Roisin on happy/sad disco music

Only a month ago Roisin Murphy toppled over on stage in Moscow and severely damaged her eye socket on a chair. But the fall, which saw her cancel a week of shows on her European tour, is nothing for the accident-prone singer.

"I fell in Australia and broke my arm but didn't realise I'd broken it until I went off stage," she says. "And I fell off a promotional beach ball at a festival in Ireland. It was dark. But I saw blood this time so I thought it was best to leave the stage."

Ticket-holding fans need not worry about her Brighton show, though. In the time since her accident she has recorded a couple of songs for Jools Holland which were broadcast two weeks ago, and performed shows in Milan and Frankfurt.

This tour is in support of her new solo album Overpowered, her second since the break-up of her Moloko partnership with former boyfriend Mark Brydon in 2003.

"It took two years to completely extract ourselves from one another," says Roisin. "We broke up and then we made a record. And then we toured it. There was two years in between the end of Moloko and the end of Moloko, if you like. We had a record to make and a tour to do of that record."

Her first solo album, Ruby Blue, released in 2005, was more experimental, made in collaboration with producer Mathew Herbert.

"His tiny room was crammed with what looked like, to me, NASA space technology," Roisin says. "You could hardly move for old BBC sound equipment - a beautiful Sixties French mixing desk that looked like something from 2001: A Space Odyssey, handbuilt Russian mics and all manner of instruments and objects possessing something sonically particular. I had only ever written songs with Mark Brydon and he had been my boyfriend. I had never before tried to make a record without that kind of support."

"It started with a piece of music made from the sound of scrap books and newspaper articles being ripped up and hit across the microphone. A few months later there was an album. Ruby Blue hasn't sold by the bucketload yet, but I am very proud of it."

This new album sees Roisin return to her dancefloor roots.

"I wanted to make a disco record," she says. "I've always wanted to make a disco record, but it has always gone off in other directions and you go with that, the spirit of experiment. But with this, I wanted to make that disco record. I was in New York a couple of years ago, singing to a crowd I'd danced with years ago at a club where I wrote Sing It Back."

"I went back there and sang Forever More, a Moloko song which had become anthemic to that club three or four years after it was released. It got such a warm reaction, it solidified that thing in me that wanted to get something close to that feeling on record - functional dance music that's emotional as well."

"Disco is about being up one minute and down the next. Disco should uplift as well as giving you a peek into the complexity of life. In a way you shouldn't really be able to feel happy and sad at the same time, or united and alone, but for some reason those tensions are always quite visible or visceral in disco. I suppose they are in every good bit of music. Every good bit of art has got a bit of contradiction in it somewhere along the line but in disco, it's really obvious."

She isn't a regular clubber now but when she does she has her own routine.

"When I do go I dance from the moment I arrive until I leave," she says. "I'm not there to do anything else except to communicate with music. I'm a bit intense though. People don't like going out with me!"

"The album makes me want to dance. I'm proudest of the moments when you really can't help yourself but dance to it, 'cos that's what I set out to do."

From The Argus.


a. said...

"The album makes me want to dance. I'm proudest of the moments when you really can't help yourself but dance to it, 'cos that's what I set out to do."

i say it was a definite success.
because thats exactly how the record makes me feel.
i just wanna dance.

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