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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - F# A# ∞ CD (album) cover

F# A# ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

4.10 | 440 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars After taking their name from a Japanese documentary about a biker gang called the Black Emperors, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR took some of the ideas laid down by Slint on their highly influential album "Spiderland" and ran away with them creating some seriously epic sounding music on their debut F♯A♯∞ which is pronounced F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity and refers to the keys in which each side of the vinyl LP begins and to the endless loop at the end. The first time I heard this it screamed soundtrack and an apocalyptic one at that, so it was no surprise to learn that this strange melancholic chamber music that makes me think of a world of death and destruction where cockroaches, rats and pigeons will finally have their day, was a major influence on Danny Boyle's post-apocalyptic thriller "28 Days Later." A little bit of "The Sad Mafioso" appears in the film.

This is some very strange music indeed. It takes the term post-rock and really expands its boundaries by incorporating not only the Slint influenced eschatological field recordings that originated from the unfinished screenplay written by guitarist Efrim Menuck to usher in the bleak atmosphere that sets the stage for the lugubriousness to come, but in addition to the standard post-rock of the day, GYBE incorporates everything from a spaghetti western feel to surf rock to musique concrete and free jazz. But what mostly this reminds me of the RIO chamber music usually associated with the likes of Univers Zero or Henry Cow in terms of mood modifying tonalities and mind-numbing darkness.

The number of musicians here is quite impressive and the three lengthy tracks that really don't have any set musical form just move like a liquid flowing down a hill bending to the curves of the land and only a slave to the gravitational forces that steer them. The gravitational pull in this music all revolves around the fact that anything is fair game as long as it leads to the most abysmal, catastrophic and doom-laden. Repeated listens are necessary in order for this to soak in because there is not much to latch onto in terms of memorable musical segments. This album really has the effect of taking me out of an intellectualism towards the music and evokes the emotional response mechanism of the brain, a technique that post-rock aims to achieve and GYBE more than does so on this fascinating debut. With this release GYBE created a new standard for this type of music to be compared with and it rarely gets more original than what is presented here.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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