STM 244 - Daniel O’Sullivan

Daniel O’Sullivan of  O Genesis and Æthenor

Daniel O’Sullivan's personal archive

From Tuvan folk to the fourth world - Daniel O’Sullivan creates an otherworldly and sublime journey in memory of the brilliant Kiwi outsider Donald McPherson.


Daniel O’Sullivan is an English musician and composer best known for his involvement in a wide variety of projects, including Grumbling Fur, Guapo, Laniakea, Sunn O))), Miracle and others. It is hard to attribute Daniel to any single genre of music, because his background stretches out wildly, covering the truly adventurous fringes of the avant-garde, crossing genre boundaries, or engaging in sentimental songwriting in his more accessible modes. He also works under his own name and has recently blown our minds with the superbly trippy and deeply touching long-play Veld, which ended up on our year end summary. The album excellently merged Eno-ish art rock sensibilities with chamber psych pop and cosmic haziness. Whether he crafts otherworldly and dense new wave with Miracle, radiophonic proggy folk with Grumbling Fur, emotional galactic ambient operas with Laniakea or elegant downtempo prog with Mothlite, we can always trace his unique approach joining the British psych legacy with psychogeographical sensitivity, esoteric pop forms with sophisticated melodicism.

Secret Thirteen Mix 244 is titled “Null Divinations Of Rotational Energy In Modified Gravity” - this is a very colorful, varied and vivid affair. It is dedicated to the late great Donald McPherson, a New Zealand guitar player whose heartfelt, elevating and stark folk music is magical due to its simplicity and organic, stripped-down emotionalism. Part of this mix retains a similar perceptiveness, albeit manifested in a wide variety of forms. Here we have almost an hour and a half of splendor - short tracks or excerpts are weaved into a contemplative continuum, taking us through diverse states, lifting us above the mundane or transporting us into “another green world”, Hassell’s fourth world planet, the pastoral quietness of the Tanworth-In-Arden village (where Molly Drake wrote most of her songs and Nick Drake spent his childhood days), the Tuvan mountains (Nadezhda Kuular And The Tuvan State Ensemble Sayani) or Kemayoran towns (Grup Bamba Puang). It is a globe-trotting experience, which evolves into some strange intuition, enabling the listener to unite all these experiences into a coherent whole and discover the multiple links among them. Daniel’s mix has a deep and uplifting mood, yet not without traces of introspective melancholy or solemn reverie. Due to its ethereal nature, colorful dynamics and organic movements, the mix reminds Otto Freundlich’s abstract multilayered painting “Lichtkreise (Kosmischer Regenbogen)

Daniel O’Sullivan on the mix:

“Many of the selections here are extrapolated from their context and some are played simultaneously with others. Disparate worlds and archetypes are fused in order to reveal their origin which is ultimately about limitless potential. This mix is dedicated to Donald McPherson, now plucking the strings of the universe.”


01. Rainbow - Stargazer (Oyster, 1976)
02. Pierrot Lunaire - Gudrun (BMG Italy, 1977)
03. Michael Harrison - Quest For The Rose (New Albion Records, 1992)
04. Jon Hassell - Wing Melodies (ECM, 1986)
05. Nadezhda Kuular And The Tuvan State Ensemble Sayani - Teve Haia (Ellipsis Arts, 1996)
06. Meyer Kupferman - Superflute (Nonesuch, 1974)
07. Pan Sonic - Fermi (Blast First Petite, 2010)
08. Alana Henderson - Is Fáda ó Bhaile (self released, 2014)
09. Hatfield and The North - Calyx (Virgin, 1974)
10. Donald McPherson - Tumbledown (self released CDR, 2001-2009)
11. Kemayoran - Grup Bamba Puang (Smithsonian Folkways, 1999)
12. Sounds Of North American Frogs - The Southern Toad (Folkways, 1958)
13. Jan Hammer - Light / Sun (Nemperor Records, 1975)
14. Jan Hammer Group - Don't You Know (Nemperor Records, 1977)
15. King Knut - Beat #1 from Unreleased Beats Vol. 3 (self released, 2018)
16. Imbogodom - Imbosoundsystem (Thrill Jockey, 2013)
17. R.D Burman - Pariyon Ka Mela Hai (Music India, 1981)
18. Pan - The Mermaid (My uncle Damien's group, unreleased demo, 1984)
19. Akio Suzuki - Time Hole #2 (Horen, 2002)
20. Bob Welch - Church (Capitol Records, 1979)
21. People Like Us - San Frandisco (Staalplaat, 1997)
22. Ubon Pattana with Surin Paksiri - Lam Sarawan (Sublime Frequencies, 2009)
23. Molly Drake - A Sound (Squirrel Thing, 2013)
24. John Tavener - Magnificat (Hyperion, 2013)
25. Paul Bley feat. Annette Peacock - Touching (French America, 1971)
26. Arnold Dreyblatt - Untitled from Nodal Excitation (India Navigation, 1982)
27. Astral Social Club - Hitting Midwinter (Lossless Digital, 2014)
28. Ian Carr with Nucleus - Bedrock Deadlock (Vertigo, 1971)
29. Kate Bush - The Fog (EMI, 1989)
30. Kaigal-Ool Khovalyg - Fantasy On The Igil (Ellipsis Arts, 1996)
31. I Roy - Catty Rock (Front Line, 1978)
32. J.J Cale - Let Me Do It To You (Shelter Records, 1976)
33. Philamore Lincoln - The North Wind Blew South (Epic, 1970)
34. Hills Have Riffs - Butterfly Headed Man (self released, 2013)
35. Kamemaru Sunakawa - Yagi-Bushi, Yanre-Bushi (Tompkins Square, 2010)
36. Gentle Giant - Black Cat (Vertigo, 1971)
37. Daniel Figgis - Lucky's Bad Day (Rough Trade, 1994)
38. Glenn Gould & Columbia Symphony Orchestra - Bach: Harpsichord Concerto In F Minor, BWV 1056 - 2. Largo (Columbia, 1967)
39. Augustus Pablo - Harder Shade of Black (Pressure Sounds, 1995)
40. Sister Irene O'Connor - Fire (Phillips, 1973)
41. Sathönay - They Are Sisters (S.K Records, 2017)
42. Pannalal Ghosh - Raag Yaman (His Master's Voice, 1960)
43. Amor - Higher Moment (Night School, 2017)
44. Aslan Eulodi Vlin - Fizzicle (Unreleased, 2018)
45. Jean Claude Vannier - Petite Agonie De L'Enfant Assassin (Finders Keepers, 2005)

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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