It’s more than a queer post facto dance with pop. It itself embodies the avant pop of a pint-sized singing budgie on the edge of acceptability.
“Extending reflections to something futuristic, almost post-human”, Ladonna Rama produces campy techno and perverted pop. Her self-titled electronic debut from 2014 "embodies the avant pop of a pint-sized singing budgie on the edge of acceptability". Described as “music to wiggle the ding dongs”, Ladonna’s second album “Unzip the Chick” appeared in 2016 with remixes by UK producer Hectic and Sydney DJ Matt Vaughan for house track “I’m on a Mission”, and dom anthem fan fave “I’ll Require Your Full Attention". Early 2020 sees Ladonna on the verge of her third album release inspired by Tokyo. Sci-fi house number "Zentai Suit" spearheads the release with a video shot on a wet and lonely night in the back streets of a west Tokyo suburb.
Teetering between the performance art and queer club scenes, she’s supported Peaches, Christeene, the Black Madonna and Chicks on Speed. She’s collaborated with Glitta Militia, The Hoopaholics, Motel Sisters, Gang of She, the Naked Barber, Ben Drayton, Yiorgos Zafiriou, Aaron Manhattan and Bunny Hoop Star.
Major festivals/parties both in her native Australia and overseas include The Mardi Gras Party, Sleaze Ball, Vivid Sydney, Secret Garden, The Broken Heel Festival, cLUB bENT, Heaps Gay, Honcho Disko, Monsta Gras, Loose Ends, Club Kooky, the House of Mince, Bad Dog, Velvet Hammer, Lovecult 2000, Dept H Tokyo and Doodz Brooklyn. She appears at other venues such as Sydney Opera House, Tokyo Sing Song, Oxford Art Factory, The Oxford Hotel, The Imperial Hotel, Home Nightclub, Carriageworks, The Red Rattler, MCA Art Bar, Artspace, AGNSW and Art Sydney.
by Aaron Manhattan
Ladonna’s electronic dancescapes zoom in on the unique, delusional-obsessive reality of the fin de siecle camp sensibility. Her lyrics contemporaneously express the cosmic feminine knowledge and caprice filtered through a queer ambivalent tone. Ladonna invokes the meta self-sexploitation of the late Vanity or Madonna in her SEX period. But it’s more than a queer post facto dance with pop. It itself embodies the avant pop of a pint-sized singing budgie on the edge of acceptability.
I'll require you’re full attention
Full attention is what’s required to appreciate the depth of this surface, as any child of Wilde's aestheticism would understand. To underestimate or dismiss the surface is to dismiss reality itself. I laugh in seduced awe as Ladonna explores these themes. But in Internet land we are not stuck. Ladonna leaves the cyberspace and her glamour becomes a hazard in the street. To the world and to herself “a woman and a child” are causing a commotion. Or are they the stillness within it?
Who do you think you’re talking to?
Her Two-Step Twist grinds and gurgles like waking, inverted Prince synths with a high dosage of Madonna’s liturgical elements, the twinkles of a lucky star sparkling above. Step ball change, work it child. The faux commands recall the demonic undertones of Pete Burns' Dead or Alive Stock Aitken Waterman hits.
For me the pièce de résistance is the self-aware, unapologetic queer gaze behind the lyrics and the seductive, menacing, self-produced beats of Ladonna Rama's live electro pop show. Between bursts of nightclub smoke, Ladonna took the stage in her post-Vanity, S&M robo-Madonna glamour and stuck a wet-look black latex finger up the arsehole of every hot fucktoy at the festival. Not only did they need it, they loved every second of it.