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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 229 - 05/04/15

Magnus Moriarty™
In Search of the Archetype
Metronomicon Audio

Magnus Moriarty™ is the somewhat strange project of Magnus Gommerud Nielsen (a.k.a. William B. Skyborne), who is also a part of the project Meta Forever. Nielsen's day-job is in fact working as a graveyard gardener. His label describes this job situation like Nielsen '...spends half his year at a cemetery in Oslo, where he's digging holes and plants flowers...' Well, the rest of his spare time the multi-instrumental Nielsen spends digging musical holes, planting odd little musical flowers. While he's enjoying the sounds of silence of the wind, the grass, and the trees, as well as the sheer beauty of songs from the birds.

The musical escapades of Magnus Moriarty™ grow out there in the 'left field', being experimental pop music of the baroque and slightly twisted kind. Creating sound and music with his musical sparring partner, Marius Ergo (guitar, mixing, etc.). Magnus and Marius (a former member of Lukestar and Truls and the Trees (?), as well as being with Jetsetnjet, Koppen, plus several other projects) spent the half of last year recording In Search of the Archetype, which is Magnus Moriarty™'s sixth album proper. Here at Luna Kafé we have checked out most of his records through our 51 rounds long label showdown: Metronomicon Audio vs. Jester Records, where his last album, 2011's Kodachromerockopera ended our label competition. Check out his career, from his CD-r debut back in 2002, Drive fast slow right left, throughout the albums ...And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks (2003), Sky-Fi Beatitude (2005), and Perhaps Interior Heart Politeness (2008). Plus the EP U R On A Radar (2004), and his split/collaboration album of 'reworks/remixes/re-imaginations' with label-mates Center Of The Universe Did U Order A Radar? (2006). Magnus Moriarty™ has got a steady position at the (vinyl loving) Metronomicon Audio roster, and he's collaborated with other acts on the label such as MA 'flagship' Now We've Got Members, but he's also worked with other bands such as The Samuel Jackson Five, Lukestar, (Ergo's band) Snöras and Black Debbath (!). Quite a broad spectre.

In Search of the Archetype's ten tracks all circle and trawl the eccentric and eclectic corridors of pop music. Magnus Moriarty™ comes up with catchy riffs and melodies which tickle your senses. Magnus Moriarty™ for sure explores pop minimalism, and his songs make you think of ebb of 1960s pop sike as well, as well as early 1980s shy-boy new wave. In-between you find nods to some of the less pompous (towards grandiose) 1970s pop. Magnus (and Marius) play and fool around with synths and guitars, and they seem to have had a good time in the studio. Magnus the gardener for sure has got some green fingers, as well as a 'green' musical mind: Open to anything new, as well as old. There are no borders, or no limits to stop Magnus Moriarty™ search for his/their archetypes. Magnus Moriarty™ avoid all obstacles in the road. I like the instrumental mysticism of "Lyadov on the Shore", as well as the exotic realism of "Darjeeling Sashimi". The latter making me think of Robert Wyatt doing a Roxy Music cover. In some way Magnus Moriarty™ relate to the artist Nils Bech, but where MM is highly introvert and laidback, Bech is tiptoe extrovert, theatrical and flamboyant - almost buoyant. Yet, I sense a link somewhere, in here/there.

I also like "Carports" (by Ergo). Well, in fact there are many songs to like on this album. "Holding the Line" is simple and naïve pop with a certain punch. Imagine The Tables doing Toto (if you can do so). "Bound for the Western Pacific" is another highlight off the album, as is the following "Earscapism". Magnus Moriarty™ for sure specialize in magic, discreet, and obscure folk-tinted pop. I Like it. Soft beat-pop by a new beat generation.

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You may also want to check out our Magnus Moriarty™ articles/reviews: And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks, Kodachromerockopera, Perhaps Interior Heart Politeness, Sky-Fi Beatitude, U R on a Radar.

© 2015 Luna Kafé