“Deep end debut album business from Kokeshi’s secret weapon, Irrelevant. ‘I’ll Be OK’ slots firmly into the same post-Burial slipstream as Clubroot, Idiot Savant or Consequence, serving thirteen tracks of finely crafted, melancholy isolationist sonics with a fine appreciation for sci-fi atmospheres, narration and rhythmic futurism. Eagerly anticipated cuts from Kokeshi’s pod kasts appear, namely the two parts of ‘Self Harm’, ‘No Love’ and ‘Flicker’, sequenced and expanded as a set of murky, immersive electronica primed for headphone commutes and midnight chills alike.”
– Boomkat‘s review of Irrelevant’s ‘I’ll Be Ok’
After a string highly regarded singles and one of the best debut albums I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in a long while, the UK’s Irrelevant is back with his sophomore long player on the imprint that has championed him for as long as he’s been releasing music. If the talented team behind Kokeshi is involved, you know the music is going to be good.
Luckily for us, Jay has kindly put together a FKOF Promo minimix of ‘Little Figurines’ as well as an in-depth feature and FatKidOnFire mix to accompany the album that’s out this Monday (16/12/13)…
Who is Irrelevant? Just a guy making tunes as a form of escapism.
How do you describe your signature sound? Melancholic electronica.
After releasing a range of music with Kokeshi over the past few years, you’re back on the imprint with November’s KOKESHI10 and the December album ‘Little Figurines’. How did your relationship with the label come about? Alicia (Alley Cat) found a few rough demos I’d put up on SoundCloud about 4 years ago and contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in releasing some of them on Kokeshi. I already had a full demo ready to go so I sent it to her… Parts of that demo and a few newer bits became ‘I’ll Be Ok’ (my first album). I put the rest down to the great relationship we have and our joint love of deep, emotional music.
‘Little Figurines’ is your second album with the label. What can you tell us about the new long player? I guess it’s a reflection of the past couple of years. I’ve had some stuff happen in my personal life that’s permeated into the sound of the tracks I was making. I mean my sound will always be based around melancholia, mainly because I feel such an affinity with that sort of music and emotion. I think it builds throughout and the end is kind of like a release.
I’ve already said my artists of the year are AtsuBox, those guys are unreal. Again, I’m just really happy they could be part of the album, the track we made together is one of my favourites and there’s more to come from us in the future. Manu Shrine‘s album blew me away too, but I’m also loving artists like Wife, Shigeto, Seekae, Groundislava, Mssingno and Vacant.
There’s loads of guys making awesome music so it’s never fair to pick just a few names out.
Your sound seems to draw from a wide range of influences. Who or what inspires your music? The melancholic side has been with me for as long as I can remember, it’s always been like this guiding light, I always get drawn in by it. I’m a huge Asian cinema fan and the soundtracks to those movies are so beautiful; just heartbreaking strings and builds that create this completely fragile atmosphere that feels like it’s about to crumble into a thousand pieces.
I think that’s why when I heard ‘Untrue’ for the first time it connected with me so much and then as I started to discover more artists like Synkro, Mount Kimbie, Shigeto et al. They were all embracing this sadness and it felt like home to me and I’ve never looked back.
What’s your production set up like? How do you build a tune, have you got a set process? It’s pretty simple, I make tunes in Ableton. I’ve got countless soft synths, a couple of hard synths, including a Yamaha TG-33 that I bought from eBay – it turned out to be from a studio and they left all their custom presets on it so I lucked out there! I use a mini recorder to build up my sample library with found sounds and recordings too.
I never know what I’m going to make when I start a track, I just keep going until the pieces start to fall into place.
You’ve played a fair few gigs this year, what’s your preference on bookings? Smaller, intimate venues or playing the larger crowds? Personally I prefer the smaller venues, primarily for the intimate feel – my sets aren’t big room material. You can beat having that close relationship with a crowd and I feel like the subtle changes in a set get magnified in that kind of setting so with the type of music I play you can really get across the feel of the tunes to the audience.
What have been the highlights for your this year? The album release is really the icing on the cake, it’s like this emotional release after two years’ work.
Playing Fabric a couple more times and meeting guys like AtsuBox and Compa have been great too.
What have you got in terms of upcoming releases? Anything special in the pipeline? I have got something (that I don’t really want to say too much about at the moment) that I’m hoping to be able to bring to life in the new year.
What can you tell us about your FKOF mix? Whenever I put a mix together I like to make it a bit more than a straight deck to deck mix.
There’s tracks that I’m feeling at the moment by some awesome artists, some snippets from brand new bits from me that won’t be on the album (they possibly may just stay in the mix to be honest) and a couple of my own tunes mixed in with added textures, samples etc.
Any final words – or shout outs? Thanks for your time! Special mention to Alicia from Kokeshi for always being a huge supporter and a great mentor, Compa because he’s just generally sick, and the AtsuBox boys. 2014 is going to be their year.
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Irrelevant – Erase [Kokeshi]
- Sangam – Remember [Endless Plain]
- Irrelevant – Shell [Kokeshi]
- Manu Shrine – Buddhi Cutout [Free]
- Irrelevant – Epitaph (Trilapse remix) [Kokeshi]
- Vacant – Hollow [Insight]
- Sykes – Summertime (?? remix) [dub]
- Mssingno – Xe2 [Goon Club Allstars]
- Enyui – All We Were [Bokeh]
- Irrelevant – All Over Again [Kokeshi]
- Manu Shrine ft. Elo Method – Before [Free]
- Irrelevant – Untitled [Kokeshi]
- Burial – Shell Of Light (EvenS remix) [Free]
- James Blake – I Am Sold (EvenS remix) [ATLAS]
- Burial – Nightbus (Davwuh remix) [Free]