UPCOMING SHOWS

Fri Jan

27

45 East 315 SE 3rd Ave PDX OR

$15 Adv.
Doors 10pm; 21+

TICKETS

SANGO

MONTE BOOKER

ARTIST BIO

Sango is a Seattle based producer who is most known for his remixes of Aaliyah, Drake, Little Dragon, Nas, The Weeknd, his debut album ‘North’, and his Baile Funk EP series “Da Rocinha”. He is apart of the Los Angeles collective Soulection. At the young age of 12, Sango started producing music alongside his older brother and his friends. His work mainly focuses on hip-hop, and soul influenced beats that over the years have been able to come together as his own distinctive innovative sound. Apart from producing, Sango is a graphic designer. He has designed all of his releases up to date, which has shown that he is more than just a producer, but an artist in his own right. He has been featured on numerous publications for his self-disclosing interviews and tracks, such as Fader, Drake’s OVO blog, XLR8R, Noisey, Fader, Complex, and more. Over the last few years while releasing his Da Rocinha series, Sango has toured 50 + cities worldwide and played some of the worlds biggest festivals. His high energy live set is constantly in demand. While touring his Da Rocinha projects and live set around the world, Sango has been producing for some of the industry’s hottest acts. Sango has produced for Tinashe, Bryson Tiller, Mick Jenkins, GoldLink, Wale & more. Keep an eye on Sango, as his quickly growing fan base, and worldwide critically acclaimed music is only expanding in 2017 as he prepares to release his first major commercial record.

Wed Feb

1

Holocene 1001 SE Morrison St. PDX OR

$15 Adv.
Doors 9pm; 21+

TICKETS

BARCLAY CRENSHAW

DEBUT ALBUM TOUR

ARTIST BIO

Shedding his usual house music alias "Claude VonStroke," Barclay Crenshaw debuts his real name and delivers his first single "Sleepy Kids”, an understated story of alien abduction told through gorgeous keys and sublime chord changes. Ancient symbols and signs help to unveil a brand new side of this seasoned music producer at an entirely different speed. “Sleepy Kids” is a prelude to the full project coming out this January 2017, alongside more incredible cryptic and coded artwork.

Thu Feb

2

45 East 315 SE 3rd Ave. PDX OR

SOLD OUT
Doors 10pm; 21+

TICKETS

PURITY RING (DJ SET)

ARTIST BIO

After sixty-five fortnights, Purity Ring have returned with their super-tight second album Another Eternity. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what was to become the album. For the first time, vocalist Megan James and producer Corin Roddick were able to create a record in the same room. Purity Ring’s first album Shrines was recorded separately in Montreal and Halifax, where Corin and Megan were respectively living at the time. Despite being a thousand kilometers apart and barely talking, Shrines was a cohesive, beguiling and wholly unique universe of what the band called ‘Future Pop’. At the center of the amniotic swirl of Shrines was an undeniable nucleus of crystalline pop which presciently suggested both indie and popular music to come. Critics were psyched: ‘Best New Music’ from Pitchfork and praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and NPR, among others. They quickly amassed a rabid fanbase, toured relentlessly and sold out shows worldwide. On Another Eternity, Purity Ring trade the gorgeously claustrophobic atmospheres of Shrines for wide-open, muscular vistas of sound and luminous, up-front vocals. Crafting a lyrical universe of “sweat and dreams” populated by seacastles, rattling spines, and weeping drawers, Megan James wields concrete imagery and metaphor with increasingly direct, startling resonance. Corin Roddick’s gifts for evocative melody remain intact, but his drum work and use of space have been completely reforged: immaculately built and focused in service of the song. “begin again” rouses Purity Ring’s brooding balladry into a sky-reaching anthem while retaining its distinctive shape. “bodyache” is the kind of devastatingly infectious single that their previous work only gestured at. “stillness in woe” features a frozen, manipulated piano, dovetailing with Megan’s time suspending narrative. “repetition” finds surreal, love-lorn lyricism soaring over delicately woven synths. The emotional geography of Another Eternity is wider than ever: gloomy valleys and gleaming peaks in even measure. Though they are now working at a higher resolution, Purity Ring remain hands-on with every aspect of their project. As usual, the band produced and recorded Another Eternity entirely themselves. The pair worked to develop an innovative new live performance, and Megan designed the band’s onstage and video fashion. Another Eternity revels in its upfront melody, clarity, and confidence. With every step forward they take, Purity Ring actualize their vision while sounding utterly and undeniably like themselves.

Fri Feb

10

Crystal Ballroom 1332 W Burnside St. PDX OR

$18 Adv.
7pm; All Ages

TICKETS

LOTUS

EL TEN ELEVEN

ARTIST BIO

Having built a massive fanbase over the years, Lotus tours heavily selling out headline shows across the county and playing festivals such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Ultra, and more. Whether you catch Lotus in outdoor amphitheaters, the country’s best theaters, intimate clubs or a variety of festivals, you can expect to have an experience of the senses. The band's new album, Eat the Light, is a first for Lotus - an album with vocals on every song. Guest singers appear throughout ranging from soulful to indie and electronic to rock. The tracks bubble with contagious dance energy and blast into orbit with sing-along choruses. The tightly produced yet raw grooves recall sounds of The Talking Heads, Jamiroquai, and LCD Soundsystem.

Sat Feb

11

45 East 315 SE 3rd Ave. PDX OR

$10 Adv.
Doors 10pm; 21+

TICKETS

FELIX DA HOUSECAT

ARTIST BIO

In a world obsessed with labeling an ever-evolving genre, Felix da Housecat is dedicated to making the people dance. He is one of those rare, charisma-oozing characters, whose musical and mental eccentricity come from a genuine place. He’s never afraid to take a risk to reach new ground. It’s this blend of qualities that has kept him in such high reverence in the electronic field for two decades now, and which has ensured that his music has been a consistently captivating force. An ever-moving target, his various incarnations have seen him morph from resolute acid and techno warrior to avant-garde nu-skool electro-disco pioneer to the man who gave one of the world’s most famous rappers a new lease of house-infused life long before major labels were putting every urban artist on their books over anemic 4/4 beats. “My dad played sax and he got me onto clarinet” he recalls of his beginnings in making music, “so it was more of a discipline thing. It was never like, I was this passionate kid who wanted to be a… superstar. Or a superstar DJ, or a rock ‘n’ roll star. I was quite shy in school.” First seduced by electronic music when house music first emerged in his native Chicago in 1984, the young Felix soon found himself getting caught up in a musical paradigm shift that fostered a lifelong obsession and helped to bring him into his shell. “It was like a culture movement. So everything I heard on the radio – from Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk to Mike ‘Hitman’ Wilson – that was the sound I was exposed to. Coming from a family of music, I was able to replay and recreate that stuff.” But it was too late for classical training to keep a hold on this burgeoning young talent and dance music aficionado. Da Housecat took over. Felix began re-releasing music back in 1993. He landed, as a cat does, on his feet with some of his earliest productions picked up by seminal progressive and techno imprints Guerilla and Bush. “When the people started getting into my sound, that’s when I started taking it serious” he explains. He grew to become one of techno’s most sought-after names, with a sound influenced heavily by collaborator, mentor and acid house inventor DJ Pierre’s ‘wild-pitch’ style and drawing as much on the raucous bite of acid as it did on the intensity of techno. He was catapulted from the overground into the wider dance music consciousness at the start of the millennium when he reinvented himself as a purveyor of future retro, high-camp grooves with his ‘80s-inspired album Kittenz (And Thee Glitz). Club and crossover hit Silver Screen Shower Scene particularly, with its kitsch Miss Kittin vocals and raucous sound, remains a stone-cold classic to this day. He survived unwittingly spearheading an entire new genre with that album – “I just hate the word electroclash and don’t want to be affiliated with it”, he says today – but continued unfazed throughout the noughties to bring the world more of the magical music that lives inside his head. Albums Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco and He Was King received critical acclaim before he made history and released his next LP, Son Of Analog, as a free Mixmag covermount CD. Collaborating with the man then known as P. Diddy in the interim (2006) on the groundbreaking Jack U was just another move that was way ahead of its time. about page image on felix da housecat's official website But despite all this success, an increasingly wild lifestyle (including a fierce mezcal habit) combined with the pressures of unrequited hyperbole forced Felix to hit the reset button a few years back. “I became sober and got in touch with my spirit, I saw everything clear. Some promoters book me because they think they are getting the Mezcalateer. Some are afraid of the Mezcalateer. Some find I’m sober and will try to test me by offering me shots but I fight them off. I am Thee Former Mezcalateer. Retired. I found myself literally dancing with the devil. No joke. The four years off was due to personal life, spirit, booze, you name it. I had to find my way back. I survived and I went through my 9 lives over 10 times.” The devil’s loss is the world’s gain: Felix is back in a big way, brimming with hunger and passion for music once again, and some incredibly hot new material. Returning with a slew of new material in 2013 via his label No Shame/Rude Photo, his rampant electro/disco concoctions will pave the way for a hotly anticipated new album later in the year. On top of all this fresh new music, a huge remix for Katy B is on the way, plus a global tour, a live BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and his own signature headphones. This is the year that Felix Da Housecat reclaims his position amongst the upper echelons of dance music.

Thu Feb

16

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. PDX OR

$18 Adv.
8pm; 21+

TICKETS

THUNDERCAT

ARTIST BIO

THUNDERCAT is the alter ego of virtuosic bassist / singer Stephen Bruner. The South Los Angeles-native has released two critically acclaimed full length albums on Brainfeeder Records since 2011, and last year saw the release of widely praised mini-album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The album features appearances from the legendary Herbie Hancock, fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly and production work from Brainfeeder head, Flying Lotus. 2015 also saw Thundercat make outstanding contributions to landmark albums by Kamasi Washington (The Epic) and Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp A Butterfly). His work on Lamar’s recently netted him his first Grammy. Bruner found his instrument at the age of 4. That made him a late-bloomer in the house of Ronald, Sr., who drummed with the Temptations among others. His first bass was a black Harmony, and he practiced to the Ninja Turtles soundtrack until pops played him Jaco Pastorius. He joined thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies as a teenager, and spent road and studio time with everyone from Stanley Clarke to Snoop Dogg to Erykah Badu. Eventually the name Thundercat stuck, a reference to the cartoon he’s loved since childhood and an extension of Bruner’s wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft.

Sat Feb

18

Holocene 1001 SE Morrison St. PDX OR

$12 Adv.
Doors 9pm; 21+

TICKETS

KASTLE

ARTIST BIO

Originally part of a small crop of American artists inspired by dubstep, garage, grime, jungle and other ‘nuum sounds, Kastle has transitioned through multiple aesthetic iterations since he burst into the popular consciousness 6+ years ago, fostering a thriving touring career, releasing a critically and commercially successful debut album, and heading up his own wildly successful label. Across several releases on his own Symbols label, the Los Angeles-resident has filtered hip hop and R&B through the aforementioned UK sounds, developing a sound rife with pop consciousness and a keen sense of melody, all while retaining a strong devotion to under-the-radar sounds. In between playing festivals like Coachella, Decibel, Lightning In A Bottle and Burning Man, it’s remarkable that Kastle has had time for any other creative pursuits, but along with his own trailblazing production work, he also functions as an A&R, mixtape curator and tastemaker DJ. The rare musician with the fan base and clout to regularly play massive festivals and, at the same time, develop a visceral connection to the young artists that are likely to take the proverbial torch in the coming years. At Symbols, avant garde releases aren’t the exception, but the rule and the label is now made up of a deep, diverse group of producers pushing American and UK sounds forward at a blistering pace. Having extensively toured Europe, the UK, Australia and North America, Kastle has the wit and wherewithal to play large stages and tiny rooms, filtering leftfield bass music into his own idiosyncratic aesthetic. You’re just as likely to become engrossed in science fiction motifs as you are sweltering low end in a Kastle set and his forthcoming work sees the artist extend into ever more abstract, moving sonic space. And with ever-expanding curiosity in the worlds of tech and science, the concepts and ideations that make up Kastle’s songs don’t end when the song ends, instead continuing to make up his figurative and literal body of work. Across best selling records, global tours and dozens of Symbols releases, Kastle has shown marked progression, his sound always developing around a core set of ideals. His output might not all sound the same, but a thread of never-ceasing evolution is present throughout, making Kastle one of America’s most indispensable contributions to the dance music continuum.

Sat Mar

4

45 East 315 SE 3rd Ave. PDX OR

$10 Adv.
10pm; 21+

TICKETS

J. PHLIP

WORTHY

ARTIST BIO

Jessica Phillippe is diehard, born with true grit and skills to pay the bills. Despite her success with the dirtybird gang, she's still out there in record stores on the regular... digging, uncovering precious gems and weaving them into her dynamic sets with panache. She's a hard-working, dedicated lady who refuses to compromise and aims to rock the dance floor without relying on the most obvious tracks. Production-wise she's just as fearsome, lacing her tracks with a tough yet bouncy flavour. Her prowess in both disciplines combined with her infectious sense of fun and mind-boggling depth of knowledge make her one of the most revered DJs on the global circuit today. Ever since the purchase of a cheap set of belt-drive decks and a mixer on her 19th birthday she really hasn't looked back and, after completing her studies in Engineering, the straight-A student jumped head first into her true passion, music. She won a DJ competition in 2005, toured the USA and moved from her hometown, Champaign, Illinois, to the birthplace of house music, Chicago. In the Windy City she endured the struggle that many musicians go through on their pathway to glory but never lost sight of her dream. A move to San Francisco resulted in more hard times, but it wasn't long before her determination and natural talent won through. Phlip's refusal to give up eventually led her to connect with the dirtybird crew and make some real progress. Club and festival tours are now a regular occurrence while releases on Claude VonStroke's highly respected imprint, and elsewhere too, have established her as a reputable source of dance floor killers. People from Skream and Tiga to techno dons Surgeon and Dave Clarke and a bunch of other influential heads threw their weight behind her first truly analogue workout, 'Coefficient', while her latest tech-heavy banger 'Say My Name', which is has been doing immense damage to clubs all over the world, has peaked the interest of Eats Everything, Danny Daze and Huxley on the floor, and taking to the airwaves courtesy of B.Traits, Monki and 1 Xtra’s MistaJam . All that hard work has put her up there with the industry's female elite; Nina Kraviz, Heidi, Maya... Go hear J.Phlip in action and you can expect to experience a full booty workout and have your mind blown. You'll be surprised, energized and occasionally weirded out. $is is a lady who knows her stuff, yet continues to refine her craft. Her aim is dance floor lobotomy, all the while taking the greatest pleasure in seeing the people get loose. A DJ not afraid to put her vision out there, Jess is to thank for passing Eats Everything’s mighty “Entrance Song” to Voitek and Greg (Catz n Dogz) at Pets and the later introduction to Barclay (Claude VonStroke) and Dirtybird. She's embarked on several tours of Europe and the US, attracting an ever growing fanbase with each electrifying performance. Spending 3 years living and DJing in Berlin has helped Phlip to gain an understanding of the European market – she was only supposed to be there for 5 months, but ya know, there's some kind of time warp in Berlin that does that to people. 2014 already involves more action than a James Bond movie with another tour of Europe in full swing, dates all over the United States including three residencies: Detroit, Miami and San Francisco – plus there's plenty more production work in the pipeline. Hold tight for yet more analogue awesomeness. Don't take our word for it, go check her out yourselves... and be prepared to lose your shit. That's what's up.

Fri Mar

10

45 East 315 SE 3rd Ave. PDX OR

$12.50 Adv.
10pm; 21+

ON SALE
Jan 24

MK (marc kinchen)

ARTIST BIO

MK is responsible for creating some of the defining sounds and biggest tracks of early house. He has worked with the biggest international artists from Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z to Rihanna and Beyonce, but has also retained near unprecedented levels of credibility within the underground dance music scene, with records such as ‘Burning’, ‘4 You’ or ‘Push The Feeling On’ remaining staples in the wallets and boxes of house DJs the world over. Through his timeless productions, MK has influenced a new generation of producer, with the result that his sound is more relevant today than it ever has been.

Sun Mar

12

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. PDX OR

18.50 Adv.
8pm; All Ages

TICKETS

Trentemøller

ARTIST BIO

Copenhagen based musician Anders Trentemøller´s talent for heart wrenching melodic moments and exceptional productions, fused with his trademark sound somewhere between indie and electronic, has established him as one of the most respected and admired artists and remixers of this century. In 2006, following a line of 12” electronic EPs, Trentemøller released his groundbreaking debut album ‘The Last Resort’. High placements in several polls for best album of the year followed and established his name to a much broader audience. In 2007 Trentemøller assembled his first full live band and since then played almost 300 shows around the world. After two more studio albums, ‘Into The Great Wide Yonder’ (2010) and ‘Lost’ (2013), artist-compilations (‘The Trentemøller Chronicles’ (2007), ‘Reworked/Remixed’ (2011)) and more releases like ‘Harbour Boat Trips’ (2009) or ‘Late Night Tales’ (2011) Trentemøller is about to release his fourth album ‘Fixion’ on his own label imprint In My Room in September 2016. With ‘Fixion’, Anders has crafted a logical successor to 2013’s ‘Lost’ - a record that in many ways managed to truly capture the visceral live experience of Trentemøller as a full-band. In much the same manner that ‘Lost’ built on from the somber cinematic classic that was ‘Into The Great Wide Yonder’, ‘Fixion’ has embraced the Danish artist’s trademark melancholy and matured it into something uniquely atmospheric and darkly romantic. Rather than attempting to completely reinvent himself, Anders has used his latest outing as an opportunity to highlight certain granular aspects of his signature sound and refine them into a much more organic - and at times perhaps more song-driven body of work. It’s a record that on first listen may seem less detailed but, as you’ll know by now, with Trentemøller, one should never be fooled by initial impressions. It’s the kind of record that will over time repeatedly unlock new intricacies and offer the listener an opportunity to understand the work differently upon each listen. The album is still notably driven by the producer and multi-artist’s passion for experimentation and effortlessly succeeds in transcending a swathe of influences and unassuming genres­­ - yet all the while holding true to Trentemøller’s unique, and sometimes challenging vernacular. From the cascading minimalist synth-scapes to driving electropunk, each and every track on ‘Fixion’ is bound together with a contemplative melodic complexity.

Fri Mar

17

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. PDX OR

$15 Adv.
8pm; All Ages

TICKETS

BIG WILD

ARTIST BIO

Stemming from a relentless desire to create something new, Big Wild’s sound taps into the natural curiosity we all share by exploring beyond conventional boundaries in music. This spark was ignited when he first began creating music under the heavy influence of modern Hip-Hop producers. Since then, he has increasingly drawn inspiration from the limitless potential of electronic music, while at the same time building a style unique to him.

Sat Apr

1

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. PDX OR

$18 Adv.
8pm; All Ages

TICKETS

G. JONES

THE PLASTICIAN

SAYER

EASTGHOST

ARTIST BIO

Few artist of electron genera sounds quite the same as G Jones. Site influence as Epormm, Bossnector, JD Shadow Carmack, as part as rich music community internet culture, Jones taking to the next sound a sense of fresh breath air. A staple Aemercan touring DJ circuit, known as playing for Red Rocks, Shambhalbma, Lite Bottle, Burning Man, like many other world renowned festivities, his live set and frqenutlytly touring schedule abmition as to a true new sound. Haivng start Cafliornia, Jones first relese unto scene mix “new betas 2012” and singles stream. Flowing success of initial soung pieces, firstling release EP on German music label Saturate October 212. Great cirtical soundclouds tell for Jonsie keep to making new songs for the times. Contnaution “Transion” and “E yes EP” on Mablbel and Robot Nanotekk, respective, 2013 saw as G Jones continue defy espectations, push the limits on so called “real trapy shit” so obsolete putting to rest contrived ideas of EDM culture and sound. 2014 saw claimed critical EP “Ring the Alarm”, again Saturate, loud songs, etc. Next first national bussing tour on Minnesota “Mid Machamine”, saw G break onto a new platform of audience, tour reletlesly as years to come, as great expense of personal health and sleep. 2015 saw new Jones on work of artist of worldwide respect. Having first work Bossnoctor remixers “Don’t Hate ’08”, later with JD Shadow “Clicky Nitesckool” (critical claim of Role Stone, Billboard, many other smart bloggs) and Bossnocter “Mystery Pot” Jnoes’ rise to promise of underground music scene cannot be tested. As well releasing too big EP “that odd stomach pit”, why he 11 songs calling “EP” never to be sure. Series of open sets for Bossnector solidify G James as having takes to be a difrenet sound tested for the stage, hearing this new for miles around. Quote user of social twitter: “fuck g jones last night was lit”. Starting on 2016, Jones releases one of his mores ambition songs to date, “Fuck What You Heard” flowing successful crossover hit, elements of dubstop, hip-hop any other contemporary style. Herring the song for festive play and sometimes mainstream confusion, some things are just better left unsaid. In a culture where saying “where is the dorp” having totally irrelevant to 2016, Jone continue to compromising the moment of clarity at a big festival sound systems. Jones rise to defy stereotype electron marketable content, DJ press photo and recap video, instead having placed emphasies where songs happen around the same time as back in his studio, contemplative, taking “no” for an answer. After several interview proves disastrous, Jones finds a socially anxious as frequent reminder of how art’s place in society. As some have saying “electron dane music dead” , Jones reminding us, “only the begniiing”.

Mon Apr

17

Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell St. PDX OR

$20 Adv.
Doors 8pm; 21+

TICKETS

Róisín Murphy

ARTIST BIO

"I have always been attracted to weirdoes. It starts in Manchester in the late 80s. First it was Sonic Youth, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spaceman 3, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Butthole Surfers, and then going back to The Stooges, The Velvets, and The Angry Young Them. “Derek & Clive” changed my life. Then it was Dub Reggae and R'n`B clubs in Moss Side, where I learned to dance. Then it was Acid House and the Hacienda, and finding a Grace Jones record at a car boot sale. When I got my first decent sound system it was “Astral Weeks” and Minnie Riperton. Then Sheffield and DJs Parrott and Pipes and Winston Hazel, and it was all back rooms and parties in basements and fucking brilliant music and dancing and true, true camaraderie. And then I was in a band and a relationship and I poured all I was “for” and all I was “against” into that first record and it magically came together without having to try. And that magic went on for years, and it got deeper and deeper until London and the pressure got too much and it was time to grow up and start all over again." Róisín Murphy is an odd one, never predictable, her twenty year career from the outside could seem a little unfocused. "I happened upon this “job” quite by chance and I have always thought it was because of my wayward creativity it happened at all, so I'll always put the madness first, the open-ness, because that's how it all started." When she walked up to Mark Brydon and uttered the line "Do you like my tight sweater? See how it fits my body," a band was born. "I met Mark at a dirty basement party in Sheffield and I freaked him out a bit and turned him on a bit, and I guess that`s the effect I’ve tried to have on people throughout the rest of my career.” Many years of blissful synergy followed that "chat up line" as Murphy "felt" her way through. So from 1995 until 2000 Moloko steadily became more and more established. The huge success of ‘Sing It Back’ brought them to much larger stages around the world, but it also put new pressures on the duo. They broke up romantically but managed to make one last record together, the beautiful and heart-broken ‘Statues’. "Francois Kevorkian told me ‘Statues’ was great, and likened it to ‘Here My Dear’ by Marvin Gaye". It was time to move on. "I wasn't at all sure that I could do any of this without Mark. Moloko was all I knew and I was afraid." Matthew Herbert asked if Róisín would like to try working with him. ‘Around The House’ was absolutely one of my favourite records of the time so I was more than up for it, yet it took ages for me to finally agree and organise the start date because I was petrified of failure.” When they did start it all flowed well and they progressed through the writing of ‘Ruby Blue’ in a few months. "On the first day we wrote ‘If We're In Love’ and on and on we went sampling my belongings, using the sounds of my life and making a album like that, inside-out and all the time, Matt holding me up and making me feel protected by all the inherent authenticity of his “method”." Then it was onward again to EMI and a promised Pop record. "With ‘Overpowered’ I controlled everything. I brought the many people I needed together and held tight to guiding principles that I, myself, had designed. In short I was the boss, which I enjoyed greatly. But I didn't become a Pop star and nobody knows exactly why." The album, ‘Overpowered’, brought with it intensive touring. "We took the live show to a whole other level on ‘Overpowered’ and that show has to be one of the most creatively rewarding things I've ever been involved in." With more complex staging and choreography than ever before and some pretty astonishing costumes being changed at lightning speed for every song, Murphy pushed her performance to its limits. "I was knackered by the end of it and really needed to decompress." She became pregnant in 2008 and took time out, only releasing a handful of tracks between her first child and her second who came along in 2012. Then last year a curve ball. An EP mainly of covers, all sung in Italian. ‘Mi Senti’ was a collaboration between Róisín, her partner Sebastiano Properzi, and Eddie Stevens. It could be described as “very adult-orientated Disco”. Edith Piaf in Studio 54. The covers were sympathetic to the originals, yet wrapped in a warm womb of modern electronics. Giving them a close-miked intimacy, as if Róisín were there in the room. The remixes illustrated Murphy’s nous and knowledge of dance music’s underground by recruiting originators of both Balearic and Cosmic, in the form of Leo Mas and Daniele Baldelli. Following the completion of ‘Mi Senti’ the time felt right to continue onto a full length album with Eddie Stevens in the producer’s chair. Stevens has been Musical Director for all Róisín's live work since 1997. Joining Moloko for the tour of their second album ‘I Am Not A Doctor’, Eddie also played keyboards and contributed string and brass arrangements on many of the band’s recordings. He had been their right-hand man in many respects and Murphy describes their long-standing relationship as "sibling like" and "Derek to my Clive". She credits him with a kind of awakening “It’s Eddie who made me feel that I could really own this job. He helped me come to terms with who I was and what I was doing up there on stage, and I kinda feel that it’s only out of our strange but perfect chemistry that I became a live performer at all". The two spent five weeks last winter holed up in Eddie’s studio, a session resulting in some thirty songs, eight of which were selected for ‘Hairless Toys.’ Five intense yet liberating weeks of writing. Róisín zooming through the thinking / scribbling / singing / break / thinking / scribbling / singing / break routine for hour upon hour with Eddie adding more synths, some percussion, a bit of guitar, and editing on the fly. Both adapting and changing to each other's input as it went down. Progress, according to Eddie "akin to weeding at one end of the garden, working our way down only to find the dandelions growing back at the start." The title, ‘Hairless Toys’, came from Eddie, transcribed, misheard, like a Chinese whisper, or careless talk, from a late night guide vocal. Born without denotation, referent, or idea, it is left open to imagination, and still grows as an adjective. The last decision for Murphy to make was the choosing of a title. "I saw the words ‘Hairless Toys and realised that the decision was already made. It’s funny but for a title that has no meaning whatsoever it sure soaks up meaning as time goes by. It means almost everything. It has even obtained its own visual aesthetic that has informed the mood and style of the sleeve completely, although it has zero to do with hairlessness or toys." So it has become a descriptor, a code, for anything from a blouse to a building, in the singer and producer’s world. If it had no meaning, it has plenty now. According to Murphy the choice of which songs to put where was straightforward. "To select just eight songs from the vast batch written last year required some pretty vigorous editing. The record could have been much longer but this seemed like just the right combination, and in fact the sequencing fell into place with more ease than any other album I've made.” It begins with ‘Gone Fishing’ that chimes like the bells of a buoy bullied by tide, everything hanging from a two-note octave. The lyric written after watching Jennie Livingston’s ‘Paris Is Burning’, a study of race, class, gender and sexuality in America. A walk of ‘Realness’ with Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza, Willi Ninja, and their Houses. Surviving the slap of love and the weight of what media would have us believe are beauty and success. ‘Evil Eyes’ pits an elastic thunder of ruff punk bass against explosions of mirrorball glamour. Prophet 5 cloud busters. Groovy incantations. It’s 21st century boogie, smart, clever. Funk abstract. Chic guitar discos-up ‘Mi Senti’s’ thoughtful, reflective diva, “Away from a place of hopelessness”, as she pays homage to the falsetto of Curtis & Sly. Music formed in collision. Melody built from an ever-changing flux of molecules, rather than a tune per se. ‘Exploitation’ could be a lost NYC after hours. Jazz solos with the robots, and Róisín a world worn Marianne (Faithfull) in the spot. Róisín says “It’s about sex. Dangerous fun.” ‘Uninvited Guest’ joins trippy notes and thoughts of alienation. The day spent on nothing, just waiting, unfulfilled. Where is the what if the what is in why? Eddie calls it “A kicking-a-can-down-an-alleyway song. A hands-in-pockets, sooty-faced naughty kid with no place to go”, when mid-way a dream window opens like love to the rescue. Love might be within, but still it ain’t so easy to find. Scott Walker whistles. Or is that Morrissey? Or Otis? Or that wicked wicked Pickett? Sung at the crossroads of that alleyway and escape. ‘Exile’ has the keys from Ian McLagan’s smoky Hammond & Wurlitzer. Desert, country tremolo. Our heroine is Cindy Sherman dressed as Dusty in Memphis. Muscle Shoals on those blues. Lee Hazlewood sore-headed on some non-velvet morning, still stoned. Coming down from that most powerful of drugs. “Classic gilded cage complex”, says Róisín. I know why the caged bird sings. ‘House Of Glass’ is autobiographical. A strength drawn from necessity, recounted with hindsight’s fragility. Eddie gave the piece six different chord progressions, maybe more, designed to make its floor unstable, breakable. ‘Hairless Toys’ itself has ‘Gotta Hurt’ in parentheses, and when Róisín sings that she’s hurting she sounds like she’s hurting, but big girls (and boys) don`t cry. Accompanied by the clockwork turning of a music box ballerina pirouetting on painful toes (pirouetting all the same), it might make you wonder if ‘Hairless is a reference to youth. ‘Unputdownable’ is a ballad, a closer. Rich and sophisticated. Strong and defiant. A story within a story framed by a story. Love`s fascination conquers its disappointment. Its surprises and bruises make us who we are. What’s life without guilt anyway? No, it’s not Pop, but it raises one final question, “Will Murphy ever make a bad record?”