Listen: Temple Of Dreams / Messiah
Not to be confused with Switzerland’s death metal band, this Messiah formed in ’88 during London’s acid house craze by college friends Ali Ghani and Mark Davies. When the pair met at an Iggy Pop concert, they decided to purchase some electronic equipment and make music for fun. According to the band’s bio, it was then that their musical chemistry became evident, coinciding with the English rave scene. The duo’s brand of techno encompasses the aggression and volume of punk as well, the diva vocals of house music. So there you have it.
By the early 90′s, several of those acid house anthems began to surface into the mainstream, and even found their way onto the occasional US major label. Such was the case with ‘Temple Of Dreams’ in ’92. Rick Rubin’s American Records, then distributed by Warner Brothers and just down the hall from Duane and I at Medicine, picked up Messiah for the US, and issued ‘Temple Of Dreams’ as an initial single on his techno offshoot, WHTE LBLS.
Everyone loved this on the floor. I don’t think any of us could get enough of it, or the various mixes that seemed to be commissioned weekly.
But the back story was as intriguing as the single. In ’83, This Mortal Coil released a cover of Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’, a track from his STARSAILOR album (’70), as a UK single. Peaking at #66 in the Pop Charts, the record went on to spend a total 101 weeks in the UK Indie Chart, a run that ranked 4th during the entire 1980′s, after three classic long-selling records: ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ / Bauhaus (131 weeks), ‘Blue Monday’ / New Order (186 weeks) and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ / Joy Division (195 weeks).
Messiah actually sampled This Mortal Coils version heavily, adding their own blips and bleeps plus a bunch of new shouty vocal vamps.
Despite having played this white at the time, I hadn’t heard it for years until tonight while doing some therapy filing. It’s on about the tenth repeat play at this point.