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MooV

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Reviews of MooV

 

01/01/2009 Mary Anne Hobbs, Radio 1

Something extraordinarily strange and beautiful.

 

01/12/2008 Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

English new music composer Colin Riley first came to the attention of the jazz scene with Homemade Orchestra, a joint collaboration between him and ex-Loose Tubes soulful saxophonist Tim Whitehead. They released their debut CD Tides on the Basho label in 2003 and gave so-called music of the third stream a new lease of life. But with his newest band MooV Riley has discovered a kind of jazz he is more at home with. The debut fold sees Riley forming an alliance with Leeds-based Norwegian jazz singer-songwriter Elisabeth Nygård, a member of city’s experimental collective LIMA. Songs are composed by Riley with sparse arrangements for keyboards, cello, bass and percussion and infiltrated with the kind of electronica that’s more textural than groove-based. Some may consider this type of contemporary Norwegian vocal jazz as not really jazz singing at all. Are they right? Put it this way: Nygård demonstrates more of the spirit and improvised nature of jazz than your average standards singer. Inevitably echoes of the highly-influential Sidsel Endressen come to the fore in Nygård’s rasping blues folksong inflections as well as the throat-clicks and twitters of abstract improv phonetics. But Nygård doesn’t entirely conform to any lazy Nordic stereotype. Behind her icy-breath intimacy is real warmth and passion. With Riley’s preference for percussive spooky keyboard and marimba, the songs are occasionally reminiscent of David Sylvian while Nygård also comes across with the left-field pop sensibility of artists like Beady Belle or Bjork. At other times she can blur the lines between the voice as lead and as an instrument adding to a collective sound. Fold takes some time to unravel but is worth all the effort.

 

01/11/2008 John L Walters The Guardian

Colin Riley has a restless spirit. Though routinely identified as a classical composer, his activities in the past few years have resisted categorisation: he founded the Homemade Orchestra with jazz saxophonist Tim Whitehead and has helped put together iF, the adventurous Isleworth festival. MooV, which he formed with Norwegian singer Elisabeth Nygård, foregrounds Riley's compositions, yet it is closer to the fractured soundworld of Scandinavian artists such as Efterklang, or Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. While tracks such as Pure and Coil are austere and somewhat alienating in the correct, northern European manner, Beautiful Wounds and Fall Away are poised and engaging. The album is structured in such a way that it improves on repeated listening, and Nygård's voice meshes beautifully with Riley's spare orchestrations, wrought from keyboards, bass, electronics, cello (Zoe Martlew) and percussion (Rob Millett).

 

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