albums that changed my life. part three.
a soundtrack for the end of lives…or for our lives. beautiful, yet depressing. hopeful, yet sad…
i’ve always heard the name, “godspeed you! black emperor” but could never remember when or where…then it dawned on me. a film i watched back in 2003 called “28 days later.” i remember watching the making of it on some cable channel and they started talking about the music they chose. danny boyle, the director, mentioned how he loved GY!BE’s music and would be perfect for a backdrop of an apocalyptic film. he was right. however, it could be perfect for any type of film. that is, how the band got started after all, music for films. an original member of the band, efrim menuck, was writing the perfect score for film and eventually started a band to make this type of music.
fast forward to 2004/05. i was sitting in my best friend marcus’ living room, when he said, “ever heard of ‘godspeed you! black emperor?’” it came across my mind. “that name…i’ve heard that name before, but couldn’t remember where…” *see above. he put on the first track and i honestly wasn’t too impressed…until it started building and building, all these different instruments coming in and out, getting louder and louder…then quiet…then louder and louder again…then dissolving into a quiet nothingness. “can i borrow this?”
i was floored. i never heard anything like this before. i couldn’t believe how long the tracks were. “how can anyone listen to a 20+minute track?” i thought. but, it just flowed. each song changes in itself, like a morphing rubix cube. i was hooked. i just remember listening to it over and over again, from beginning to end. it’s definitely one of those albums you can’t start in the middle of, like a pink floyd album for example. i listened to it falling asleep, while working, walking around downtown, at the beach, on my bike, while cooking in the kitchen, during sex…it’s definitely a companion piece for my life.
i won’t go into detail of what i think of every track; that’s for you to decide. even if you don’t like the majority of the album or it’s not your style, there will be at least one track on the album that will relate to you in some way. it will strike a nerve. or a memory. or a feeling. something that you will want to always remember…or want to always forget.
over the years, i eventually got every album from GY!BE. and it was a hard choice to decide on which one was my favorite, since they are all so amazing. it also got me into other musical acts that were instrumental, such as explosions in the sky, mono, mogwai, etc. as well as “instrumetal” like pelican, red sparowes, ISIS, etc. (which have used vocals at one point or another).
i just got to say a big thank you to marcus for playing this for me in his living room that one night. it’s definitely changed my attitude toward music and let my mind surf on different sine waves.
and thank you GY!BE for still making such beautiful music.
DON’T LOVE MUSIC EVER IT’LL ONLY BREAK YR. HEART o.k.? -efrim menuck