about that rush of energy you get when you fall in love, and the feeling that you can do anything when you're on that kind of high (even, perhaps, run a marathon, though this is something Ronika admittedly has no experience of).
'Forget Yourself', meanwhile, is a bracing call-to-arms to lose yourself in music, from the hollering 'Wake Up!" intro, to the general theme of escaping an automated existence (which persists across debut album 'Selectadisc'. It displays a more beat-focused, hip-hop feel, as inspired by the Tom Tom Club and seminal female-fronted-hip-hop group The Sequence, as the arch modern pop of Gwen Stefani. A new collaboration with Mighty Mouse, ‘See Through You', again heads straight to the dance-floor but, with a difference: its strutting bass, squelching nu-disco synths and classical strings juxtaposed infectiously against Ronika's arch address to someone who she can "see right through." The EP is rounded off by ‘World Is Turning’, which premiered recently on Stereogum, and dip-dyes her roots in a mix of soulful R&B groove with colourful 80s electronics.
Ronika is a singer, producer, remixer, DJ and video maker originally from Nottingham, before relocating from Barcelona to London. As a teenager she developed a love of electronic and dance music inspired by her big brother's vinyl collection, which lead to her starting to blag her way into clubs from the age of 13. Her teenage years were spent going to squat parties run by house soundsystems around inner-city Nottingham, techno all-nighters down in Brixton, and hip-hop shows put on by producer/promoter Joe Buhdha (who she would later collaborate with on ‘Forget Yourself’). She continued to study the technological side of music making whilst working as a sound engineer in a local music venue. Slowly developing her solo output and DJ'ing across the city, Ronika traced the lineage of her favourite hip-hop songs back to the records they sampled, and sought out the originals at her local record independent record shop, Selectadisc. The store closed its doors for the final time in 2009, though its shaping of local and musical identity is paid tribute to on Ronika's debut album, which she named after it (with the owner's blessing). And it's an appropriate nod: as if by browsing through the shelves themselves, 'Selectadisc' assimilates a crate-digger love of disco, hip-hop, house, R&B and electro-soul, and appears occupied by small-town frustrations as it is daydreaming over the hedonistic sounds of Chicago or New York.
The 'Marathon' EP is the first taste of new Ronika material since this summer's 'Selectadisc', which was released to significant critical acclaim. Producing and co-producing most of the record ("nothing will change for women in music if they give up on their own work"), setting up her own label RecordShop (which she is now looking to develop new artists on) and building a unique visual aesthetic around these songs (all hazy VHS tape, day-glo early-MTV saturated colours, and imagery from science and technology magazines). The musical results are as uplifting and fresh as they are full of depth, detail and emotion. This is, after all, no sprint - the stuff that matters is always a 'Marathon'.
October 11 LONDON Brixton Jamm ('Shut The Front Door', w/ Zimmer, Darius, Oliver Nelson, Tobtok):
November 16 LONDON DJ set at 'Late Night Tales' launch party (Big Chill Bar w/ Tom Findlay, Bill Brewster).
November 26 LONDON Ace Hotel **Headline Show**