Colin Ri­ley: Shenani­gans

Var­i­ous Artists NMC ★★★★★

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews classical - KM

This por­trait al­bum of com­poser Colin Ri­ley is a charmer: fun name, fun cover art, open­ing track a taut and wonky disco called Purl. But it’s more than that, too, and there’s some­thing very en­dear­ing about the way Ri­ley de­flects the beauty and sin­cer­ity at the heart of his pieces by giv­ing them names such as Bob or A Cool Car­fuf­fle. In­spi­ra­tions in­clude Ge­n­e­sis, John Mar­tyn and Joy Di­vi­sion; there’s a del­i­cate set of Lyric Pieces, and a clos­ing piano solo in dreamy soft-grain called As the Ten­der Twi­light Cov­ers. The ti­tle work is a col­lec­tion of six minia­tures, whose lop­sided rhythms are cut with snip­pets of gen­tler stuff. The per­for­mances (vi­o­list Jes­sica Bee­ston, clar­inet­tist Tom Les­sels, pi­anist Kate Hal­sall and oth­ers) get the right bal­ance of wry, fond, un­der­stated and slightly bonkers.

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