Vibracathedral Orchestra (a/k/a VCO)is a UK-based drone ensemble that has been active since the late 1990s. The original group came together when Mick Flower began recording with Neil Campbell and Julian Bradley, who had released a number of homemade cassettes and an LP of their duo work. They self-released 2 CDR albums before Campbell suggested merging the nascent group with the trio Flower was working with alongside Bridget Hayden and Adam Davenport. This sealed the best known 5 piece VCO line-up. The group quickly became known for their prolific output on a vast array of independent labels and their incendiary live performances. They attracted the attention of Julian Cope, whose essay on the group can still be read at his Head Heritage website. Vibracathedral Orchestra has many self-released albums but has made music available through many key underground labels, including VHF Records, Giardia, Eclipse, U-Sound, Qbico, Textile and Freedom From. They have twice been featured in session on Resonance FM, given an hour long slot each time.
Although very much a fixed unit, the line-up has been occasionally augmented by the likes of Matthew Bower, John Godbert, Richard Youngs, John Clyde Evans (latterly known as Tirath Singh Nirmala) and Tom Greenwood (of Jackie-O Motherfucker). Julian Bradley left the group in 2004 with both Neil Campbell and Bridget Hayden following him in 2006. A new album, Wisdom Thunderbolt, featuring Chris Corsano and Matthew Bower as guests, has just been released on VHF.
This very early recording goes to prove that the group knew what they were doing right from the start. Probably inspired by Matthew Bower's work as Total or Skullflower, Mothing finds the group blasting forth layers of improvised yet atmospheric drones. The eighteen minute long The Beauty Of Refined Rusticity is a fine example as violins, cymbals and bass rumbles join a steady keyboard (or feedback?) drone. The music never climaxes, it just shifts gears, changing ever so slightly until it finally disappears, breaking the spell it conjured up through it's own length. The sound quality is quite low throughout (this is a CD-R after all!), but this only gives these alien sounds an even more exotic feel (this is especially true on the closing Falling Free You & Me, a twenty-three minute long buzzing drone which will drive your house pets mad!). Comes in a cheaply made slimcase and lame-ass artwork.
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