Vibracathedral Orchestra: My Gate’s Open, Tremble By My Side CD


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Originally released on the Lexicon Devil label in 2004; a reissue of their obscenely rare 1999 LP on the Roaratorio label, with three bonus tracks. Vibracathedral Orchestra started in 1998 with the core 5-piece line-up of Neil Campbell, Bridget Hayden, Michael Flower, Adam Davenport and Julian Bradley. Between the five of them, a musical CV would read like a history of UK underground experimental music from the last decade or so, with members having been involved with the likes of Richard Youngs, Simon Wickham-Smith, Sunroof, Skullflower, and others. The sound and aesthetic of VO is based heavily on percussive, improvised, minimalist drones that occasionally bear heavy resemblance to everything from very early Velvet Underground (and proto-/post-Velvets projects with John Cale, Angus MacLise and La Monte Young) to Popol Vuh and Amon Düül to essential UK cult artists like Third Ear Band and AMM. With a massive array of percussive, stringed and toy instruments (bells, recorders, flutes, mandolins, violins, whistles, organs, etc.), the band soon began wowing people over with their limited self-released CD-Rs and occasional live shows. So, in the intervening years, with a smattering of “real” releases on VHF under their belt, and various limited vinyl releases elsewhere, comes this Lexicon Devil CD. My Gate’s Open… was originally released on the Roaratorio label in 1999 in an addition of only 250 copies. Not only is the album considered by many fans to be their finest work, but the CD contains a bonus three tracks from the same recording session that until now have remained unissued. Musically, it all scorches in that patented Vibracathedral style: monolithic sheets of organic, repetitive drones that arch into quieter, more subtle territory, rhythms and grooves. This expanded edition is certainly an excellent place to start in exploring the world of Vibracathedral Orchestra.