Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada [EP]by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
A low hum is the first thing heard. It's nearly an inaudible sound, like the opening of Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony." Soon other instruments join and overlap: strings, guitar, and glockenspiel. For a while, the listener hovers in a mist feeling the musical waves ebb and flow, warning of impending danger. In these moments, uncertainty breeds and devours the weak, swallowing them whole. This is probably Mile End, the location alluded to in the liner notes of the Canadian ensemble Godspeed You Black Emperor!'s Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada. Mile End is described in detail, and the influence of this locale on the recording of the Slow Riot must have been immense. In fact, the best way to describe this album is as a direct result of Mile End's setting: the abandoned buildings, haunting forest, burned out railroad cars, and empty train tracks. All of these physical images pervade the tone of this album: they are its sadness, beauty, and anger. The darkness is there too. Once immersed in Mile End, it's near impossible to find your way out. The darkness limits your freedom, and at the same time hides you from the rest of the world. You are alone and it is both frightening and liberating. As for the music, there's really not much to say. If this description of Mile End appeals to you or intrigues you then it will be a worthwhile listen. "Moya," the album's first piece, is a lot like weathering a torrential downpour: torn between moments of uncertainty a final deluge occurs absorbing everything in its path. The second piece, "BBF3," is a history lesson set to music, a story of dysfunctional government, militias, and human rights. This one album spans the emotions of terror and delight in 30 minutes. The same feelings of fear and triumph found in Beethoven can be found here, and there is perhaps no better endorsement for such music.
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Performance CreditsGodspeed You! Black Emperor Primary Artist
Technical CreditsGodspeed You! Black Emperor Producer
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sure to be looked back on as the soundtrack of a generation angered at "the new roman" empire swirling through madness and lucid awareness of the tangled web of capatilism
Godspeed You! Black Emperor is one of the darkest and most mysterious bands out there. Their music relies on intense crescendos. They build on a single melody until it couldn't possibly reach a higher intensity, and then it comes crashing down. Moya is a great example of this. It starts out with a soft "blur" that grows until you can hear violins playing over it. Soon the drums kick in and all of a sudden you have a crazy mixture of things going on in the song that leaves you in a trance like state. But believe it or not, it gets better (or worse, depending on how you look at it). Soon the melody picks up tempo, the drums get louder and louder until the music is so dense you can't make anything out of it, and then BOOM. The drums quiet down suddenly and that melody is back playing louder, faster, and more intense than ever. It quickly quiets down and leaves you wanting for more, and just when you think the song is wrapping up with softly playing violins, it comes right back at you. I could listen to Moya on repeat for hours and never get tired of it. BBF3 is just as good as Moya, though it's a little different. Throughout the song is an interview of a ticked off man who just got a speeding ticket. He talks about how the American government is corrupt. It adds so much depth to the song, and when he's done, the music picks up like mad and has just as intense of a climax as Moya does. Out of the four albums GY!BE has released, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada is my 2nd favorite (only f#a#oo is better). Don't get this if you are new to Godspeed (Lift Yr. Skinny Fists... is the best place for starters), but if you like their music, definitely pick this up.