:::Interview
The Desert-Island-Phenomenon

An interview with "People Of Iraklia"-founder Maro Zina

The Interview was done in September 2020.

 

How did you fall in love with Iraklia?

Maro Zina: In 2016 the founder of the Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI), Panos Moraitis asked me to do some social-media-work for them. They were helping the refugees in Moria on Lesbos but I told him I didn’t know exactly what was really going on there, so I didn’t think I could be of any help. He replied that I should just come with him to Lesbos to see for myself.

 

So I went there as a volunteer to help and instead of staying there for two weeks, I stayed for over a month and saw horrible things. Not only hygienic inconsistencies or flooded tents, but also ill people, people who had to wash themselves and their clothing with sea water, because there was no running water.

 

You ask yourself, how countries can ignore this misery, because they are just mindful of their own advantage. After that I was sort of burned out and a friend told me I should go on a holiday to distance myself. I said that I was feeling fine and everything was okay, which was a lie, I mean I had dark circles around my eyes and couldn’t sleep and everything. Because of that I came Iraklia for two weeks in 2017 and really fell in love with the island and the people here. I started socializing with the residents, they had time to talk to me and were very kind.

 

You come back here every year since then?

Yes. I was always walking past this house in the middle of the village, where we are sitting right now, it was deserted and a little run-down so I asked to whom it belonged, because I wanted to rent it, but everybody on the island said: “Oh no, they will never give it to you!” But I’m a determined person and finally I spoke to a young lady, who inherited the house from her dad who had died, but she didn’t want to live here. I asked her very kindly if I could rent it, and after some consideration she told me that I could stay in the house for free, if I promised to do some renovation-work in return every year. So me and my boyfriend from Barcelona have painted the house, we made a very basic bathroom and more things like that. I would love to stay here the whole year, but my friend has to work in Barcelona, so we are torn back and forth between these two places. I really became friends with the lady who owns it, she also visited us in Barcelona once.

 

Do you have any income to pay for your living here?

I’m unemployed at the moment, really! But I have worked very hard for such a long time, that I could safe up some cash. And besides that, I don’t need a lot of money here! I was planning to write some sort of application for work during the winter-months, but I have never done that before, I don’t even know how to set that up! I never needed a letter of application for all the work I have done before, really, it was just all about having a network.

 

You told me you wanted to create some roots for yourself…

…Well, of course I have roots in Athens and in Patras, but those are the roots that someone else chose for me. At one point, you have to decide where you want to plant your own seeds to create your own roots. I want to grow old here. I live with my partner in Barcelona in the winter, but we want to make an effort to spend more time of the year here together. And if my partner and myself could make a living while being on Iraklia, we would stay here for the whole year. Sure, I am saying this from a luxury point of view, because I have travelled a lot and could stay here and then go somewhere else for one week or so, whenever I want. But with now being 40 years old, I start to appreciate this kind of slow living, the peacefulness, things like planting your own food and everything.

 

The average age on Iraklia is quite high, right?

Yes, there are a lot of old people on the island. There are just five kids, and some kids who moved here with their parents because of the pandemic and that’s it. Every other person is over 50, they have health problems because a lot of them are heavy smokers, some have asthma…

 

…So if it goes on like this, the island will be deserted in about thirty years…

…Yes, it will become a seasonal island, that’s the point! Places like Santorini will never become seasonal islands, because they’re doing big business over there. But who do you meet there, if you rent a room, go to the beach and have dinner every single day? You won’t meet the locals, because they are all working very hard and they don’t have time, and maybe the tourists on Santorini don’t want even want to meet any locals. It’s different on a small island like Iraklia. You come here for the atmosphere, the tranquility, to slow down, and for the islanders, don’t you? It’s simple here, you can get fresh cheese, fresh honey, fresh bread, and in June, if you’re lucky, you can get some fresh eggs. It’s all about more conscious living and going with the flow of the island.

 

Why do you think young people don’t want to become residents on the island?

First of all, most of the children who come from the island go to high school in Athens. They leave the island, because they want to interact with more people, they want action and variety. In the winter you cannot run a restaurant or anything here, there are just 80 people on the island. At the moment, there are three families, where one part of the parents stays here, the other one is in Athens with the children.

 

What about people from elsewhere, who seek the loneliness here?

Well, it’s very expensive to build a house here. I think this is something that the government has to take care of. Because of the pandemic, a lot of people want to move out of the cities, but the government still does not believe that this movement is going to become a problem, that people are looking for houses or apartments with more space around. The prices of those properties outside are going to increase heavily. The government should convince people to move, if they are willing to work remotely, but at the same time, the systems in small communities like Iraklia are not adequate. There are structural limitations, there is no real health-care here, the island doesn’t have a gas station, for a lot of things you have to go to Naxos by boat, which takes a lot of time. It’s difficult to convince young people to accept these limitations in order to have more freedom. And at the same time, nobody wants the island to become a party-island like Ios or something.

 

The small village Panagia on Iraklia. Foto (c) Klaas Tigchelaar

 

But do the residents want new people on the island in the first place?

Yes, of course. They want couples with children to move here, the school is capable of taking more pupils. There is the high-school with gymnasium and lyceum, and there is the primary-school up in the village called Panagia. At the moment there are just four kids at school, two are permanent residents, and two moved here with their family because of the pandemic. But then, where are they going to live? Most of the houses here belong to families, very few complete houses are rented to tourists. You can make a lot of money with that, maybe 4.500 Euro during the season from July to August, so why should you rent the house to new Greek residents for a lot cheaper? And why would I move here, if I’d have to pay that amount of money as a rent? And who is going to give the current residents the compensation, if they rent their houses to new residents? Most of them make their living with tourism here, directly or indirectly. The houses, that are available are on a seasonal price and somebody who is going to move here doesn’t want to pay the same price as in Athens, because it’s a crazy amount of money. And lastly a lot of houses on Iraklia are not prepared to serve as a winter quarter, there is no heating, the windows and doors are old.

 

So the Greek government does not support the urban escapers?

No. And I don’t understand why they don’t do that. We have so many beautiful islands, they could create conditions for people to come, it’s a market they should be exploring. People who want to come here want to pay a very small price to live here through the year, because everything is more difficult, and you have other expenses. If I want to have my hair cut, I’ll have to go to Naxos. If I have to go to the dentist, I’ll have to go to Naxos, if I want to buy something, I’ll have to order it online and I’ll have to pay for a courier. And I have to wait for it, if something is broken in my house, and I need somebody to fix it, it can take two days or two weeks, depending on if they have the spare parts on Naxos or they have to order them from somewhere else. So you have additional costs and need more time, that has to be taken into account. And there is no Amazon in Greece, so it is very difficult to order from them. I think that the municipal government has to ask for a compensation, to sponsor the families coming to the islands, with around 2.000 Euros a year, which is not a lot of money to prevent the islands from becoming deserted in the low-season.

 

Are there any pilot-projects like this, or is it just your idea?

There is a project on Antikythera, next to Kythera, an island that belongs to the Peloponnese. The project is set up by the local diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church and wants to convince people to move to Antikythera (an island with only 24 residents left in 2019). They are provided with some land, a house and 500 Euros a month, for the first three years. But the people needed to bring specific skills, bakers, electricians and so on, and you have to come with your family. I talked to the mayor there on the phone, after I read an article about it, so I could present that concept to the community here, because it could be something that they could do likewise. The mayor said the press was somewhat ahead, because it’s true that they have the plan on the island, but it’s not happening in a larger scope, due to the fact, that the people coming will have to build new houses, because they have the same problem as here on Iraklia, that there are not enough buildings.

 

Would more residents on the island also mean, that there will be more tourists?

The best idea for the island would be to extend the season and help to provide more services to promote the island to different groups of people…

 

The climate change will help with that…

…yes, in a bad way. Sorry, but Santorini has extended their season for years now without climate change being the reason…

 

…and they have a lot of Cruise-Ships now…

…but you can provide other services. See, if I have twenty rooms, and I would build another five rooms, it would cost me a lot of money. And then I only have two months of high-season and that’s it, so how am I ever going to get back my investment? So I would rather extend the season and make more money with my existing rooms, upgrade the service, buy new mattresses and offer a little more comfort and entertainment for my guests.

 

Is the fear of becoming a seasonal-island unique for Iraklia, or are there other islands, that have to face this fate, too?

There are more islands with small communities, but I cannot name them at the moment. Schinoussa, which is next to Iraklia has a bigger community, also a bigger community in the winter, so they don’t have this problem, same for Kofounissi, that also belongs to the group of Small Cyclades Islands. And if Iraklia would become a seasonal island, with no residents here in the winter, it’s a big problem for the businesses! Who is going to take care of everything? If anything breaks down or gets harmed by the weather in the winter, you have to repair that immediately. Sure, you can paint your house one week before the season starts, but somebody has to take care of the island in the winter!

 

You have been here for four summers, but you still say, you’re not a local. Do you think, the resident people of the island have accepted you as one of them already?

I don’t know. I haven’t checked (laughs). But they seem happy with me being around.

Iraklia in the evening. Foto (c) Klaas Tigchelaar

How did the idea for the Instagram-feed @peopleofiraklia come about?

At first because I was spending a lot of time with the people here and I took pictures of them with my phone, which is normal nowadays, right? I posted those pictures on my personal Instagram-account and a friend said I should try to arrange an exhibition or something with those pictures. I rejected that idea, I mean, I was just taking pictures with an old iPhone, nothing you can print, and maybe people wouldn’t care anyway. I started hashtagging the posts with #peopleofiraklia, and through the years I was writing small captions about them and finally decided to give them a separate account, so it is easier for people to find it and it does not interfere with my private account. I basically wanted to show who the people on this island are and what they are doing.

 

And then you started printing bags with this hashtag…

…I want to start a business here, but that is a different story. And the year 2020 is difficult for that, because of the pandemic, the social-distancing and everything.

 

What kind of business?

I’m not gonna tell, it’s a secret (laughs)! I don’t want people to steal my idea! But it’s something that doesn’t take from the services that are already here, it should be something new that adapts well to the rhythm of the island. And I don’t want Iraklia to become a club-island, so I’m not opening a club or something like that (laughs).

 

Okay, so tell me about the bags.

So I couldn’t start the business, because of the pandemic, a lot of people who come here every year couldn’t come over, because flights were cancelled. I wanted to make something that reminds the people of the island, when they are at home in the winter. For the people who respect the community here, maybe help cleaning the beach, spend time with their grandmother and so on. So I went shopping and bought 100 bags, a frame, liquid and everything, made a design for the print with a friend of mine and then went on my trip from Barcelona to Iraklia. Still, I had no clue about the printing-process, so I dropped by a Calligraphy-Shop in Athens and they explained it to me and made the frame, and on the island, I watched some YouTube-videos, read the comments and just started doing it.

 

And it turned out fine right away?

Well, after trying out with three or four bags, I noticed that there was some colour left on my design, after I washed the frame. So I called the guy in the shop and said ‘Dude, the design is turning blue, what do I do’? He said I should use some dish-soap. I replied ‘Dude, I did that, it doesn’t help’, so he said I should put it in a tank of water with dish-soap for twenty minutes and I replied that no one who does calligraphy for more than one print is going to do that, it takes too much time and you will go crazy if you’ll have to go through that process for every bag. Finally, I explained that I didn’t want the DIY-version, but that I needed the good stuff and he told me about some chemical-liquid to clean it and I ordered that. I got an Asthma-attack when I opened that bottle because of some toxic ingredients (laughs), but now it works and I am very happy.

 

So how many bags will you make?

I just bought 100. The plan was that the bags are for the people who come here, and who are not from here, and they are given to them for free, so they have a reminder. That’s why I wouldn’t give the bags to people from the island, because I thought, they don’t need this reminder, they have the island, malaka! But then someone on the island asked me, if I could print the design “People Of Iraklia – Endless Greek Summer” on one of her T-Shirts. I said, okay sure, and I printed it, and then suddenly everyone wanted a T-Shirt (laughs)! Anyway, I keep a list with all of the names of the people who got a bag, where they’re from, how many times they have come here and so on. And I won’t do it again, because then it loses its purpose!

 

And how did the president of the Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou get her bag?

She was on vacation on Naxos, because she has friends there and wanted to make an informal visist to some of the Small Cyclades Islands. She went to Kofounissi with her staff and security and everything to see the new museum there and then they came here and my neighbor told me that the president of the Hellenic Republic is on the island! I follow her on Instagram and Facebook, she is very vocal about human rights and women’s rights and so on, something that was not common before in the Greek government. I am very proud of that!

 

So I went down to the harbour, she was there to see buy some souvenirs to support the community, and I told her that I was so proud that she is our president. And then I started crying, like really crying! She calmed me down and asked someone to take a picture of us, also because mentally I was not able to start a conversation or anything (laughs).

 

Later I talked with one of her friends and he asked me about my T-Shirt with the “People Of Iraklia”-Print on it and I explained it. Then he introduced me to the President again and told her about the bags and everything and she was very polite and said that she would like to have a bag too. I sent her two in the end, it was very complicated because I had to send it to her friends on Naxos and of course I included some local products like Fava and cheese and honey. I got an E-Mail from the friend, telling me that she received the box and was very moved!


Maria „Maro“ Zina was born in Athens in 1980 and grew up in Patras. She studied Marketing in Athens and was a project-manager for the newspaper “Athens Voice” from 2008-2012. After that she specialized as a social-media-advisor. She worked as a volunteer for ECRI on Lesbos in 2016 and continued to do refugee-help in another camp on the Greek mainland. Her first visit to Iraklia was when she was a kid, with her parents on a sailing-boat, since 2017 she comes here every year for a couple of months, in the winter she lives in Barcelona with her spanish friend.


MUSIK

Kings Of Convenience

Peace Or Love

EMI/Universal/VÖ: 18.06. Stream|mp3|CD|Vinyl

Ihr Debüt »Quiet Is The New Loud« war ein musikalischer Faustschlag aus dem Nichts, mit dem das norwegische Indie-Folk Duo Erlend Øye und Eirik Glambek Bøe akustische Gitarren plötzlich wieder äußerst cool erscheinen ließ.

 

2004 traten sie im Bonner Collegium Leoninum auf, das Publikum saß überwiegend auf dem Boden und in meiner Erinnerung waren die Wände mit gebleichten Jutebahnen abgehängt und sogar die Jungs trugen Blumenkränze im Haar. Was das Album von 2001 und auch den Nachfolger »Riot On An Empty Street« (2004) natürlich keinen Deut schlechter macht. Zwölf Jahre nach dem letzten gemeinsamen Album »Decleration Of Dependence« und vielen gelobten anderen Projekten von Øye (u.a. Whitest Boy Alive) sind die cleveren Folk-Nerds zurück, um uns erneut von der Faszination des pianissimo zu überzeugen.

 

Cremige Chorgesänge, filigranes Fingerpicking und zuckersüße Melodiebögen sind zurück, und Stücke wie »Rocky Trail« oder das getragene »Killers« knüpfen in ihrer Eingängigkeit an das legendäre Debüt an. Als zusätzlichen Bonus hat man Leslie Feist für »Love Is A Lonely Thing« und »Catholic Country« zum Gastgesang geladen.

 

Extra Topping auf der Sahnehaube sozusagen, denn KOC ihre musikalische Relevanz in der heutigen Zeit abzusprechen hieße auch Simon & Garfunkel, Nick Drake, Burt Bacharach und Leonard Cohen als heulsusigen Musikmüll der Geschichte zu deklassieren. Und dann hat man echt den leisesten Schuss nicht gehört.

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                       04.06.2021


MUSIK

Turner Cody and The Soldiers Of Love

Friends In High Places

BB Island/Broken Silence/VÖ: 04.06. Stream|mp3|CD|Vinyl

Manchmal braucht man eine Mitternachts-Cognacschwenker-Americana-Folk-Platte, um den Tag anständig ausklingen zu lassen. Und da kommt Turner Cody mit dem perfekten Menü daher, »er ist ein Poet des strauchelnden Amerika«, wie sein Label sehr weise anmerkt.
Alles an seinem Sound ist gut abgehangen und weich, das groovige Schlagzeug wie in Watte gepackt, die Gitarren mit Engelsfingern intoniert, dazu eine Stimme, die leicht nölende die Traurigkeit der Welt für sich vereinnahmt, ohne sich aufzugeben. Gesegnet mit der neuen Band „The Soldiers Of Love“ reiht Cody seine poetischen Singer-Songwriter-Perlen auf, geschmeidig, unaufdringlich und damit irgendwie unaufgeregt in eine Reihe mit Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams oder Richard Hawley.

 

Klanglich schwingt hier viel von mittelfrühen Fleetwood Mac mit, stoischer Beat, feine Pickings, kleine Gitarrensoli. Nur dass Turner Cody dabei stets noch ein wenig mehr gespielte Hillbilly-Naivität an den Tag legt, ein kleiner Schlenker zu den festgezurrten Country-Traditionen. Das fließt alles so geschmeidig, aber keineswegs belanglos am Zuhörer vorbei, gemütlich, nachdenklich, mit so manchem Liebeslied-Keyword in den Lyrics, dem man spätestens nach dem zweiten Aufguss verträumt nachhängt, während die Band einen Akkord in einem fort zum Refrain treibt. Herrlich unaufgeregt, ohne dabei blass zu werden, davon könnte unsere wilde Welt eine weitaus höhere Dosis vertragen.


Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                       04.06.2021


MUSIK

Brijean

Feelings

Ghostly International/Cargo/VÖ: 26.02.

Wie eine feuchtfröhliche, spärlich beleuchtete Nacht muss sich dieses Nebenprojekt für Brijean Murphy und Doug Stuart anfühlen. Eine gefühlt endlose Entdeckungsreise zwischen Electro-Latin, jazzigem Dreampop und tropischem Disco-Soul, mit der sich die beiden Musiker aus Oakland ein bisschen von ihren sonstigen Projekten freischwimmen.

 

Murphy ist sonst u.a. als Perkussionistin für Waterstrider, Toro Y Moi, U.S. Girls und Poolside aktiv, während Multi-Instrumentalist und Produzent Stuart bei Bells Atlas, Meernaa, Dougie Stu und Luke Temple Jazz und Pop jongliert. Nach dem Mini-Album »Walkie Talkie« von 2019 expandiert dieses flirrend-unfokussierte Album auch bei der Besetzung, u.a. sind Chaz Bear (Toro Y Moi), Tony Peppers und Hamir Atwal als Gäste vertreten und kuscheln ihre Mitbringsel auf die sanfteste Art ins musikalische Séparée.

 

Den lasziven Unterton brachte Murphy selbst früh ins Spiel, die Songs sollen ihrer Meinung »mental health vibes but also sexy vibes« ausstrahlen, wie sie thebaybridged.com verriet. Und wo fühlt sich eine leicht anrüchige Morgenstimmung besser zuhause, als in einem taumelnden Gemenge von wärmenden Grooves, knackigen Drinks und einer vertrauten Zwischenmenschlichkeit, die sich ganz ohne Smalltalk bestens zu verständigen weiß.

 

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                      04.02.2021


MUSIK

Arlo Parks

Collapsed In Sunbeams

Transgressive/PIAS/Rough Trade/VÖ: 29.01.

Die Pandemie ist ja nun bald mal oft genug als Jammer-Referenz herangezogen worden. Also Strich drunter, erste Sonnenstrahlen einfangen und sich von der jungen Londoner Newcomerin Arlo Parks verzaubern lassen, die hier mal ein mutmachendes, swingendes und außergewöhnlich großartiges Debüt hinlegt.

 

Wer glaubte, im Bereich zwischen Neo-R’n’B, Lounge-Jazz, Indie-Pop und verhaltenem Sprechgesang wäre schon alles abgegrast, think again! Die Songwriterin glänzt nicht nur mit einer anschmiegsamen Soprano-Stimme, sondern kann sich inmitten einer fetten, aber nie übertriebenen Produktion stets souverän in Szene setzen.

 

Griffige Beats, perfekte Pop-Melodien, schwarze Harmonien und tiefgehende Texte, mit denen man sich unter optimistischer Zuversicht weggleiten lassen kann. »I want it to feel both universal and hyper specific«, wird Parks zitiert, die Nayyirah Waheed, Hanif Abdurraqib und Iain S. Thomas als ihre wichtigsten poetischen Einflüsse nennt, und gleichzeitig eine selten-perfekte Mischung aus Pop und Spannung erschafft.

 

Anspieltipps sind bei einem Album voller Highlights eigentlich Makulatur, aber die erste Single »Caroline«, oder auch »Hurt« zeigen deutlich, dass zwischen Corinne Bailey Rae, Lianne La Havas und Fiona Apple soeben eine maßgeschneiderte Ecke freigeworden ist.

 

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                        22.01.2021


MUSIK

Mina Tindle

Sister

37d03d/Cargo/VÖ: 09.10.

Auch wenn dieses dritte Album für die französische Chanteuse Pauline de Lassus Saint-Geniès aka Mina Tindle laut Plattenfirma die Abkehr vom »strahlenden Indie-Pop« einleiten soll, so richtig düster wird es zum Glück dann doch nicht.

 

Und das, obwohl sie schon mit The National auf Tour und zudem im Vorprogramm von Sufjan Stevens zu sehen war. Weiterhin versprühen die zurückhaltenden Klavier-Kompositionen eine optimistische Fröhlichkeit, denen Thomas Bartlett als Produzent Leben eingehaucht hat. Im Gegensatz zu anderen Künstlerinnen die Bartlett aufgenommen hat (z.B. Joan As Police Woman oder Florence + The Machine) bleibt Mina Tindles Sound immer unmittelbar zugänglich.

 

Mit einer dezenten, klassischen Schwere, kleinen Chorstimmen und sanften Percussion-Begleitungen, die die mal in französischer, mal in englischer Sprache verfassten Gesänge nur minimal aufbrezeln. Sogar ein gewisser analoger Hauch von Shoegaze weht durch die Songs, ohne verhallte Gitarrenwände und Post-Wave-Depressionen, dafür mit französischer Leidensfähigkeit, die von Grund auf eine gewisse elitäre Größe vorweisen kann. Und wer dann obendrein noch Sufjan Stevens höchstselbst als Feature (»Give A Little Love«) mit auf die Platte kriegt, dem darf man die berechtigte Relevanz im Strudel neuer Musikveröffentlichungen definitiv nicht absprechen.

 

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                             05.10.2020


MUSIK

Schlammpeitziger

Ein Weltleck in der Echokammer
Bureau B/Indigo/VÖ: 25.09.

 

Jo Zimmermann hat seinen Casio-Keyboards wieder neue Sounds entlockt, diesen ehemals als Spielzeug belächelten Tasteninstrumenten mit flächigen 1980er-Jahre-Sounds und arg künstlichen Streichinstrumenten, deren Gebrauchtmarktpreise mittlerweile aufgrund wachsender Beliebtheit tatsächlich deutlich gestiegen sind. Aber natürlich sind sie nicht die einzige Klangquelle, aus denen der Kölner seine wahlweise Lofi-Krautronica oder Art-Electro-Dub getauften Kompositionen schöpft.

 

Die Tracks glänzen – genau wie die Albumtitel – stets mit einer gewissen Albernheit, auf »Ein Weltleck…« halten nun erstmals sinnfreie Wortbeiträge Einzug, kurze Reime von Zimmermann, die um knackige Dub-Rhythmen kreisen und vielleicht auch unterstreichen sollen, dass diese fancy Tanzmusik eher für vertrippte Ohrensesselabende gedacht ist, auch wenn man dazu theoretisch formidabel tanzen könnte. Im sitzen kann man sich auch gleich besser über die kreativen Songtitel amüsieren, »Wurfhalm Wiggo«, »Hüftgoldpolka« oder»Rappelvolle Leere« lassen einen bedächtig mit dem Kopf wackeln und schmunzeln. Elektronische Klangtherapie für rauchgeschwängerte Altbauwohnungen mit humoristischen Anwandlungen und einigen gerahmten Zeichnungen von Zimmermann selbst, die z.B. »Es ist wie es ist. BRD.« heißen.

 

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                             04.09.2020


MUSIK

Róisín Murphy

Róisín Machine
Skint Records/Waner/VÖ: 25.09.

Wild, tanzbar und musikalisch auf der Grenze zwischen Eingängigkeit und kreativem Wagemut – da macht das neue Album der Irin erfreulicherweise keine Ausnahme.

 

Auch wenn die erste Single »Something More« (für Murphy geschrieben von Amy Douglas) eher eine mantrahafte Dub-Grundstimmung verbreitet, bietet »Róisín Machine« die erhoffte Abwechslung zwischen galant-mächtiger Gesangsstimme und entfesselnden Stil-Mischungen aus New-Disco (»Narcissus«), Beach-Club-Funk (»Incapable«) und mit Handclap-Samples aufgehübschtem Roboter-Soul (»Murphy’s Law«), der spannenderweise immer ein wenig hinter dem Takt zu hängen scheint.

 

Gerade mit solchen kleinen Feinheiten liefert Murphy Tiefgang und musikalische Diskurs-Anstöße, dezente Sounds, unbeobachtete Schlenker und plötzliche Harmoniewechseln, die abseits der Tanzfläche Nachforschungen ermöglichen. Schon ihr Durchbruch mit Moloko vor beinahe 25 Jahren war geprägt von der äußerst cleveren Mischung aus tanzbarer Oberflächlichkeit und musikalischem Genietum, das sich hier nahtlos fortsetzt.

 

Ob es nun die bombastische Funkbass-Linie auf »Jealousy« oder die düsteren Shuffle-Drumsamples auf »Simulation« sind, die als kleine Zacken im Fleisch steckenbleiben, Murphys Tracks verharren stets eher als Denkanstoß, denn als Ohrwurm im Kopf. Nur mit den Handclap-Samples in beinahe jedem Song ist die Künstlerin diesmal vielleicht ein wenig über das Ziel der ironischen Provokation hinausgeschossen.

Klaas Tigchelaar // Veröffentlicht im Bonner Stadtmagazin Schnüss                                             09.09.2020