Ones To Watch - I.R.O.K.

The Intergalactic Republic of Kongo yeah? Clash are sitting in an Old St graveyard watching pigeons with Mike Title, the former leader of Dead Kids and the new cosmic séance master of I.R.O.K. – a man who’s nothing if not confrontational. But his new psychotropic-afro-punk band (his words) found genesis in Morocco, so then why use the name Kongo? “Why didn’t I call it the Intergalactic Republic of Romford? You know what I mean?” he retorts.

In the two meetings we’ve had together Mike’s ideas and energy have flown as freely as his conflict and all the uncompromising passion. The first meeting was at a Clash party at London’s Lexington club where the singer managed to get into a fight, onstage, with both a bouncer and later with a member of a support act. They obviously stole the show big time.

I.R.O.K.’s mesmerising and visceral live show (they had four drummers that night) is a synaptic flurry of rhythms and pogo-tastic keyboards. In response to the two fights he merely raises a question of his own: “You have to make it memorable, otherwise what the fuck are you doing?”

I.R.O.K. was born on the football terraces of a Moroccan town. African drums, rugged binary keys, lairy-as-fuck attitude and a massive helping of de-globalised energy comprise their backbone. “It’s part of the chaos innit?’ he murmurs at another pigeon. “It’s not a future Africa sound and it’s not an African sound. It’s the sound of someone that lives in a city, and they’re paranoid and panicky going to Africa, and how their internal structure reacts to Africa. Your album has to be a reflection of some sort of positive rhythm in your life, of friendship, and of adventure.” So children of the world please get ready for I.R.O.K., they are ready for you.

What: Psychotropic-Afro-Punk
Where: London via Tiznit
Name 3 Songs: ‘God’ ‘OO AA OO’ ‘All My Children’
Unique Fact: Mike promises ‘blood and fire’ at every single show.

This interview appears in the August 2012 issue of Clash Magazine. Buy the issue via our Facebook store HERE.

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