This is the union of two artists with rich and unique trajectories in music. Steve Moore as one half of the progressive post-rock duo Zombi, composer of contemporary horror soundtracks including The Guest and The Mind’s Eye and solo producer of masterful synthesizer music cruising the hinterland of new-age kosmische, galactic disco and bakelite infused techno. Multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan has explored the omniverse with a myriad of art rock luminaries including Ulver, Grumbling Fur, Æthenor, Sunn O))), Guapo, Mothlite and This Is Not This Heat. His solo career has seen him embark upon a bricolage of neo-classical composition, electroacoustic music, and luminous psychedelic songcraft. On their new album The Strife Of Love In A Dream (a title borrowed from the early renaissance allegorical novel ‘Hypnerotomachia Poliphili’) a haunted jukebox plays the soundtrack to a silvery universe of sulphurous canyons, lunar gardens and prismatic megastructures. A gothic psychodrama drawing on visions of the distant past and near future. Reconciling polarities of the arcane and the hypermodern, the sacred and the profane, the small and the infinite, the phantasmic and the familiar, paranoia and clarity.
The Strife of Love in a Dream is out worldwide February 16th on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical pre-orders are available via Relapse.comE.
After meeting on a U.S tour in 2006, Moore and O’Sullivan slowly concocted a strange brew of spiralling, hypnotic poptones resulting in the Fluid Window EP, released through London based label House Anxiety. In 2013, they followed with their debut album Mercury on legendary IDM and footwork imprint Planet Mu. Mercury’s astral footprint being a composite of many shared subliminal influences from a 1980’s upbringing on both sides of the atlantic. Anthemic power ballads, devotional canticles and glinting synth-pop vortices through the looking glass. The marrying of Moore’s grainy lattice of synthesised environments with O’Sullivan’s oblique arrangements and vocal histrionics – troubled, elliptical sentiments animated by choral rounds and lush harmonies created an unnerving yet approachable diaspora. Now five years on, The Strife Of Love In A Dream is upon us. A song cycle of eight moons, punctuated and propelled by the thundering drums of A.E. Paterra (the other half of Zombi).
“I’m pursuing a confluence of identities in order to cultivate a self obliterating totality.” – DOS
The most immediately remarkable aspect of this record is its contrarian nature. This collage aesthetic is worn very much on its sleeve and yet through this a unique language is derived. Steve Moore’s grid like environments are twisted out of shape by O’Sullivan’s cubistic multi-persona. The combination of warped synth pop and literary gothic has been attempted before and yet here Miracle have produced a sonic portal sounding like nothing else on planet earth. O’Sullivan cites Max Ernst, Cordwainer Smith, Kate Bush (specifically The Dreaming), Madame Blavatsky, Olaf Stapledon, Hildegard von Bingen, Roxy Music (specifically For Your Pleasure), Richard Wagner, James Joyce, the gnostic Nag Hammadi library, Alan Moore, J.G Ballard, The Upanishads, The Golden Bough, Henri Michaux, Dimethyltriptamine, Nicholas Roeg, Agatha Christie, Glenn Danzig, August Strindberg (specifically Inferno), Robert Graves (specifically The White Goddess), Austin Osman Spare, Madonna, Leonora Carrington, Robert Anton Wilson, Georges Bataille, Lao Tzu and Walt Disney as inspiration for the album. Like the allegory it borrows it’s title from, TSOLIAD is a journey through parallel environments and dreams within dreams from verdant Arcadian gardens to brutalist multi-storeys to black treacly netherworlds. O’Sullivan narrates our protagonist’s journey down into the perilous fathoms of consciousness. A rare juxtaposition to hear a proposal for spiritual nourishment clothed in darkly infectious pop music.