Genre/Influences: Ritual, dark-ambient, cinematographic.
Format: Digital, DCD.
Background/Info: Some of you for sure know Mark Crumby. This British artist has been involved with multiple projects, but Konstruktivists has been for sure one of the most famous. Another important project was Cathedra. The production was released during the 90s, mainly on cassette and released on different labels such as Ant-zen, Jara Discs ao. This album features a selection of twenty nine songs from that period and taken from these different releases.
Content: The first disc entitled “Burning Is Irreversible” features 14 songs that are mainly driven by ritual influences. It’s a minimalistic composition reminding me of some 80s pioneers and especially Zero Kama. Electronics have been merged with the mystic sound of flutes, wind-bells, slow tribal percussion and a few lethargic chants. I also noticed a few tracks, which are more into dark-ambient.
The second disc entitled “The Memory Cage” has nothing in common with the first disc. The songs have been meticulously chosen and are into a pure cinematic approach composed with electronics. The songs are carried by endless dark strings while you’ll notice a few passages with chants.
+ + + : The ritual side of Cathedra is absolutely magic! I think there are not many projects dealing with this kind of music. The atmosphere recovering the songs has something mysterious, but the ritual elements are there to lead the listener into an imaginary dark rite. The first CD is an essential work featuring multiple outstanding songs.
– – – : I’m disappointed by the second disc, which is pure monotony. I don’t have anything against cinematic experiences, but the tracks are too similar and based upon a repeating sound formula.
Conclusion: This is an interesting retrospective and especially as it must be the first time to have Cathedra on CD format. The ritual side of the project is brilliant while the other tracks are suffering from a lack of elaboration and efficiency!
Best songs: “Servulus”, “Black Rain”, “Ritual I”, “Lex Non Scripta”.