Tag Archives: Ronika

2014 Tracks Of The Year – #20 – 16

11 Dec

Tracks of 2014 - 20-16

Here we go then with the second part of our Tracks of the Year countdown. After revealing the tracks that hit the spots marked 25 – 21 yesterday, it’s time to unveil the five songs that made it to the 20 – 16 places.


#20 Mighty Mouse – “See Through You” (feat. Ronika)

When our favourite disco loving pop starlet Ronika teamed up with famed producer Mighty Mouse, we knew the results would be great but their collaboration on “See Through You” was something else. Released as the winter cold began to set in, it unleashed a sheet of warmth and sunshine into our world with its soft disco funk vibe and luscious hook that instantly made us think of Mediterranean holidays and cocktails by the pool. The bassline grooves along with a light dancing swagger as the various layers of electronics, strings and vocals beckon you hither for a glorious night on the town in the late summer sunshine.



#19 Slow Club – “Complete Surrender”

The title track from Slow Club’s latest album caused something of a stir here at Alphabet Towers, and across the blog world, sounding as it did, quite different to their usual fare. It sounded different but “Complete Surrender” also sounded utterly fantastic. A ridiculously infectious track, it’s big, funky, brash and utterly danceable with so much going on, so much to enjoy and revel in. Rebecca’s voice soars like never before, there are hooks aplenty and some of the most gorgeously dramatic strings we’ve heard in some time. It’s a compulsive amalgamation of styles and sounds and we couldn’t get it out of our heads for weeks. Then we saw them play it live at Latitude and it settled back in our brains for another month. The video is stunning as well.



#18 Jack Garratt – “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway”

For his official debut track Jack Garratt gave us a tune rich with glacial beauty as “I Couldn’t Want You Anyway” dealt with an autopsy of a relationship. His falsetto vocals are cold and pained, poisoned with the deception he is deluding himself with; that he didn’t want her anyway. Soft, muted R&B tones blend with sharp electronic beats in order to disguise the cause of death as melodic icy fingers of rejection rest, still clamped round a warm heart, choking the last vestiges of life from it. Tears and realisation fall from within as that haunting vocal finally cracks and allows the truth to flow and his heart is given peace.

Note: The below video is a live session, not the single edit (it’s still gorgeous though).



#17 Fickle Friends – “Swim”

Our number one artist to listen out for in 2015, Fickle Friends were the first band we wrote about this year and Swim was the first track. Nearly 12 months later and it still sounds as bright, bubbly and as infectious as it did back then. There are Prince-esque jams inside this 80’s new-wave pop doughnut, with a sprinkled coating of Robyn on the outside, and it tastes gorgeous. It makes you want to dance, and not all cool and ironic dancing either. We’re talking silly and enthusiastic, drunk and probably lacking in coordination but stupidly fun dancing. We mean that kind of singing along with your arm around a mate dancing as you have one of those nights that go down as one of the best nights ever, even though its subject matter is distinctly less upbeat and happy.



#16 Public Service Broadcasting – “Gagarin”

Proving that as well as informing, educating and entertaining, they also have the capacity to surprise us, Public Service Broadcasting returned this year the incredible and remarkably funky, “Gagarin”. Deliberately incongruous to the reverential nature of its subject, it is a superbly uplifting piece of electronic-funk-pop. It is still distinctly PSB, and not just because of the sample use, with little Willgoose signatures in there (call backs to “Signal 30”for example) as well as (it sounds to us) a little Muppet Show reference thrown in too. While we are yet to master all the dance moves from the video, it is certainly a track we will be boogying on down to a fair bit over the Christmas period we reckon.


Ronika – Shell Shocked

17 Mar

Ronika Shell Shocked

Has it really been nearly two years since we were last getting our neon groove on to the deliriously joyous and infectious sounds of Ronika? Was it really as long ago as September 2011 that we inducted her into the fabled hall of Alphabet Bands and proclaimed world domination was surely only a matter of time for Nottingham’s Queen of Disco?

Well time is fluid, so while we may have intended that statement to mean ‘imminently’, we can quite happily pretend we meant ‘when she’s ready’ and hope that no one calls us on it. It appears she is ready now and after much hard work and no small amount of personal difficulty, she is set to release her debut album, Selectadisc on 2 June. We’ve not heard it as yet but Mr Electronic Rumors (whose opinion counts for a fair bit in matters such as this) has and he has declared it is ”easily going to be one of the highlights of the year”.

Given that it includes reworked versions of each of her previous, and fantastic, singles, as well as this new and gloriously bouncy and bright retro-pop jam, “Shell Shocked”, we don’t doubt that he will be proved right.

A bubblegum popping jaunt down a very 80’s looking high street, “Shell Shocked” is the kind of upbeat and colourful electro-pop that will have you rolling up your jacket sleeves, back combing your hair and spinning round and round in delight with just the one arm sticking out as you go. The beat and synths dance a duet past flashing neon signs, skipping out into the road and past bemused police officers standing on the corner who, inevitably, bust a few moves of their own as the sounds move on. Ronika’s vocals are that infectious grin of a musical’s star as she entices and encourages others to join in and dance for love, happiness and the sheer joy of it.

Bright, colourful and fantastic, 2014 could finally be the year that Ronika takes over.

Ronika’s debut album, ‘Selectadisc’, is due for release on 2 June and pre-orders get an immediate download of “Shell Shocked”. A limited edition 12″ vinyl of the album is also available from RecordShopLabel.com.


Stalk Ronika: Website / Facebook / Twitter

What have you done for me lately? Alphabet Bands Update September 2012

21 Sep

This week has been all about the latest addition to our Alphabet Bands family, Mahoney & The Moment, with a feature and two sessions posted on the site in the last few days. That doesn’t mean that we have fallen out of love with our other featured artists, far from it in fact. So we thought, why not catch up with them all and find out what they have been up to? So here we are, all the latest updates from our Alphabet Bands.

And the Giraffe
Josh and Nick haven’t let their long distance musical relationship prevent them from building on their excellent debut album, Something for Someone. The clan has grown as well, with two new members (Malcolm Martin and Robert Edmonson) joining the band and together they have been pulling album number two together. Recorded in Josh’s basement, friend’s houses and various studios in Nashville, Tennessee over two months, Creature Collector is due out on 2 November. We’ll have new tracks from the band for you as soon as we get them.

Read More: ’A’ is for And The Giraffe


Rebecca Brandt
A recent addition to the family, composer/pianist Rebecca Brandt has already released her album Number & Shapes but that isn’t going to stop her having a CD launch show. Should you be in the Brooklyn area tonight (21 September) then head on down to Galapagos and indulge in some ”soaring cinematic soundscapes, delicate piano melodies and percussion that will get under your skin”.

Read More: ’B’ is for Rebecca Brandt


Cutback
Things have been a little quiet for the Norwich rockers of late. They’ve had a couple of gigs in and around the city recently, but we are hoping to hear some new material soon.

Read More: ’C’ is for Cutback


Jack Robert Hardman
Jack’s eponymous debut album came out earlier this year and as well as getting some good radio play recently, he also took his show on the road for a BBC Introducing gig in August. At the moment, he is giving away a free track to new mailing list subscribers (click here if you are interested) and, we hope, prepping for some more gigs later in the year.

Read More: ’H’ is for Jack Robert Hardman


Look, Stranger!
As well as providing us with an exclusive remix of the latest single from stablemates (and perennial Alphabet Bands favourite) Kites (which you can stream below), the guys are getting ready to release their new single “Ithaca” in October. They are also hosting their latest Stranger Danger evening at 93 Feet East in London tonight (21 September) and touring the country over the coming weeks,

Tour Dates:
September
21 – 93 Feet East – LONDON
25 – King’s College University – LONDON
27 – Christ Church University – CANTERBURY
28 – University of Wales – CARMARTHEN
30 – University of Glamorgan – GLAMORGAN

October
06 – O2 Academy – BIRMINGHAM
12 – The Hub – DARLINGTON
14 – The Wheelbarrow – LONDON
20 – Oxjam Festival – LONDON (Details soon)

Read More: ’L’ is for Look, Stranger!


Mahoney and the Moment
Emily and Steve will be working on their second album this autumn, as well as taking their new full band line-up out on the road.

Tour Dates:
September
22 – The Three Wishes, Harrow

October
12 – The Albion, London
21 – Old Queen’s Head, London

November
1 – Ort Cafe, Birmingham
4 – Stamps Bar, Liverpool
17 – The Drawing Room, Chesham

Read More: ’M’ is for Mahoney & The Moment


…Of Diamonds
The girls have been busy releasing a couple of new videos in the last few weeks, check them out below.



Read More: ’O’ is for …Of Diamonds


Polaroid 85
The seven piece orchestral electronic ensemble that blew our tiny little mind earlier this year have a few shows lined up, starting tonight (21 September). London residents are strongly encouraged to get to Elysian Project in Islington for what promises to be a great night.

Tour Dates:
September
21 – Elysian Project, Islington, London
28 – Hootananny, Brixton, London

October
26 – The Blind Tiger, Brighton

Read More: ’P’ is for Polaroid85


Ronika
Supporting and remixing Little Boots was just a couple of things that have been keeping the wonderful Ronika busy over the last few months. She’s been playing some shows as well, the next one is in Warsaw tomorrow night (22 September).

Read More: ’R’ is for Ronika


SUNBEARS!
The last six months have seen something of a change in lifestyle for our sunny chums with the arrival of a little Suncub. The new baby didn’t prevent the gang from performing live on TV last month as well as doing a few gigs. We hope the little Suncub is sleeping through!

Read More: ’S’ is for SUNBEARS!


Juan Zelada
Our favourite Spanish smoothie has been a busy bee over the summer, appearing at countless festivals and releasing a new video “Open My Eyes” in August (which you can watch below). He’s also off on another UK tour this winter.

Tour Dates.
November
19 – O2 Academy, Birmingham
20 – The Harley, Sheffield
21 – The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne
22 – Brudenell Social Club
23 – King Tuts, Glasgow
24 – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
26 – Louisiana, Bristol
27 – The Jericho, Oxford
28 – Komedia, Brighton
29 – Scala, London

Read More: ’Z’ is for Juan Zelada


So that’s the latest from our Alphabet Bands, f you want to, you can follow all of them on Twitter using this handy list we made.

As you can see we still have a few letters left to fill. Which letter would you like to see featured next and do you have any suggestions for who you would like us to profile? Let us know below and we’ll take a listen.

Gig Review: Ronika, The Old Blue Last, 10/04/12

16 Apr

Ronika006

Spring should be in the air, but while the sun’s rays have long since found solace behind the clouds and the only thing that has sprung is a leak from the heavens above, one venue in old London town is as full of vibrant energy and life as you would expect from the season.

Patrons of The Old Blue Last, a diverse and assorted bunch of the chic, the city and the somewhere in-between are oft treated to some of the hottest new sounds and coolest cats on the intimate stage upstairs. Tonight is to be no exception as the Madonna of the Midlands, Ronika is here to launch her latest, the Automatic EP.

The venue is sparsely populated as showtime creeps towards us, Ronika herself mills about in the thin crowd, catching up with friends and fans alike. A throat infection gives her voice a slight rasp but her enthusiasm is not dampened. The lights dim, she steps atop the stage and out of the blue the venue is packed and throbbing. The first notes of “Wiyoo” ring out, fears for her voice are quickly forgotten and suddenly there is a dancefloor at the front.

Ronika004

The groove is on as she slips swiftly from one infectious 80’s funk-pop track to another. The only concession to her malady is a lack of chat, nothing is taken from the performance as still the room fills and the dancers swell across the floor. Shapes are cut, the varied attendees united in the moment as the beat takes hold. Barely a breath can be taken as she canters through her set, the crowd whoops and hollers for more as the focus of the night, “Automatic”, reaches its blessed out funktacular climax. Leave them wanting more they say, two tracks later and she’s done, the crowd still hungry shows its rapturous appreciation.

The molten atmosphere of the room cools a touch as the night draws to its close, outside even the rain has stopped for the performance and the evening air has warmed. Ronika’s incendiary set seemingly heating even the weather itself, at last it feels as if spring is here and the world feels a little brighter for it.

Read More
’R’ is for Ronika
Listen: Fear Of Tigers Remix Ronika
Free Download: The T2s (feat. Ronika) – “Into You”
Listen: Ronika – “Automatic”
Watch: Ronika – “Automatic”

Photos by Adam S

Watch: Ronika – “Automatic”

3 Apr

You’ve heard the track, now watch the video. Nottingham’s favourite Queen of disco pop, Ronika, has just released the video for her latest single, “Automatic”.

While the song may well conjure up images of an 80’s roller disco in your mind’s eye, the visuals are all together more surftacular. Projections of men in wet-suits riding giant waves envelope our heroine as she sings, synths, spells, poses and blows hair out of her face. It’s a beaut of a track and beaut of a video, check it out below.

“Automatic” will be released on 9 April and is available both digitally and on 7″ single

Via Popjustce