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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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Biography

The instrumental, multimedia Montreal group Godspeed You! Black Emperor creates extended, repetition-oriented chamber rock. The minimal and patient builds-to-crescendo of the group's compositions results in a meditative and hypnotic listen that becomes almost narrative when combined with found-sound splices and the films of their visual collaborators. GY!BE formed in 1994, and that year self-released a limited-run (33 copies) cassette entitled All Lights F****d on the Hairy Amp Drooling. The band's next recording, F#A#(Infinity), was initially a limited-run release of 550 LPs on the Canadian label Constellation, but was picked up by Kranky and released on CD as well. Early 1999 brought the EP Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (released by both labels) and increased recognition for a band intent on retaining anonymity. Nevertheless, interest in GY!BE only continued to grow among new music fans with much positive attention from The Wire magazine, the band's participation in the John Peel-produced Peel Session for the London BBC, and the group's consistently impressive live shows, including their performance at Quebec's 1999 new music festival FIMAV and the tour with Labradford later that year. GY!BE performances generally include at least nine or more musicians and a projectionist. The instrumentation consists of three guitars, two basses, French horn, violin, viola, cello, and percussion. 2000 brought about the release of Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven, pushing their diverse orchestral rock sound even further into the universe. Yanqui U.X.O. followed 2002. Godspeed You! Black Emperor remained in absentia until they reassembled for a tour in 2011. Another tour commenced in September of 2012. In October, the band announced 'ALLELUJAH! DON'T BEND! ASCEND!, their first recording in a decade, a mere two weeks before it was released.

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