Behind the curtain
Róisín Murphy is set on doing a Wizard of Oz at the Milk festival, writes JIM CARROLLYou’re DJing at Milk next weekend – what can we expect from you?It’s a mixture of stuff. It starts with me playing other people’s tracks and, gradually, I bring the singing and my own tracks in, mixed in with stuff which feels right. I don’t how I’m going to do it, but I’m definitely going to expand this idea to make it more of an one-woman show.
Any precedents for what you have in mind?I want to make it like the Chemical Brothers, but I’m not two blokes, I’m a bird. I’ll bring in visuals and sound effects and make tracks specifically for the set, but no band. The tracks don’t suit bringing in a drummer and a bass-player and all of that. This way is a bit more Wizard Of Oz, you know, when you see the wizard behind the curtain at the end, you can’t believe it’s just one man and all those little knobs.
Have you had a hankering to be a superstar DJ all this time?I tried many times to DJ. I remember doing something like this with another DJ from Sheffield when I was in Moloko. We went out to Ibiza and played some gigs as the Moloko Sound System. But it was never fully developed and we always ended up going back to a live band. Now, though, I’m ready to do it. It can still be quite dramatic and theatrical even with just me on stage. I think it astonishes people to see me come onstage on my own and I’m still a show. (laughs)
You’ve released a couple of tracks over the last year – can we expect an album soon?No, it’s going to be more tracks for now. I’m not making an album, but that might change down the line. It’s down to a convergence of reasons. I’m a new mum and I haven’t got a great amount of time to go on promotional tours. Of course, the situation will arise when it will feel right to do another album, but I don’t think any of the tracks I’m doing at the moment would work stuck onto an album. I want to stay true to my word and just concentrate on tracks for dancefloors for now. Of course, once I’ve released 10 tracks, you can go off and download all 10 and make your own album.
The new tracks are most definitely dancefloor-orientated – was that change in tack difficult to get your head around?
I find it a real challenge to write music for clubs because the music has to be very functional and, I suppose, dry. The tracks which work best in clubs are quite raw. You can’t let the millions of other possibilities interfere with the track. Making dance music is very specific and you have to be very blunt about how you go about things. In Moloko, things tended to get long-winded and the productions got bigger and further away from the dancefloor. With Ruby Blue, I wasn’t aiming for the dancefloor, but I was with Overpowered.
Are you still signed to EMI?No, I’m signed to Mickey Murphy’s Daughter now. That’s what I call my label. I have no regrets about EMI. I had such a fucking ball making
Overpoweredand all the people around me at the time were so wonderful. My A&R guy was brilliant. Unfortunately for me, EMI got taken over and they fired everyone who had anything to do with me. They even closed down the EMI imprint that I was on so my label didn’t exist any more so it was time to move on.
Róisín Murphy performs at Milk on August 14