MooV Here with Colin Riley

Seen recently in the news… “If I wanted to be facile about Here, the new one from composer/keyboardist Colin Riley’s criminally underexposed group MooV (Squeaky Kate) fronted by the extraordinary voice of Elisabeth Nygård, I’d probably end up saying things like ‘Subtle, sophisticated and gently erudite jazz-influenced chamber music with ingenious and rhythmic underpinnings’, but the usual permutative critical vocabulary doesn’t really suffice to describe this imaginative, approachable yet unpredictable set of pieces from a band which should really be filling the right kind of festival slots throughout the season. Google the splendidly silly label name for more.” Roger Thomas in the December/January issue of  Jazz UK.

‘Intimate songs with a dark edge’ is how Squeaky Kate’s accompanying publicity sheet describes the thirteen tracks on this, MooV’s second album for the label, which was set up in 2006 to record and promote the music of composer Colin Riley and associated groups.

Riley wrote all the music for the album, which draws in elements of everything from avant-pop, minimalism and jazz to electronica, and is performed by Riley himself (piano, electronics, producer), cellist Natalie Rozario, bassist Pete Wilson and percussionist Rob Millett. The songs are sung, in a tender, wistful manner, by Elisabeth Nygård, whose breathy seriousness infuses their often esoteric, somewhat mysterious lyrics with an almost Bjørk-like urgency and power at full volume, and a darker intensity in quieter moments.

Along with Nygård’s sensitive vocals, what is ultimately most striking about this album is the extraordinary variety, of texture and timbre, of the musical backing: all the above-mentioned musical bases are touched, but the final product is absolutely unclassifiable. Riley is that rarest of birds, a genuine original, and his music is sui generis, but consistently haunting and often beautiful.

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