From exploding onto the scene with the electrifying ‘Out Of My Mind‘ to consistently putting out some of the most enthralling and mesmerizing bass concoctions, few have risen the ranks of greatness as masterfully as gyrofield. Hong Kong-born, Bristol-based Kiana Li is attacking electronic music from a different point of view than most, and many are taking note of her unparalleled technical skills. Paired with the ability to engulf listeners in vivid melodies and soundscapes, gyrofield certainly knows how to create crowd-pleasers, and upon the imminent return of live shows, the world is bound to be her stage.
gyrofield’s Synopsis EP dating back to October 2020 saw her develop a meticulous, boundary-pushing approach to production, stating that it was all “about taking drum and bass to its extremes.” Today, the talented artist looks to push that mentality one step further with the release of her Title Card EP via Inspected, orchestrating four mind-melting pieces that are sure to leave listeners awestruck. Fittingly delivered through a platform that only showcases the best and the brightest, the Title Card EP is a gem worthy of multiple listens from start to finish.
Soft, comforting textures float vividly throughout ‘Silk.’ ‘Rosequartz’ alongside frequent collaborator latesleeper is a glitchy, ethereal journey that is equally calculated as it is emotive. Chaotic, fast-paced rhythms leave one perplexed yet amused in ’23nd,’ and ‘FYDB’ is similar, but different. Simply put, every track is uniquely incredible, with gyrofield stating that “these four worlds are interlinked by their exploration of meaningful characteristics of sound, their central concepts originating from my perception of reality.”
We had the extreme pleasure of catching up with gyrofield to discuss the above statement in more detail, the ideas surrounding the project as a whole, and a few more interesting bits. Check out the project and the interview below.
The title card of a movie sometimes denotes the change from one act to another. How is the title of this project a reflection of this new chapter in terms of your sound?
Title Card and Self Titled represent a change in the way I approached writing music. For a very long time I was mainly invested in the technical side of production, aiming to execute ideas as best as I could. Some time after my Synopsis EP I began writing music that reflected on my mental state, my thoughts and the way I perceived the world. This was the beginning of a shift from a focus on dancefloor tracks to music that is emotive and expressive, though the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
You’ve talked about musical journaling in the past. Broadly speaking, what does this mean to you?
Musical journaling to me means that I’m trying to write something that is personal to me, and is reflective of my mental state and thoughts while creating the piece. Achieving this involves a process of self-discovery and relating aspects of myself with the ways that I write music, finding ways to create an authentic representation of my mind using the tools and processes involved in music production. Obviously this is an ongoing journey, and extends way beyond Title Card and Self Titled. Journals document personal experiences and thoughts with an aim of being truthful and honest, and I would describe my way of approaching music to be similar to that.
The project title is relatively straightforward, but the song titles aren’t. What does each track represent to you, and how do they all fit together to form what you envisioned for the Title Card EP?
These track titles are a bit oblique but each track represents a general concept or aspect of myself. These titles are up to the listeners’ interpretation. In attempting to depict these concepts I looked to creating character in sounds that remind me of them.
‘Silk’ to me is a track that sounds soft, smooth, and flowing. As with many other synth-focused tracks I’ve written there was a focus on warmth. It is something I’ve looked for in the music I listen to and make for years now, and ‘Silk’ is one way I chose to represent this characteristic in sound.
‘Rosequartz’ is about beauty and light, like how light refracts and splits into prisms when hitting a crystal. Kai (latesleeper) and I decided to depict that with small, discrete pieces of synth sounds. The interaction between the sounds creates the crystalline and fragmented aesthetic of the track.
’23nd’ was a track I wrote while reflecting on the pervasive disorder of the systems in our societies. It was written in a time of social movements and systematic injustice. Cold calculated rhythms form a complex web of musical relations that warp and develop over time. There is a kind of aggression, akin to the rage against the machine.
‘FYDB’ is similar to 23nd in the way it also has to deal with systematic and personal injustice. I wrongfully thought that the drum and bass scene would be a meritocracy where everyone could belong. Disillusioned by the truth I began writing the track in a turbulent state of mind. I wished I could just yell at everyone with a megaphone to get it together.
You recently tweeted about wishing you were more active on social media, but that you find comfort in creating in private. Can you elaborate more on that thought? In this age of social media, how do you balance promoting your work while still working in privacy? Why do you wish you were more active?
With that tweet I wanted to express the sentiment that it felt tiring to have a presence on social media while having to create music. It would be nice networking with people more often, and that would probably lead to many great opportunities for collaboration. It would also be nice to be more outspoken about social issues, and to be true to my moral compass all the time. It would be nice to do these things, but I simply don’t have the time and energy to involve myself like that, on top of living and creating. Right now I wish to continue my personal process of creating art in private, where I don’t have to prove my capabilities or be outspoken about anything. It’s also nice to be able to not be seen as ‘gyrofield’ when I interact with people in online spaces.
Why do you think Inspected is the right platform for you to showcase this evolution in your artistic abilities?
Above all, I’ve enjoyed Inspected’s output for years, they’ve released so much imaginative and thoughtful electronic music. Now that my focus in music is shifting to dreaming and thinking in sound, and I’ve grown in confidence in my craft, I felt like I could present my work to Inspected and its community. I want to present my perspective to people who are looking for forward-thinking and genuine expression in music, and Inspected is a good place for that.