La Cathédrale Morte by French ethno-industrial band Vox Populi! Was recorded between 1980 and 1985 and originally released on cassette in 1985 on the Cause and Effect label. Here we have a reissue, courtesy of Backwards, on LP. Ideal for those who wish to relive their wanton experimentalism or for those of you who want to check it out for the first time.
Limited Vinyl LP £20.49 BW41
White vinyl LP on Backwards. Edition of 100 copies. Comes in an elegant silkscreened cover with printed inner-sleeve.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
Limited Vinyl LP £18.49 £15.72 BW41
Black vinyl LP on Backwards. Edition of 300 copies. Comes in an elegant silkscreened cover with printed inner-sleeve.
- Limited edition
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- La Cathédrale Morte by Vox Populi!
A bizarre and uncompromising album here from French ethno-industrialists Vox Populi!. Full of broken vocal samples, tape experiments, and austere minimalism, 'La Cathedrale Morte' seems to glory in its own incongruity.
This album was recorded over the course of five years during great political change in France, from 1980-85. There were reforms such as the abolition of the death penalty, nationalisation, and a minumum wage increase, but high inflation later put paid to some of these policies. Of course, it's never helpful to solely equate a record's sound with the environment it was made in, but the turmoil does explain why there’s a certain sense of push and pull. Listening to the odd tape loops, I’m reminded of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s experiments in the 1960s. However, when Roland drum machines kick into gear I’m jolted forward in time. 'Part 4' opens with a keyboard melody and hazy droning loops before dropping away into a bloopy drum machine motif, which then gives way to something approaching a minimal precursor to IDM. The pieces are constantly changing, shifting between the clinical and the ethereal, between synthesizers and radio samples.
Nothing is certain on this record. In the closest 'La Cathédrale Morte' gets to a conventional arrangement, the drum and bass in 'Part 2', the instruments are out of time with each other. This kind of friction is all over the record. The pieces are structurally weird, always restless and ready to change at any moment. With all this confusion, the radio samples, voices at chipmunk pitch, what sounds like the noise Gollum makes on ‘Part 1’, and a strange backwards aria on 'Part 2', it seems fitting, then, that 'Vox Populi' is a latin translation of "voice of the people": diverse, unsettling, and listenable.
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