May 9, 2008

Godspeed You Black Emperor - F#A#∞

Artist:Godspeed You Black Emperor
Album: F#A#∞
Year: 1998
Genre:Post Rock

Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a Canadian post-rock band based in Montreal, Quebec.F# A#∞(Infinity) is the debut album.Almost 64 minutes for just 3 experimental rock songs. Maybe songs isn't the right word: compositions might be better. Each composition on F# (Infinity) is at least 14 minutes long, consisting of a number of sections which are gently woven into each other. The arrangements move slowly, building from peaceful but dark musical landscapes to breathtaking and powerful pieces of music.

F# A# (Infinity) is a creaking, majestic tribute to the end of days, the tyranny of market forces, and the power of loosely scripted, collectively imagined music.Despite the heavy presence of reverb and electromagnetic vibrations of steel of strings, Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s first album sounded ancient, like a thought that had existed for centuries but was just now being articulated. Real life samples-- the rumble of a distance locomotive, the shouting of a street preacher, airwave static-- added an unsettling layer to the brooding instrumental textures woven by the violins, cellos, and alien guitars, and the music somehow felt undeniably political, even if a direct message was nowhere to be found. If F# A# Infinity taught us anything, it's this: the Apocalypse will be beautiful.

just a perfect gem of post-rock!

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death." Few albums begin with such promise and foreboding, but this first full-length from Canadian genius collective Godspeed You Black Emperor! succeeds in the first few moments. F# A# (Infinity) contains three compositions that run the gamut from grotesque to sublime. The term "composition" seems an appropriate one to use as this band does not write songs. Each piece is at least 14 minutes in length, consisting of three to four sections. The band, a nine-member unit consisting of guitar, drums, bass, strings, keyboard, marimbas, and woodwinds, intersperses voice-over narrative with sprawling instrumental melodies. The arrangements move slowly, building from hushed silence to cathartic crescendo and back again. The narratives that accompany the music meditate on the corruption of the American government and the seeming emptiness of the postmodern era. At times, it seems that the music might offer hope, but alternatively, the haunting melodies can serve to emphasize the confusion encountered in these stories. As "Dead Flag Blues," the album's first track, unfolds, the speaker's voice is undercut by a poignant string melody and the piece builds to a beautiful peak. "Dead Flag Blues" is a four-part arrangement in an apparently symphonic pattern. A theme is stated, followed by a quiet interlude out of which the tension builds to disaster/epiphany and finally a quiet reprise of the initial melody is given. The albums second piece, "East Hastings," follows a similar pattern, producing brilliant results. "Providence" is the album's final piece, a bit longer than the others, but lacking the consistency and unity of its counterparts. The music on this album is unique and powerful. One would be hard-pressed to find any imitators of this revolutionary musical form created by GYBE! Its origins are as much avant-classical as they are rock & roll, and the band has achieved a true synthesis of the two forms, expanding them to new boundaries. This music is inherently inexplicable, and this is its beauty.(

Official site


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