Moscow Times interview

Next week Roisin Murphy will return to the Russian capital Moscow to perform at B1 Maximum. A good reason for The Moscow Times to interview her.

The last time Roisin Murphy gave a concert in Moscow, she left in an ambulance. While performing her song "Primitive" at Ikra in October, the Irish singer suffered an eye-socket injury as she hit her head on a chair due to be used as a stage prop in a subsequent number.

While she only had time to perform a few songs before the accident last year, Murphy returns to the city to perform a full set at B1 Maximum on May 23.

"The last place I was in Moscow was hospital," said Murphy in a phone interview from London. She recovered quickly, even though she had to cancel several concerts on her "Overpowered" tour last year. "I canceled three or four gigs after that, but not as many as people thought I would. I was back on the road within a week."

Murphy achieved fame as a member of electronic dance duo Moloko, responsible for such hits as "Indigo," "Sing It Back," and "The Time Is Now," which she formed with musician and producer Mark Brydon in 1995. She first toured Russia in 2004, when her relationship with Brydon, who was also her long-time boyfriend, had ended and the band was about to split.

"When Moloko was beginning to come to an end during the 'Statues' era, which was our last record, it felt strange," she said. "It felt strange to do press and promo on my own. It felt strange to be alone, really."

As soon as the tour finished, Murphy went straight to work with producer Matthew Herbert, a collaboration that brought her 2005 solo debut, "Ruby Blue."

"I really didn't think about becoming a solo artist," she said. "I just thought, 'OK, I really want to work with Matthew now.' And that kind of snowballed or developed into a solo record. And some time after that I realized I'd gone solo."

Released on EMI, "Overpowered" is her second album, which she sees as a departure from her debut. Murphy co-wrote and co-produced the record, working with a variety of producers, writers and mixers.

"I've never worked like this before; I've always worked with just one writer/producer - in Moloko and on 'Ruby Blue' with Matthew Herbert," Murphy said. "It was only two people in a studio, and so in that sense you have to let that experiment happen."

Describing "Overpowered" as a "more determined" record, Murphy said she wanted to work with all sorts of different people.

"I wanted to work in a completely new way and take on a new challenge," she said. "I had to be very determined about what kind of record I wanted to make. Otherwise, it would be likely to spiral out of control. It was a totally new approach for me."

Murphy said the inspiration for the album came from disco records given to her by New York DJ Danny Krivit. As she was starting work on "Overpowered," she came to the city to perform Moloko's song "Forever More" with him.

"I went over, and I played at this club called the 718 Sessions. It was fabulous because many years ago I was at a club called Body and Soul in New York, and it provided me with the inspiration for 'Sing It Back.' The DJ was playing all this music to this amazing crowd. He could turn down the song, and the whole crowd would sing the song back to him.

"So, I felt like I'd come full circle, I felt like going back to that same audience, that same crowd and being embraced. It gave me the push to really want to deliberately make a disco record."

Roisin Murphy performs on May 23 at 9 p.m. at B1 Maximum, located at 11 Ulitsa Ordzhonikidze. Metro Leninsky Prospekt. Tel. 648-6777.


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