Roisin Murphy's releases over the last couple of years have been so consistently good and so irrepressibly fresh that I was a little concerned that the album might not live up to the high standards she has set. Machine, out last week, proves that there was no need to worry. In 2018 she put out four 12" singles made with producer Maurice Fulton one of which- All My Dreams- was the single of that year as far as I was concerned. For Machine she's hooked up with Sheffield DJ and producer Richard Barrett (otherwise known as Parrot and/ or Crooked Man) and the ten songs that make up the album are all unnervingly brilliant, supercharged house/ disco/ deep house hybrids aimed squarely at the dancefloor. Opener Simulation starts with strings and a kickdrum and Roisin holding forth, 'I will make my own happy ending' and from there on in Roisin and the music are fused together, one entity- Roisin Machine. The following song, Kingdom Of Ends, is a seemingly neverending build up, synths and drums going crazy but never giving in to doing the obvious thing- to climax with a massive drop- but continuing, twisting round and around. At the start of this song, over bouncing bass and buzzing synths she says 'this is easier than I expected', which is laugh- out- loud funny under the circumstances.
The songs on Machine segue into each other, sequenced like a DJ set, with a perfect ebb and flow. Something More and Incapable have both been released as singles and both are better than any other deep house bangers you'll hear this year. Murphy's Law and Narcissus are disco masterclasses. Album closer Jealousy starts with a holler and a roller-coaster bassline, strings sweeping in and Roisin bringing human emotions to the song, a synthesis of classic house and full throttle disco, over and over, the last song of the night. Stunning stuff that you have to give into.