Album review: Collected Works – John Foxx – Cathedral Oceans I – II – III: 5 vinyl LPs in album-style deluxe 12 X 12 book set

Edsel records have released The Complete Cathedral Oceans – all three editions of John Foxx’s ambient classic.This marks the first ever vinyl release for the trilogy of Cathedral Oceans (1997), Cathedral Oceans II (2003) and Cathedral Oceans III (2005). The music is spread over five 12”s and is accompanied by 12 X 12” art print and a book containing images and passages from John Foxx’s novel The Quiet Man, all of which is encased in a deluxe hardback book set.

As a very respected and influential pioneer of electronic and ambient music, John Foxx began his career as the original frontman of Ultravox and later as a solo artist. The Project of Cathedral Oceans began in 1983, but the idea and concept had begun long before “Cathedral Oceans started when I was kid, when I sang in a choir briefly,” “During that time I became very interested in the way that sound worked in big spaces, churches particularly”. What Foxx has achieved is a notion of space in the music by using various techniques and effects and processing them through synths and modern technology.

sample here:


With Aphex Twin, Juan Atkins, The Orb and Clint Mansell all giving props to Foxx as a big influence I feel I should have been acquainted earlier with this collection, but it seems to have somehow evaded me,  I’m now pleased to have had the chance to experience the completed collection due to the re-issue. Parts 1, 2 and 3 all feel like parts of the same project (which they are of course) and don’t differ too much in tone from one another, Choral vocals, ambient layers and held notes through morphing soundscapes are abound. The vocals seem to rise up like a beautiful morning mist and float over a tranquil stream of meditative sounds creating wonderful ambient pieces…..If you think I’m going a little over the top, certain live performances of this work have reduced other artists to actual tears (in a good way) so don’t get cynical on me, grab yourself a copy and experience some quality chill…….from one of the best.


Track Lists:


Cathedral Oceans

 A1. Cathedral Oceans [5:17]

A2. City As Memory [5:43]

A3. Through Summer Rooms [6:36]

B1. Geometry And Coincidence [5:25]

B2. If Only… [3:22]

B3. Shifting Perspective [2:34]

B4. Floating Islands [6:07]

C1. Infinite In All Directions [5:51]

C2. Avenham Collonade [6:13]

C3. Sunset Rising [2:38]

C4. Invisible Architecture [3:22]


Cathedral Oceans II

 D1. Revolving Birdsong [2:13]

D2. Shimmer Symmetry [5:13]

D3. Far And Wide 2 [6:43]

E1. Ad Infinitum [6:26]

E2. Quiet Splendour [5:58]

E3. Luminous And Gone [5:59]

F1. Stillness And Wonder [6:23]

F2. Return To A Place Of Remembered Beauty [7:22]

G1. Visible And Invisible [6:49]

G2. Golden Green [7:11]


Cathedral Oceans III

 H1. Oceanic [4:10]

H2. Through Gardens Overgrown [2:40]

H3. Spiral Overture [5:48]

H4. The Shadow Of  A Woman’s Hand [5:01]

I1. Radial Harmonics [0:35]

I2. Serene Velocity [4:31]

I3. Fog Structures [4:04]

I4. Eternity Sunrise [4:20]

I5. Harmonia Mundi [4:45]

J1. City Of Endless Stairways [4:48]

J2. In Rising Light [6:57]

J3. Metanym [6:36]


Out now on Edsel Records: Every copy of this limited edition run of 750 is hand numbered.

Available from:

Previous Album Review: Big Top Heartbreak - Deadbeat Ballads
Next Album Review: Yello - Toy

No Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.