I.R.O.K. stands for Intergalactic Republic of Kongo.
They also stand for, according to the press release for their forthcoming album out on Acid Bath Records on 14 Jan, “exploration, abandonment, music as a physical force to take you outside of yourself. To transcend time and space. “
The music they make is “ferocious futurist synth-driven,psychotropic Afro-punk of their self titled debut album. It is by turns majestic, epic, unnerving, riotous and always nothing less than lysergically deranged and technicolour at all times.”
I.R.O.K’s front man Mike Title dreamt up the concept on stands of a North African football match. And alhough I.R.O.K formed in London in 2010 it is Morocco that serves as their spiritual home – and it’s not a mere flirtation with it’s imagery and sound from afar – much of I.R.O.K’s career to date has been spent journeying down the coastline, across the mountain ranges
and into the Sahara. While Mike Title was born and raised in East London. His mother’s family are Berber, from the southern regions of North Africa.
“Morocco is so magical because it’s so Paganist,” says Mike Title. “You get to live in the moment – but in another time. Islam, Christianity and Judaism are only a few hundred or a few thousand years old but in Morocco you can go deep to traditions and cultures that go back to the dawn of our consciousness. There’s nothing like it. There’s a sense of purity that modern corporations are dying to extinguish from our minds. To be part of any ancient culture is a blessing, a source of comfort. To appreciate another culture is one thing but to be truly consumed by it is magical.”
When not in North Africa, I.R.O.K have also played a clutch of UK festivals and made in-roads to mainland Europe.They’ve shared stages with Azealia Banks, Death Grips and Kavinsky.
They are aboit to release their twelve-track debut album International Republic of Kongo – drawing references to Funkadelic, latter-day PiL, and The Prodigy, the band themselves cite disparate influences such as Prince, Fela Kuti, Crass,
Omar Souleyman, Sun Ra and Suicidal Tendencies.
Check out the lead single from the album I Work, here…