It’s often said that the darkest hour is before the dawn, and Manchester-based Moses Gold’s music seems to depict the very minute crepuscular shadows begin to make way for the hope of a new day. Eerily intense moments of utter darkness interchange with poignant seeds of optimism as the man behind the moniker, Phill Young, croons like a ghoulish Ian Curtis swirling amid a maelstrom of tenebrous atmospherics provided by beat-maker Espher.
Young himself was forced to make a fresh start after the dissolution of highly regarded electronic act Christian AIDS, who got people talking with their abrasive brand of experimental electronica and enigmatic online presence. They even rebuffed an interview with Huw Stephens on Radio 1 by deciding to send spokesperson ‘Miss Ballooniverse’ instead.
Now, as Moses Gold, a sonic palette similar to that of Halls’ debut album ‘Ark’ is at work and interest is steadily growing. ‘Powder & Blood’ is his stand-out track for us so far – a song with lyrical depth and shimmering backdrop that has elements of Thom Yorke and James Blake in it. The next step is a vinyl release with Bleeding Gold Records on March 10th and in the meantime Clash is premièring ‘Visions’, collaboration with Shield Patterns. It’s a track that eschews layers of reverb electronic glitch in favour of an intimate piano confessional that builds to a soaring conclusion…
Who is Moses Gold? How did it begin?
Moses Gold is an alternative persona that I adopted in order to translate my hidden fears and desires into music.
An extension of myself; I am able to confront emotions I find uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. I created him whilst on tour as vocalist with Christian AIDS/Stay Positive and although I didn't quite understand it at the time, the provocative and challenging nature of those early performances was a coping mechanism that began the healing process.
The name 'Stay Positive' was always more than just a name to me. It was, and still is, a belief system.
What’s your musical background?
Becoming a singer was a happy accident, an opportunity that I had been waiting for. I had no formal training; I've never been to the "Brit School". Some friends were dismissive at the time... I guess because they saw me as one person but didn't realise I could be another?
You have to be brave enough to walk your own path in life; my only regret is that I didn't walk it sooner. I'm working hard at this, learning my craft, trying to put myself in a position where my music can be heard by the biggest audience possible.
What inspires you to create?
I want to connect with people! I'm reaching out on a very intimate and personal level in an attempt to touch someone's heart, to engage, to reflect on the human condition. I'm excited by the limitless possibilities made available by creating music.
In my opinion, the UK music industry is currently awash with kids from privileged backgrounds that lack substance. I am so bored of the safe, shallow, uninspiring records being presented to us. Without passion, anger and ambition, you will remain irrelevant and forgettable. I'm not interested in being a career musician: money exists for fools to chase after. My only concern is creating a body of work that will stand the test of time.
What does Manchester mean to you?
I grew up in a small town called Stone... where nothing ever happens, conservatism rules and boredom is passively accepted.
Boredom led me to Manchester: a city that is unpredictable, rebellious and accepting of difference. I live in Paradise.
Words: Simon Butcher
Photo Credit: Hanrossta
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