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Cathedral of Sound: Global DJ Experience
Artist: Various
Label: Worship Together
Length: 10 tracks / 62:59

It could be argued that for the twentieth century, the dance floor is where the future of worship music will truly be found. Where other worship music follows the same old verse chorus verse chorus middle eight song structure but with added vertical lyrics, dance music actually creates a vibe where worshippers can explore a wider vibe. It could be argued that it even allows the worshipper to experience more diverse emotions and somehow allow the spirit to touch the soul in a completely different context.

Freed from the constraints of traditional worship song forms and strongly influenced by the explosion of club culture, new styles of dance music and the atmosphere of the chillout room, here's a collection of pieces (not "songs" in the traditional sense) from some of the world's most experimental Christian DJs. Although it's subtitled "global dj experience", it isn't actually particularly global since all but Kenny Mitchell are actually from the UK. But hey! It's a start!

These days the mainstream has begun to respond to the collective creativity of mainstream DJs like Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim and Moby so that these ambient sounds are now a regular feature of movie soundtracks and TV adverts. But in Christian music, it still feels like this is a groundbreaking album. There's been plenty of excitement about Andy Hunter's Exodus  album and there's a track from him on this album and DJ Kenny Mitchell's release has also garnered much attention and there are two
pieces from him right here.

For the majority though this will be fresh music from new names and it's an ideal introduction to the Christian dance scene in the UK. There is also a question of the dividing line between what is worship and what is simply good clubby music. Here are DJs who worship using decks, creating grooves, adding samples and taking the dance floor on a journey through highs and lows, excited and then chilled. 

Dance music faces the same issues as Christian rock faced in the seventies with suspicion about the beats and the nature of club culture. Isn't it all associated with drug use? Isn't it a tribal thing? Is it really worship? Don't those kids go out of their heads with the beat? Purh-lease! With all new developments, there will be those who don't understand what is going on and the fact that a lot of these DJs move from church settings to clubland with very little difference in what they do in each place makes this even more fascinating.

Ultimately here's the new sound of worship, unfettered from simple songs but creating an atmosphere where people can dance, worship and allow the holy spirit to wash over them perhaps in a deeper way than in what is referred to as "modern worship". Granted, it takes some adjusting in thinking and in practice but there are a generation of kids for whom rock and pop are a foreign language and this is reality.

Across the ten tracks, you can enjoy a variety of approaches as some of this is simply creative instrumental music, sometimes chilled, sometimes hitting a powerful groove. Different DJs introduce snippets of sounds and preaching, diva singing or evocative samples and sometimes the whole thing just drifts past.

To be honest, mostly it works like on Adam Skillz gorgeous "Waiting" which is built around a jazz piano sample or on Doug E Ross's groovy "God Screams" built on an insistent beat. Occasionally it falls flat like Mark Edwards sampling Martin Luther King's speech on "Free At Last." Well it's not exactly an original concept is it?

Mike Rimmer 1/31/2003

As the years go by, more and more Techno artists are rising up and receiving record label deals. One of the best examples is the release of Techno-worship artist Andy Hunterís debut album Exodus on Sparrow Records, who now has a rather large fanbase.

But another techno worship album has hit store shelves recently, only this time it is a collective project from eight different DJs including Node, Andy Hunter, Doug E Ross, Adam Skillz and more. They bring you one hour and three minutes worth of well done and polished off songs over the course of ten tracks.

If you are a fan of the techno genre, youíll eat this up. Itís a great album, especially to have playing as background music while you are doing work, driving (especially great for nighttime driving), and the likes.

But if you are just a casual listener, new to the genre, or picky on what kind you like, then Iíd suggest giving it a listen on the demo rack before you buy it as it may get rather repetitive for some. 

Oh, and while you are at the demo rack, check out Andy Hunter, heís easily one of the best DJs in the business today. As youíll see from his song ďAmazingĒ on this album, Cathedral Of Sound.

Josh McConnell  01/31/03

 

   
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