Boomkat Product Review:
Riki is the Los Angeles based dark synth-pop outfit commandeered by the mysterious Niff Nawor, a visual artist and musician active in the deathrock / anarcho-punk scenes of the California bay area (formerly a member of Crimson Scarlet), before founding her solo endeavor as Riki in 2017. Niff’s desire to explore her own sound manifested in the recording of the Hot City cassette tape in 2017, which featured Chelsey Crowley of Crimson Scarlet, Skot Brown of Phantom Limbs and Peđaof Doomed to Extinction. Released on Commodity Tapes and later reissued on vinyl by the well-regarded Symphony of Destruction label, Riki followed the release of the single with several small tours and festival dates, performing with such acts as Light Asylum, Black Marble, and Trisomie 21.
"For her self-titled debut album for Dais, Riki explores courage, physicality, and romance across eight timeless synth pop anthems. Produced and engineered by hardware-based synthesist Matia Simovich of INHALT, influences and ideas are worn proudly without deviating from fresh and daring electro-pop territory. Nostalgic cues can be heard ranging from Neue Deutsch Welle, early Adrian Sherwood productions, classic ZYX Italo Disco, Japanese Visual Kei and even classic new wave/pop like Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, and early Madonna.
The lead single, Napoleon, contains Riki’s indelible sound design, reminiscent of 80’s New York dance floor electro-pop that recalls the fusion of uptown and downtown styles and culture, told through Riki’s present day West Coast narrative. For contrast, the second single entitled Böse Lügen (Body Mix) was previously released in demo form and remixed to emphasize its commanding presence and addictive nature. Translated simply to “Wicked Lies” and sung completely in German, Böse Lügen moves away from the upbeat romanticism found throughout the album and commands serious self-reflection guised within an infectious dance floor anthem. Riki invites listeners to “reveal their useless habits of complacency and fear...and witness their own rebirth, a rhythm universal”