All words: Lloyd Newkirk
It was perhaps last year around May sometime that Kreg mentioned to me that a mutual friend of ours was making music. I immediately assumed that he meant that this friend being one Natalie Perel – aka Rose Bonica a- was in a band of sorts. I realised that it was Kreg who was telling me this and quickly corrected my assumption by exclaiming “Oh wait, is she DJing/producing? What is she doing techno?” Kreg responded: “Kinda, but it’s more her own signature sound and its fucking dark and delicious!”
My interest was peaked. I quickly did the Facebook stalk, only to find that Natalie had deleted me! Okay to be fair, I hadn’t spoken to her in a few years at this point & had probably spammed her with some competition I was trying to win, so I don’t blame her for cutting social media ties to me. I reached out and added her again & she accepted. I continued to follow her musical journey through social media. I was impressed to learn how much of an impact she had already made in this male-dominated space.
As early as last year November 2017 Natalie released her first EP “My Rosy Disposition” which was hailed as “One of the Most Intriguing Bodies of Work from SA this Year” by Pulse & praised by many others. So if you haven’t given it a listen yet I suggest doing that first!
With more & more female DJ’s popping (still not nearly enough there either) up it was refreshing to find that Natalie was one of a few female producers. Not only a female producer but an artist who pours emotions & past experiences into her sound, which can be described as “not your run of the mill electronica” but I prefer to call it techno-inspired darkwave electronica. I’m no expert, so this article won’t dwell on the technicalities of genre labeling but instead on how her music and her latest offering makes me feel.
Firstly, if you’re someone who appreciates techno with the normal bells & whistles ala melodic bass lines and simple drops, then stop reading this. You’re wasting your time. If you’re someone that can sit back and listen to music for its intent and originality then you’ve come to the right place.
“Basically what I’m saying is, spoiler alert: it’s fucking great.”
Rose Bonica’s recently released sophomore EP “Don’t Let It Get To Your Head” is a raw, hard & sometimes beautifully harrowing account of her feelings, past experiences and everything that is going on in her beautiful mess of a head. The EP kicks of with the haunting buildup of its first track “Keep Stealing Men’s Dreams” featuring some gooseflesh-inducing vocals by Rose Bonica herself. It’s a driving, hard track featuring some genuinely honest yet simple lyrical samples.
Following this superb introduction to the EP is the intense, drone-like industrial hardness of “Shooting Guns Driving Cars”. The track, as simple it may seem on the outside, is a well-layered production that one simply has to lie down and listen to with a decent pair of headphones. My hand-me-down Roland’s did the trick. Trust me here, just do it, let this hypnotic piece of electronica take you to some dark crevasses of your mind.
And that’s just the first two tracks. I really want to go more in-depth track by track but I’d recommend listening to the EP yourself to fully immerse yourself in Natalie’s original sound. As I said before, this is not run of the mill techno. There’s no drop. Instead, your ears will be greeted with some truly fucking dark and original, honest & emotional electronica.
The crux here is the fact that SA’s electronic scene has needed this breath of fresh air for decades and Rose Bonica, while pushing the envelope, definitely delivers with “Don’t Let It Get To Your Head.”
In the short time that Rose Bonica has been on the scene, she has already attracted the attention of the international scene.Why though? Because it’s not often that a new artist comes along with such honest to god original music. In a country where the electronic music scene is dominated by a couple of genres, this take on electronica is a welcome new taste to one’s musical pallet.
“Don’t Let It Get To Your Head” is a powerful, moving journey into the depths of Natalie’s psyche & the end result is a multi-faceted trippy piece of electronic music! Basically what I’m saying is spoiler alert: it’s fucking great. One more thing, if you see an event pop up in your feed featuring this new, female powerhouse of electronica, do yourself a fucking favour & venture out for some fucking original & delightfully dark electronica!
Check out her mega international album reviews below and follow her Facebook fan page for more on her impressive work.
“Very fresh I like it” –Moderna (Ghostly International)
“Quite an amazing adventure…very imaginative” – Leftfield (Leftfield)
“Mesmerizing and playful, both the ‘If I don’t’ tracks are heavyweight shots” – Szare (Idle Hands)
“Hold me again is v cool…thanks” – Charles Webster (Peacefrog)