Ronika – Forget Yourself/Wiyoo EP
As last year’s wonderful “Do Or Death” mixtape demonstrated, Ronika is clearly in thrall to the post-disco, pre-house dance music that came out of New York between 1981 and 1984. Those influences first emerged on last year’s debut EP (Do Or Die/Paper Scissors Stone), and they are further developed on this year’s follow-up, which offers a pitch-perfect homage to that classic era.
Forget Yourself is the more immediate, more pop-oriented track, whose breezy, peppy strut is reminiscent of early Madonna and Tom Tom Club. As such, it’s a tailor-made early summer jam, driven by nagging chants (“Wake up, wake up, get up, get up”) and teasing calls to action (“What you holding out for, ‘cos I know you’ve got more”). As for the second track on the EP: if Forget Yourself is Jellybean Benitez spinning Madonna at the Funhouse, then Wiyoo (pronounced “why you”) is Larry Levan remixing Gwen Guthrie for the Paradise Garage, augmented by a throbbing Giorgio Moroder bass synth that lifts the chorus into boogie heaven. Three remixes drag the tracks firmly into the contemporary, without obliterating their essential spirit.
Sassy and sultry in shades and platinum curls, with the same sort of pop-chick-in-control vibe that served the likes of GaGa and Stefani so well, it’s easy to see Ronika – who created this EP almost single-handedly – carrying her music from the underground to the mainstream, and giving the rest of us a homegrown pop princess to be proud of.