| Roisin Murphy's debut solo album is to be pre-released as
a series of three strictly limited edition EPs early this year, ahead
of its more formal emergence on cd in the spring. Beginning with Sequins1
in the first week of January, each of these lavishly packaged, heavy-weight
vinyl, 12-inch-only releases will take four of the tunes from the
record and make them available at six-week intervals leading up the
album's release in June.
the tracks on the Sequins series are the results of Roisin's
new fruitful collaboration with producer Matthew Herbert, who
she met as a result of his remix work for her band Moloko.
This is the first time the highly-revered electronic pioneer Herbert
has produced an album for another artist, aside from his wife Dani
Siciliano. Here the significant ground covered on Sequins 1
by Roisin and Herbert indicates what to expect from the broader scope
of the pair's collaboration on the forthcoming album.
“Having worked on several Moloko remixes from as early as 1996
Roisin's voice had become a familiar friend ,” says Herbert .” I had
always loved the ease with which it sat in the textures of the sounds
I work with. To work on her solo record struck me as the perfect place
to try and mix proper musical charisma with noises not often heard
on the radio.”
The first Sequins EP commences with the agenda-setting Ruby
Blue , which begins with an ear-catching meld of distorted funk
and Andrews Sisters harmonies. It slides around like a languid and
sinuous eel, all finger-pops and syncopated handclaps, before busting
out with a too-loud fuzz guitar and Roisin's provocative kitten purr.
Off On It, which follows, has a percussive track that sounds
like a steam train pulling slowly out of a siding, while Roisin delightfully
slurs her way through a miasma of flirtatious signs and signifiers.
Third up, Night Of the Dancing Flame is like a lost classic
number featuring either the elephants on parade from the Jungle Book
(tremendous muted trumpet blasts) or Josephine Baker in all her Parisian
glory. As it lollops along with cartoonish gait, Roisin tells more
tales of sexual abandon in not entirely private places, and you realise
that between them her and Herbert might have hit upon a long untapped
resource of Cab Calloway-influenced pop music. It's crazy and not
a little infectious.
‘Sequins 1' is completed by the magical warmth of Through Time
, which in its hazier moments approaches the gentle feel of one of
the great ballads off a good Stevie Wonder record.
The Sequins EPs will also introduce another powerfully creative
collaboration with the artist Simon
Henwood, who has painted a number of large-scale portraits of
Roisin, which are to be exhibited at the Hospital in London in March
2005, and will be reproduced one at a time as the sleeves to ‘Sequins
1 – 3'.