I.R.O.K. - The Intergalactic Republic of Kongo
One imagines that hallucinogenics might dramatically enhance the debut offering from London Afro-punks I.R.O.K. but let's not downplay its inherent trippiness. The Intergalactic Republic of Kongo is primed and ready for take off. Formed in London but with Moroccan roots, I.R.O.K. are equally at home supporting The Prodigy at Brixton Academy (as they did last year) as they are throwing impromptu guerrilla punk-dance parties in the shadows of the Sahara. Prepare to be taken way outside of your comfort zone - just don't forget to buckle up.
Opening track 'I Work' pulls no punches, sounding like equal parts Rocky Horror Picture Show, Space Invaders and dirty London grime shaken violently and served over a couple of tabs of acid. On paper it isn't far from a disastrous musical tsunami - in reality it is addictive, adrenaline-fuelled listening. Fragments of early Prodigy mingle with intricate percussive patterns, thrust against a smattering of electro and even an element of house. It's intense, it's enjoyable and it's really really fucking weird. The unpredictable nature makes TIROK feel more like an adventure, a voyage, than just an album. Futuristic undercurrents and a punk rock attitude leave little questioning of the band's motives. Unrestricted by present day notions of electronic music, they take your preconceptions, chew them up and swallow - before violently vomiting them back at your feet. Twice.