Future-retro artist, IRYS, released her latest single titled, “Circles” this year. The Berlin-based singer, songwriter, and producer uses hard-hitting music to create dramatic imagery that is dark and appealing. Combining elements of electronica and darkwave, IRYS is known for creating songs that just don’t get out of your head and “Circles”, is definitely one of those catchy tracks.
Starting off with a powerful snare, the intro to “Circles” consists of dark synths, vocal chops and dark ambient elements to set the vibe. IRYS has a unique style of processing her vocals – the contrast in her tone and the electronics is special in its own way, kinda goth and not at the same time. This song’s synth arp serves as the hook line and, along with the bass line, the two work well together.
IRYS absolutely loves playing around with her synths – I can hear some of the Berlin techno influence in her music and I’m loving it! She has this certain style of making simple and effective transitions between sections that make up the tension and release aspect – kills the monotony and keeps the listener wanting more.
“Circles” is reminiscent of some Tove Lo and Charlie XCX tracks if they’d been fused with dark-electro. The song’s lyrics seem to emanate from a place of intoxication and uncertainty according to me. If IRYS were playing “Circles” in a dingy underground techno club, the good and drunk audience would easily relate to the track and I think that’s what she was going for. IRYS’ retro approach to selecting tones and even playability is what makes “Circles”, stand out from other techno-type tracks. She has a distinct style of blending analog synths with dark electronics that sticks, try getting that arpeggio out of your head!
So, IRYS was kind enough to give us an interview, here’s my conversation with her!
1- You’ve released four remarkable singles in 2021 and it seems like you’ve started putting out music only this year. Could you tell us a bit about your past career?
I feel I’m just getting started! But I’ve been playing guitar, singing and writing songs since I was very young. When I moved to Berlin some years ago to pursue music more seriously, I worked with different musicians and producers on my song material. But I quickly found that this wasn’t the right path for me; I just didn’t like my music being produced and arranged by others. My aim was always to translate into reality what’s already in my head. So learning to produce myself was the best decision ’cause it freed me up to put out music the way I want. Of course, I also had to work lots of jobs on the side! In my definition, I haven’t really have a career so far; rather it was all preparation for what I do now.
2– All of your singles sound supreme and the vocal style caught my attention. What inspired you to write vocals of such a type and process it in this way?
I think it just comes down to my taste and the kind of vocals I like to listen to. I love effects and like to play around with a good chorus and different delays. I’m not a fan of dry-sounding vocals, but I also don’t like an overload of effects or autotune! So I find good vocal processing should fit your voice and add more atmosphere to a track.
3- What drove you towards creating experimental future electro music?
When I started making music, I wrote songs with my guitar and voice, but I always craved more sonic possibilities. And even though I wrote singer/songwriter tunes, I listened to lots of electronic music. So I wanted to combine both, a more pop songwriting approach with an electronic soundscape. I then learned production with a teacher who makes techno and loves goth, and that merged into the sound I’m doing now.
4- I’d really enjoy listening to this record in an underground club! How has the Berlin techno scene been for you?
When I was new in Berlin, I enjoyed the variety of clubs a lot! Then eventually, I overdid it and was more or less done partying. I’m mostly more of a nature type of person. I guess I need the silence to balance out my hyperactive brain! Still, the sounds, the atmosphere, and the people I met clubbing in Berlin definitely have influenced my music-making. Also, some of my friends produce techno, so it’s always interesting to see how they approach music.
5- What would you like to say to the new artists out there? Also what obstacles did you overcome when you got into the music scene?
My biggest obstacle initially was a lack of knowledge and boundaries. It’s so important to listen to your gut when people tell you all kinds of things! Before I started producing myself, I worked with a producer who tried to force me into a sound that I didn’t wanna do. But I was naive and thought, “maybe that’s just the way it’s done “. Possibly, I was just unlucky, as there are also many great people out there. But I find as an artist who creates the music, you should be the boss! Of course, you also should be educated about your craft. I think if I had compromised my ideas earlier on, it would have been easier for me in many ways, but it wouldn’t have been authentic. So my main message is: Find a path that’s authentic to you, whatever this may look like! Also, work hard and persistently, don’t get defeated by failure, and choose wisely who you surround yourself with.
6- Could you describe your past taste in music and how it has manifested itself in “Circles “?
I love certain aspects of different genres, but I always had a preference for electronic sounds. Good music for me needs to be bold, memorable, and a bit dark.When I make a song, I think I unconsciously adopt the aspects of different genres that I like the most. The melody is always the focus for me, though, and then I want a dark soundscape. This is what I did In “Circles”; I created something melodic, repetitive, and dark. I wanted to make a song with drive and atmosphere and with an airy vocal on top.