BitTonic, aka Iris Garrelfs, is known for her emotive, improvised glitch-tech performances based around electronically manipulated and digitally warped voice sounds. UK magazine Magic Feet described the effect as "a chaotic Tom Waits-style junkyard orchestra gridlocked into a rigid techno matrix".
Recent live appearances include Camden Remix; Tonic, New York (with Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori, Kaffe Mathews, Lee Renaldo); Berlin's Avantpop 2001 (with Matmos, Mu-ziq, kid 606, Safety Scissors), Batofar, Paris; the ICA, London (with David Toop, Christian Fennesz, Jan Jelinek); the website launch for the British Arts Council; The Big Chill and many others.
After a joint installation with Si-cut.db for the CCA Glasgow (alongside Evan Parker, Tim Brady & The Sneaker Pimps) Iris is currently working on number 2 of her 'sounds for structures' series, for the Berkshire records office as part of the Heritage Open Day events. A recent live performance at Glasgow's CCA will be released as part of the live 3" series by the Consume label, which also contains live sets by Kim Cascone and Toshimaru Nakamura. Upcoming compilation tracks include the imminent Bip_Hop BiP_HOp Generation [v.6]. For later this year she has been invited to Steim in Amsterdam. Iris is also working on sound pieces for a DVD project (with Kaffe Matthews).
Past releases include compositions for the Broken Voice and Hmm compilations on the Sprawl Imprint (which also featured Scanner, David Toop and more), contributions to the Counter Intelligence Subproject 01 on Germany's Electro Chemical Research label (which also featured Kreidler, Aube and others) and more. The Wire's Wiretapper celebrating the Magazine's 200 issue also contains one of her joint works with si-cut.db. Further collaborations include Scanner, Freeform and others.
The computer as an instrument is one of Iris' main interests, which has followed her through her musical life, right from early beginning in 80's Berlin where she composed music for experimental videos on a cherished Atari whilst studying ethnomusicology and vocals. Hence she now organises events showcasing chip-based instruments and digital sound, i.e. the interplay event at London's Spitz (oct/nov 02), showcasing collaborations between artists bases in London and their counterparts in Berlin.
Iris is the co-organiser of Sprawl, the London based club/label advocating electronic and digital musical explorations. Since 1996 Sprawl has brought together uncompromising artists from the UK and abroad for live sound events. Amongst many others Sprawl has featured artists such as Talvin Singh, Scanner, David Toop, Christian Fennesz, Hayley Newman, Kaffe Matthews, snd, Kim Cascone and many more. The Sprawl Imprint is structured around the same fault lines with releases by artists such as Scanner, Freeform, Osymyso and conceptual compilations such as Hmm, (an album of international hymns and anthems and other investigations of childhood influences, featuring David Toop, Kreidler, Kit Clayton, Vladislav Delay, Antye Greie-Fuchs (of Laub), Freeform, Farben, Carl Stone, Kaffe Matthews and more). The website can be found at ]]>]]>www.dfuse.com/sprawl/]]>]]>
In August 2001 a new venture with Kaffe Matthews called "Field 61" has seen the light of day, dedicated to enlarge the digital playing field and providing a flexible space in which artists and audience can communicate with each other. Artists featured have included Matt Rogalsky, Jem Finer and more. Field 61 is currently hosting a radio show at London's brand new sound art radio station "Resonance FM 104.4". for archived shows see ]]>]]>www.resonance.com]]>]]>
As an outspoken person, Iris gets invited to conferences such as Manchester's "In The City 2001", DDMI's digital music conference 2000 in Los Angeles, the Cyber Salon discussions at the ICA, the CCA Glasgow's "Concrete Hum" panel chaired by Scanner and more. Iris has appeared on Sky TV, BBC World/News 24, Coldcut's Pirate TV and ARTE TV with Stockhausen in "Well Tempered Computer - Are Computers able to compose" and most recently on ITV's Mixmasters TV.
Not averse to abusing her extensive record collection in one of her radical mix-fests, Iris has played at the ICA (including Scanner's Electronic Lounge), Big Chill, Turnmills, Kosmische, Scratch, the Scala, Gaia Live, 93 Feet East, the Monastery of Sound Festival in France, the Enchanted Garden festival and others. She has also compiled mixtapes, i.e. for Swiss Air.
In her other incarnation as a photographer, Iris has been published by magazines such as The Wire, The Face, Muzik, Marie Claire, Spex, Keyboard Japan and others. Artists photographed include Ken Ishii, Primal Scream, Scanner, Autechre, Goldie, Luke Vibert Squarepusher, Run DMC and many more.