this full-length 12" from godspeed you black emperor! is only constellation's third release, but they are fast becoming canada's most intriguing independent record label. the group is a loose collective of musicians from montreal who intersperse tape loops and varying sound effects with walls of experimental soundscapes. not surprisingly, this configuration often collaborates with filmmakers to produce multi-media events in their homequarters. the instrumentation includes everything from guitar and percussion to strings and french horn, invoking ghostly spirits of dark alleys and desolate highways.
innovative and inventive, godspeed you black emperor! stake out unique territory in a world overrun with hackneyed experimentation. not an exercise in useless meandering, the musicians always have a destination, never leading you on a wanking wild goose chase.
soundbites cascade eerily into gentle dirges with no static beginning or end, weaving in and around each other. musical building blocks are artfully constructed into a greater whole, which is fragile, yet steady in its precision.
a strikingly beautiful handcrafted package from constellation (again!), including a cover featuring an actual photograph and a carefully assembled one-of-a-kind bag of treats containing such delights as a train-flattened penny a once-crumpled show flyer. that alone would be worth the $14 for which you can pick up this beautiful package, but the music itself merits any price.
jam tidy, transmission, autumn 97
i usually refrain from writing about records that are impossible to find, however, when i saw this band open for storm and stress (while on holiday in chicago) there was no way i could keep such a monumental experience to myself. ten musicians on stage (although 17 were involved with the record) playing lush dense mesmorizingly breathtaking soundscapes with instruments such as cello, french horn, glockenspiel, bagpipes, banjo, and a bevy of guitars. think of a mix of labradford, rachel's and rex layered with some intense environmental elements (a fixation with trains is apparent). as of now, it is a vinyl-only release with embossed lettering, a photograph glued on the sleeve and loads of cool inserts, some printed on a letterpress, (independent projects eat your heart out)! my most treasured recording of the year, you will definitely be hearing more about this most unique and inspiring band in these pages!