Doug E. Ross
CATHEDRAL OF SOUND: GLOBAL DJ EXPERIENCE (2002)
The world is filled with sound. Songbirds singing, dogs barking, and children laughing make most neighborhoods just plain noisy. The streets are filled with loud, honking cars and trucks. Home life isn't necessarily better, when televisions and radios are readily available. Who can concentrate on our daily tasks in the midst of such a cacophony? It's a wonder we ever focus on anything around us; much less, then, to focus on what's within us.
Of course, some say, "Silence is deafening." This is the case most often when all we really want is a place to relax and unwind. It's at those times when the smallest peep can become a distraction. Like the faucet drip you never noticed before. So when silence is a distraction and louder sounds are a nuisance, what you really need is the auditory mask known as "White Noise." Enter the aptly named "trance" musical genre.
Generally devoid of lyrics and possessed of a rhythmic, pulsating backbeat, this electronic music is just the thing to blend into the background. It requires little to no involvement from the listener, yet offers a rich compendium of bleeps, booms, and crashes for analysis, should you be interested.
Taking advantage of the inherent "background" nature of trance music, a collaborative effort entitled Cathedral of Sound: Global DJ Experience has been released on Sparrow Records. The purpose behind the project is to provide a medium to induce personal reflection on the Word of God and its application to our lives. While only one of the ten tracks on the disc has lyrics, each of the remaining songs is accompanied by a scriptural passage upon which to reflect during listening.
This project collates the efforts of nine DJ's, though only Andy Hunterº will be recognizable to mainstream listeners outside the UK. His song "Amazing," from the Exodus album, is the lone entrant with lyrics (sung by Christine Glass of GlassByrd.) Unfortunately, while it is the most palatable song for repeated listening, it is also the fastest song on the album and doesn't lend itself well to relaxation. Of the remaining tracks, most realize the goal of relaxing and meditative sounds. In fact, much of the album has a kind of spacey, otherworldly quality reminiscent of the Charlie's Angels soundtrack. (The TV show, not the movies.) There are exceptions to that rule, however. "Free At Last" and "Vision of You" by Mark Edwards have an old-school hip-hop beat, and I kept waiting for a slam battle to commence.
All in all, Cathedral is a noble effort. Certainly the artists' hearts were in the right place. Unfortunately, this genre, contrary to all expectations in the secular music world, will probably never enjoy the sort of mass appeal that the current mainstream genres garner. Relative paucity of audience makes this project a fringe work at best. If you are already a fan of electronic music, you might enjoy this album. For the average listener, though, it just isn't worth the purchase price.
Have a Cathedral of Sound link you think should be here? Send it to webmaster@cMusicWeb.com