|Godspeed You! Black Emperor||“Luciferian Towers”|
Godspeed You! Black Emperor — “Luciferian Towers” ♣ “Není tu téměř nic, co bychom od GY!BE již neslyšeli, opět ale zvukově o něco blíž neučesané nekompromisnosti a punkové (na jejich poměry) stručnosti. Až si říkám, že ještě pár titulů a vystačí si se singly (dobrá, tak čtyřpíšňovými sedmipalci), což může být pozoruhodným vyústěním jejich přímé a nekompromisní tvůrčí cesty.” (PETR FERENC, 5. 10. 2017)
♣ “With Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the question is easy: Where do you even begin? For nearly a quarter century the shifting, roughly nine~member Canadian collective has been releasing swelling, torrential compositions that also gracefully loom, like a dewed spiderweb, squaring the circle of neo~classical and punk rock. It is demanding, complex, wordless music, directed in part at the off~switch of the information age. Godspeed — a project that, remarkably, exists completely on its own financial and creative terms — expects an interpretive exchange from its listeners, and rewards surrender to the transaction. This is music that’s not a map but an unreliable compass, precise in its dissonance and generous with its emotions.” (ANDREW FLANAGAN)
Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
Album release: Sept. 22, 2017
Record Label: Constellation
1. Undoing A Luciferian Towers 7:47
2. Bosses Hang, Pt. I 4:39
3. Bosses Hang, Pt. II 4:40
4. Bosses Hang, Pt. III 5:24
5. Fam/Famine 6:44
6. Anthem For No State, Pt. I 3:05
7. Anthem For No State, Pt. II 2:55
8. Anthem For No State, Pt. III 8:36
↑↑↑ Aidan Girt: Drums
↑↑↑ David Bryant: Electric guitar, MG~One
↑↑↑ Efrim Manuel Menuck: Electric guitar, organ, OP~1
↑↑↑ Karl Lemieux: 16mm film projections
↑↑↑ Mauro Pezzente: Electric bass
↑↑↑ Michael Moya: Electric guitar
↑↑↑ Sophie Trudeau: Violins, organ
↑↑↑ Thierry Amar: Contrebasse, electric bass
↑↑↑ Timothy Herzog: Drums
GUESTS ON TRACK ONE:
↑↑↑ Bonnie Kane (saxophone, flute, electronics)
↑↑↑ Craig Pederson (trumpet)
ζ≡ Recorded by Greg Norman at Hotel 2 Tango and The Pines.
ζ≡ Mixed by Greg Norman and GYBE at Hotel 2 Tango.
ζ≡ Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket.
ζ≡ This, this long~playing record, a thing we made in the midst of communal mess, raising dogs and children. eyes up and filled with dreadful joy — we aimed for wrong notes that explode, a quiet muttering amplified heavenward. we recorded it all in a burning motorboat.
(context as follows:)
ζ≡ 1. UNDOING A LUCIFERIAN TOWERS — look at that fucking skyline! big lazy money writ in dull marble obelisks! imagine all those buildings much later on, hollowed out and stripped bare of wires and glass, listen~ the wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window~holes!
ζ≡ 2. BOSSES HANG — labor, alienated from the wealth it creates, so that holy cow, most of us live precariously! kicking at it, but barely hanging on! also — the proud illuminations of our shortened lives! also — more of us than them! also — what we need now is shovels, wells, and barricades!
ζ≡ 3. FAM / FAMINE — how they kill us = absentee landlord, burning high~rise. the loud panics of child~policemen and their exploding trigger~hands. with the dull edge of an arbitrary meritocracy. neglect, cancer maps, drone strike, famine. the forest is burning and soon they’ll hunt us like wolves.
ζ≡ 4. ANTHEM FOR NO STATE — kanada, emptied of its minerals and dirty oil. emptied of its trees and water. a crippled thing, drowning in a puddle, covered in ants. the ocean doesn’t give a shit because it knows it’s dying too. Efrim Manuel Menuck
Born: November 21, 1970, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
• The following is a list of musical equipment used by Efrim Menuck.
≡ Gibson Les Paul
≡ Fender Jaguar — Sunburst, modified with a humbucker in the neck position and a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece
≡ Travis Bean
≡ Mosrite ‘The Ventures’ Mach 1 (A Silver Mt Zion)
≡ Gibson ES~225 (A Silver Mt Zion)
≡ Ampeg V4 head
≡ Mesa/Boogie Rectifier Trem~O~Verb head
≡ Fender Dual ShowmanReview
by Sean T. Collins, SEPTEMBER 21 2017; Score: 7.3
♣ The sound of Godspeed’s radical fury takes a sideline on their impeccably composed sixth album. It contains their most melodic and powerfully positive~sounding music to date.
♣ “An end to foreign invasions. An end to borders. The total dismantling of the prison~industrial complex. Healthcare, housing, food and water acknowledged as an inalienable human right. The expert fuckers who broke this world never get to speak again.” Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s demands are firm, but, you know, fucking fair.
♣ These demands come attached to a press release for the band’s new album, Luciferian Towers — a title that recalls the fiery horror that befell London’s Grenfell Tower and the gruesome class inequity that disaster exposed just weeks before the album was announced. Song titles include “Anthem for No State” and “Bosses Hang.” Fire courses through the “context” provided by the band in a press release: “We recorded it all in a burning motorboat.” “The wind is whistling through all 3,000 of its burning window~holes!” “The forest is burning and soon they’ll hunt us like wolves.” By the sound of it, post~rock’s most overtly political and unapologetically powerful band seems ready to toss the ravenous zombie corpse of neoliberalism on the pyre for good and all.
♣ Seen in that infernal light, the sound of Luciferian Towers is the last thing you’d expect. The pulverizing, prophet~of~doom riffs that characterized Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! and Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, the band’s previous two albums, are gone. So are the six~to~ten~minute stretches of drone — the anxious calm before those records’ storms. Ominous field recordings — a one~time Godspeed sonic standby, already pared down to a minimum on Allelujah! and eliminated entirely on Asunder — are again nowhere to be found. The album barely even hits minor~key territory until six tracks in, before resolving the melody into a more uplifting mode within a couple of minutes. If you’re looking for Lucifer, search elsewhere.
♣ There’s always been this other side to Godspeed, perhaps best summed up in a t~shirt slogan from the Allelujah! era: “MORE OF US THAN THEM, AMEN.” Godspeed’s music is undergirded by its musicians’ radical leftist politics (I mean, look at that press release), and that means there’s hope rather than despair at its heart — a belief that collective struggle against our overlords is a battle worth fighting instead of a foregone conclusion to surrender to. It’s this spirit that animates Luciferian Towers, the band’s most melodic and powerfully positive~sounding album to date. One glance at the world around us offers a persuasive argument that it’s the spirit we need.
♣ “Undoing a Luciferian Towers [sic] feels like the warm~up before the workout. The slow~tempo waltz twirls its way through the constant hum of guitars into a rousing melody a film score might associate with a downtrodden hero. The band’s dual drummers Aidan Girt and Timothy Herzog pound away beneath it, while guest musicians Craig Pederson on trumpet and Bonnie Kane on sax and flute trill away above, filling every available space with joyful noise. ♣ “Fam / Famine,” an interlude between the album’s two longest compositions, reprises the melody in a more atmospheric form later on.
♣ The tripartite “Bosses Hang” is even more of a showcase for the band’s anthemic abilities. Like “Undoing a Luciferian Towers,” it too centers on a simple but stirring hook, one so warm and crowd~pleasing that it recalls the great big all~in~this~together refrains of ’90s alt~rock radio staples. Part one introduces the melody, unfurling it slowly and waving it back and forth like a banner on a barricade. Part two shifts away to a five~note pattern that increases in speed like the highland~reel closing crescendo of the Who’s “Baba O’Reilly,” before going full tilt and reintroducing the main melody like a returning redeemer in part three. It’s a much less complex effort than previous Godspeed suites, but their skill as musicians and composers helps them find riches in the simplicity.
♣ The album closes on another three~part composition, “Anthem for No State.” It’s the angriest, heaviest song on the album, but not in the metal mode of Allelujah! standout “Mladic” or Asunder highlight “Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’” There’s a Morricone standoff feel to the guitars when they finally kick into high gear in part three; the drums and strings groove and swirl rather than pound and screech during the final minutes. Somehow, the band makes these disparate parts feel inevitable in their connection. No one working in this genre does that better.
♣ But impeccable as it is, Luciferian Towers has a disappointing lack of fury. Throughout their long career, guitarist and ostensible mastermind Efrim Menuck and his many collaborators have crafted a sonic profile of pure terror. It was a huge sound, abrasive but enveloping, the kind that swallows up your entire aural landscape. Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad had it in their heyday. So did the Luxa/Pan Productions team of Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker during the industrial~metal peak of Ministry and its many side projects. It’s hard to watch Godspeed walk away from that menacing magic, no matter how skilled they are at the flip side of their sound. You want them to knock down towers, but for now, they’re building shelter amid the ruins. ♣ https://pitchfork.com/
ANDREW FLANAGAN / September 14, 20175:00 AM ET
♣ http://www.npr.org/2017/09/14/550446122/first-listen-godspeed-you-black-emperor-luciferian-towers © Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Photo credit: Ilya S. Savenok.
|Godspeed You! Black Emperor||“Luciferian Towers”|