Bonggita: Neon Marble

a1439383980_10Before I begin this review proper I just want to impart some advice: never sleep on anything. Earlier this year I received a direct message on Twitter from my friend who runs Echosynthetic, an amazing website that also covers the synthwave scene, and he explicitly told me to check out Bonggita because he knew instantly that it was something special. I checked out Bonggita‘s first release entitled The Bonggitaria Incident, which Echosynthetic reviewed and conducted an interview as well, but unfortunately I never quite got around to reviewing it for this here website.

Therefore I feel it’s all that more important for me to be writing this review because, as I already stated at the beginning, if there is anything that I want you to take away from this it is that you don’t let things pass you by and especially not when someone recommends said thing to you. What with that all reinforced: you need to listen to this, buy it, and then listen to it again on repeat because it is without a doubt one of the best releases this year. Bar none. Let’s find out why:

“Orbital Injection” starts us off with the hum of an engine before giving way to our first taste of synth, a calm and almost euphoric sound, as we make our descent into what the album further has to offer in the form of “Nekyia.” This second song ramps the intensity up a bit, coming at you with ferocity, complete with chilling vocal work that demands you “embrace your darkness.” Perhaps not fully embraced just yet, “Lost” nonetheless further increases the tempo with some more vocal work that is hypnotic in nature, giving credence to the song’s name by almost making you feel disoriented as the sounds of the synth erratically go from one end of the spectrum to the other with great speed.

“Menace” is truly when things start to take a darker turn, although you wouldn’t know it from the beginning when a sultry sax and organ like synth work start it off but then the beat kicks in and so does the feeling of dread. A robotic voice takes over the vocal work on this song, as the backing sounds start to almost glitch out, making you feel as if the track has been hacked in the process of you listening. “She Likes the Moon” has a rather chill sound, a bit of a reprieve from all the prior madness, again with some impressive vocal work. Are you sensing a reoccurring theme here? There has always been a bit of a back and forth in the synth scene as far as vocals go, to which I will always advocate for their use, and the tracks on this album that have them are great examples of how vocals can really enhance a song by making it an all around complete auditory experience.

“She Is Awakened” is a further example of this as the song starts off slowly, and almost prophetic, with a music box like tone that eventually rises up before being followed by ceremonial chanting; an almost religious experience while listening. “Wounded Warrior” starts with some more of that creepy robotic voiced glitchiness before doubling down and going full blown glitchwave on the rest of the track, which honestly works and is amazing. “Neon Marble,” the titular track, is much like a previous song in that it’s pure instrumental and a smooth one at that as it gives you time to relax and breath; you’ll be glad that you did.

This is because “Deep Eyes” kicks things back into gear and brings the vocal work to the forefront, this time with a voice that sounds quite familiar; almost Ziggy Stardust-esque. Speaking of space, “Neo-Human Relations” brings in those epic spacewave vibes and I don’t use a term like ‘epic’ all that lightly with this track which clocks in at a little over seven minutes in length; it is an adventure all in and of itself from start to finish. However, the overall journey of the album comes to an end with the closing track of “Spirit Away,” a fitting conclusion by further showcasing even more of that vocal work which again truly highlights the overall range and production that went into making this album as a whole.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, although they do often say the third time’s the charm, I implore you to pick this album up and give it a listen because my words and descriptions do not truly give it due or any semblance of justice. With two amazing albums already under their belt, after only debuting in January of this year, they’re a rising talent to keep an eye out for especially now that they’ve signed with RetroSynth Records! I’m glad that I finally bought in.

 

Bonggita can be found on Twitter and Facebook and their music can be found on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. You can find RetroSynth Records on Bandcamp.