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Incirrina, analogue and minimal sounds in dark, experimental ambience | Interview

Incirrina uses their music tentacles to drag you in the darkness of their sound.

There is this case with the modern underground, alternative scene in Greece, where there is a number of bands that, really, deserve to be heard. And they deserve a big shout-out. More particularly, I can say, that a group of the dark, minimal, cold bands have ridden the wave that will lead them to success.

One of the main guides to this ride is Incirrina. Incirrina is a duo from Greece, consisting of Irini T. in synthesizers, vocals and George K. in synthesizers, samples, drum machine, vocals. Incirrina manage to create a compact and dynamic electronic dark wave soundscape, moving from the cold and minimalistic analogue synths to experimental, dark ambient. Using these elements they establish a dark atmosphere along their debut full-length album, 8:15, released during the last days of October 2019, from Geheimnis Records. An album so special, in my humble opinion, since they, perfectly, combine the coldness and the darkness of their sound with lyrics based on the poems of a well-known pre-romantic poet, William Blake. So many beautiful messages hidden behind words that were written many, many years ago.

For our friends, living in Thessaloniki, there is an upcoming live concert of Incirrina, on February 28th, along with another great Greek dark wave, minimal band, Convex Model.

I could not leave this opportunity and not discuss all these interesting facts that completes the image of Incirrina. Read what the talented duo told us about their music, their inspirations, and the future. 

ES: Hi Incirrina. A beautiful album in 2019 and many beautiful things along with it. Before asking you more about it, would you like to say something for yourselves and introduce the band to our readers?

George: Hello, thank you very much for hosting us in ElectroSpank! We are a synth duo -George K. and Irini T.-based in Athens and we were formed in autumn 2017. We are both musicians (pianists and synth/keyboard players) and It had always been a dream for both of us to form a band based exclusively on synthesizers…Usually dreams come true when you come across people with whom you can share them-and that’s exactly what happened in our case.
Irini: Although we both compose the music of Incirrina, in live performance our roles are quite distinct: George does all the drum programming and deals with the sampling, also all bass lines are his duty, while I am dealing more with the vocal lines and with the harmonic layers.

ES:  I know that this question could sound trivial but I would like to ask you about the band's name. What does Incirrina stands for?

G.: It is not trivial at all, the names –not only a band’s name but names in general -have to do with the sense/meaning and with the essence and the imagery of what they represent. “Incirrina” is a kind of octopus .I am very fond of marine life and when we were brainstorming about how to name our band (and surely you know that this can turn to be a hard task), I thought we should search in this field. Apart from being a name whose sound, when pronounced, we liked, the octopus is a strong symbol of intelligence, grace, flexibility and moving agility, which we always need as musicians..

Ir. : I wish we also had 8 hands, so that we would be able to play more synths simultaneously…!

ES: A debut full length album in 2019. Titled "8:15" and released in October 2019. A beautiful dark wave, cold synths LP. Can you tell us some things about this album?

Ir. : This is a 11-track album, 10 tracks are songs and the last one - “8:15”, after which the whole album is named- is instrumental. As we said above, naming something is important, and “8:15” refers to the time the atomic bomb was dropped on August 6 ,1945 on Hiroshima. George has spent his early childhood in Japan and remembers strongly the impression he had as a kid when he visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The album’s name is a tribute to the victims of the bombing and our way of trying not to let this fact sink into the oblivion of time

G. : Our love for this kind of music –cold minimal synth and dark-has impelled us to compose these songs. To use one of my favorite lyrics taken from Blake’s “The Sick Rose”, this is a “dark secret love”. Some of the songs of the album were first composed already in 2017, and before getting their final form, they have gone through various transformations, as far as orchestration, sound, tempo, feel and mood are concerned.

ES: In "8:15" someone can listen to a variety of music elements. Focused in the darkest side of music and sounds, there are moments of pure ambient or experimental electro and minimal synths. What would you say are your influences music-wise?

G.: There is a great variety of musicians, bands, composers of different music styles we love and admire …just to mention a few of them: Kraftwerk, Einstürzende Neubauten ,Depeche Mode ,The Cure, J.M. Jarre ,Vince Clarke, Gary Numan, , OMD, the Stranglers , Joy Division , also Eric Satie and the Japanese experimentalists Satoshi Ashikawa, Yoshio Ojima.

Ir.: To those I would like to add my beloved Siouxsie and Nina Hagen, also Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus, Ultravox, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears.

ES: Among the characteristics of your sound is the use of analogue synths. A thing that someone can see in you live shows. Which are the main reasons that lead you to use analogue equipment?

G.: We love analogue synths because of their rich and “filling” sound. We are very much familiar with the way they work and the sound designing (as, on the other hand, we are not acquainted with music making with computer, or with some digital synthesizers). In most of the analogue synths you cannot “save” the settings and parameters of a sound, so every time you have to build the sound from the beginning. This can be a disadvantage, but it’s also fascinating. Each instrument has its own character and its unique sound inspires to musicians different moods, melodies, soundscapes etc. 

Ir. : Although in the recording of “8:15” album we used exclusively analogue equipment, in our live shows we are now also using a digital synthesizer -a Yamaha reface DX (“descendant” of the historical Yamaha DX7 of the 80s)- this particular instrument is very nicely combined to our analogue synths, and I also love the way you can create and build its sounds.

ES: Incirrina's music creates an ambience of dark emotions, lyricism and romanticism. This is not only because of the music but the lyrics as well. Can you tell us where the lyrics are inspired from? What exactly is the relation with a well-known pre-romantic poet, like William Blake?

Ir: We both loved William Blake’s poetry before forming Incirrina. When we were playing our first tunes together, we had the idea to use it for our music. We agreed exactly with many of his social, political and personal beliefs and the way he expressed them in his poems. Although written some 200 years ago, Blake’s poetry is still relevant. He was an anti-militarist, defended women’s rights, he loved animals, he denounced children labor and the hypocrisy of church and organized religion, criticized many of the putrid moral principles … so we were related emotionally to many of his poems , he expressed with the ideal way the things we would like to say and communicate with our music. 

ES: Will there be a sequel in the concept behind "8:15"? Will we listen to more poems taken from William Blake or other pre-romantic, romantic poets? Is there any new material and release scheduled?

G: In the beginning we had some more songs with lyrics taken from Blake’s poetry but now we don’t play these songs live any more, and we also do not plan to do this in the future or release them. We do not exclude the chance of using the poetry of other poets (either from that era, or even modern ones), but for the moment, we are working on songs with lyrics of our own and a new release will be scheduled when this material will be ready.

ES: Prior to the album, there was an EP released, titled again "8:15". Can you tell us something about it? Why did you choose the same name for those two releases?

Ir.: The EP “8.15” was released December 2018 (in the electronic platform “Bandcamp”) and it is a 6-track album. Five of these tracks are also included in the LP. The title (also the artwork, made by the photographer and video artist Gwgw Galanopoulou, who has also made 2 videos for our songs “The Smile” and “A Little Girl Lost”) remained the same, as the whole concept was the same. When we first talked with Panos Dread from Geheimnis Records about releasing this album in LP, the idea was that we keep the same concept and add the songs that were not released in the EP, so, that’s what finally happened.

ES: Apart from Incirrina, you've been active in other music projects, as well. When did you both decide that you wanted to create Incirrina and create this sound and songs?

G. From the very first moment we met each other we were discussing with enthusiasm the possibility of forming a synth band together. As we said above, our common love for this kind of music was the strongest reason about that, also the fact that we had a very good chemistry and communication – in the beginning (in 2015) we had no time at all to form a band, but then things changed and the first Incirrina’s tunes (the ones that a bit later, when we decided to use Blake’s poems, were named “The Angel” and “The Tyger”) were born in our living room.

ES: There is a live show coming up, in Thessaloniki, together with another great dark and minimal synth band, Convex Model. How do you feel about it? Have you performed in Thessaloniki before? Are there any other live appearances scheduled?

Ir.We are very happy and it is an honor for us that we will share the stage with Convex Model in 28/2/20 at “The Host”. It is a great band we admire and its founding member, Nick Kapantzakis, has a very important role in the scene,not only with this band but also with previous very important and great projects, such as “Human Puppets”,”Plexiglass’’ and others. We love their full analogue sound and their live shows are really great and we are looking very much forward for this night. This is the first time we will perform in Thessaloniki. We are also arranging some other appearances in Athens and other towns in the spring, still we need to confirm dates and places.

ES: Would you like to say something else to your fans? Any last words to our readers?

G.: With music you can create invisible worlds… we love living in these worlds and share the vibrations and emotions music evokes. Sharing and moving-dancing together with people … that’s what we love doing with our music…

Ir.: Thank you very much for this interview!

ES: Thank you very much. Looking forward to see you performing live and listen to your future work. Best wishes.







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