Analog Adventures: Riki
About the Artist
In an age in which artists and musicians are encouraged to engage with fans directly, it is refreshing to come across one that envelopes themselves in a shroud of mystery. Riki is the solo name of Niff Nawor, former member of Crimson Scarlet. Her first solo EP is 2017’s Hot City which dipped the listeners toes in the water for 2020’s self-titled debut. Riki’s brand of artistry relies on genuine expression of desire. With this expression comes authentic analog synthesizer programming and recording. Her self titled debut “explores courage, physicality, and romance across eight timeless synth pop anthems.” (Dais Records)
The Record Itself
Riki is dark in timbre but light in mood and atmosphere. Her proficiency with songwriting and performance is like that of an established act, not a solo debut. Language is another area in which Riki excels in, singing in perfect German for Strohmann and Bose Lugen. The ability to switch between languages is reminiscent of Cold War German acts Nena and Falco. There is plenty of visual influence from this era as well, as all photographs posses an analog softness not possible with digital photography. The videos for Napoleon and Earth Song share similar aesthetics. Napoleon opts for secondary colors and Earth Song boasts a primary palette.
“You, my friend, my human other, feel our love within each other.” – Riki, Earth Song
The songwriting and synthesis is truly the star of this record. Producer Matia Simovich flawlessly captures the raw talent of Riki. She channels it into songs that can get even the most cynical to tap their feet. Pulsating bass lines and wavy synthesizers combine with hypnotic drums to build a world in which the only music that matters is Riki’s. There is an overall seductiveness present through out the entire record, inviting you to release your inhibitions and dance. It is a transcendental experience comparable to the masters of the genre.
Their are a slew of different versions of Riki available, including limited color prints. Every edition includes a gigantic poster of the artist, featuring a haunting double image staring into your very heart and soul. The ultra limited mint and oxblood split is a stunning study in contrast, and also serves as the review piece for this article. The cover features a soft and pale headshot of Riki, appearing vulnerable and welcoming.
The mint and oxblood split.
Is it Worth It?
This record is anthemic, poetic, hypnotic, and pure joy. The coalescence of passion and production results in a timeless record that will appeal to music fans across the spectrum. Riki invites the listener to drop out of modern life and escape to a world in which “love is instinctual, there are no rules”. This quote is found in the credits of the album, but serves as a far better summation than anything else written. Different variations of the record are still available through Dais Records starting at $21, making this an excellent and accessible addition to any collection.
- Spirit of Love