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MooV: Here

MooV is the latest creation from songwriting, piano playing, electro enhancing producer Colin Riley, possibly best known for collaborating with one-time King Crimson sticksmith Bill Bruford. Indeed Bruford himself has described Riley's music as "Spectacularly beautiful and appealing" and really, who am I to argue? Thankfully my first engagement with Riley and MooV proves that there's no need to even consider doubting Bruford's words of wisdom, as Here proves to be many things. All of them good. Difficult to categories, uncompromising, beautiful, captivating, spacious, intricate, thought provoking all are words that suitably describe what is going on Here. However much like the music itself, all they do is serve up a flavour and let you work out the rest for yourself.

Jazz? Enigmatic chamber music? Avante-garde pop? None of them really fit, but then none are truly a million miles away either and while in a way they all give an indication of what you can expect from MooV, in another they leave far too much unsuggested. Riley provides the colour, backbone and direction for the thirteen tracks on this album, but he stoutly refuses to dominate them. His lilting scales, sharp yet gentle piano stabs and oft disconcerting choices of direction merely shaping the outline that the stunning, breathy, fragile yet oh so deservedly confident voice of Elisabeth Nygård eagerly, although never too eagerly, fills. Her delivery is even more side-swiping than Riley's, never taking the easy path, never satisfied merely following the expected. You couldn't call her voice challenging, it is too beautiful for that, but you certainly feel as though it is being confrontational and intentionally dissenting. The effect is spellbinding and haunting, dark yet full of release, clever but never too knowing, but most importantly it is perfect for its surroundings. Riley may well be the most obvious provider of that habitat, but that's not to underplay the key contributions made by Natalie Rozario (cello), Pete Wilson (bass) or Rob Millett (percussion), with the trio all creating deep, dark atmospheres through restrained skills that hit harder by never being over exposed. Although what really sets some of the music on Here - "Pirate Hats And Bears" being a prime example - apart from other albums operating in this area is the electronic expertise of Riley, with tasteful, unobtrusive effects often remoulding the whole emotion, attack and atmosphere of otherwise straight ahead tracks. Allowing the listener to relax and immerse, but never lose focus of what is being weaved in front of them.

Here is an album that requires concentration and focus to unravel its strong inner beauty and in an ideal world a run through from track one to the closing track thirteen is how you should experience it. For while the fragile, almost broken "Trust", the clicking, popping, cello infused "Release" and the harsh, almost primitive "Spires" all capture the imagination, they undoubtedly do so to a greater extent enhanced by their surrounding album-mates.

Either way, Here is an album to lose yourself in time and time again, finding new rewards with each visit.

Track Listing
1. I Dream Beside You
2. A Pier
3. Trust
4. Release
5. Quiet Sounds
6. Pirate Hats And Bears
7. Rain In (For L.S.)
8. Soft Room
9. Cold Crave
10. Spires
11. While I Stole Your Affection
12. Spoken Or Sung
13. Vinter Na

Added: January 25th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Squeaky Kate Music
Hits: 2823
Language: english

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