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Um, ye, that cover does it for me. I’ll take one.

Pretty neat that the music inside of Godbear by Charlemagne Palestine is also epic. From 1987, Godbear was originally intended to come out out on Glenn Branca's Neutral Records but eventually emerged on CD, on the now defunct Barooni label in 1998. Godbear is an album of solo piano which creates a mind-meddling swarm of grand piano which frantically flutters into a captivating sound-barrier which draws you further in with every listen.

Black Truffle Records present a remastered version inside a deluxe gatefold sleeve.   

Vinyl LP £15.49 BT019LP

Remastered gatefold LP on Black Truffle.

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Godbear by Charlemagne Palestine
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 Ant 18 February 2016

First time official vinyl reissue of this classic 1987 solo piano recording from thee Brandy swigging legend that likes to hang out with teddy bears. Originally scheduled for release on Glenn Branca’s Neutral Records, but actually emerged some 10 years later on the now defunct and sadly missed Barooni label. Now remastered at D&M by Rashad Becker, complete with new artwork in a deluxe Stephen O’Malley designed gatefold sleeve on Oren Ambarchi’s always on point Black Truffle label, this edition is a most welcome reboot.

The sound of the piano can often fall into either the tediously boring, banal, pedestrian yawn inducing category that makes you want to pour bleach into your ears, or the earth shatteringly gorgeous, voices of angels/ thing of divine beauty - depending on who’s tinkling the ivories. Fortunately Charlemagne Palestine’s approach to the instrument falls into the latter. The man is no Richard Clayderman and here offers three tracks of mesmerising, trance inducing beauty that’s easily up there with La Monte Young’s epic ‘The Well Tuned Piano’. From the dramatic, sorrowful ‘The Lower Depths’ to the hypnotic repetition of the gorgeous ‘Strumming Music’ through to complex layers and clusters of ‘Timbral Assault’, ‘Godbear’ still manages to sound singular, timeless, enchanting and utterly soul stirring. Another classic from Black Truffle to nestle up on the shelf next the recent AMM reissue.

10/10 Mr Pearl's Brain 13th April 2016

Man bashes piano for 40 minutes! This record can save you the time and effort needed to wade through La Monte Young's "The Well Tuned Piano" (aka Man bashes piano for 5 hours). It is based on the same principles, but without Young's exceptional devotion to rigour. So you get an exploration of overtones on the most resonant piano known to man, and they clash, producing percussive thuds, choruses of woodwind or brass, and sundry feedback type noises. But you will hear what you will hear. Palestine seems to be going for pleasing sounds, rather than Young's overly academic "play it all and let the listener sort it out" type approach. Plus, this music surely must be on vinyl if it is to be recorded at all, as analogue reproduction is surely essential where overtones are involved. The disc is beautifully cut and uses all the available space, spreading out the 40 minute run time as far as possible for top fidelity.

I don't do 10 out of 10 reviews, but if you have any interest in minimalist exploration of overtones this music is just essential, and faultlessly brought to you by Black Truffle, simple as that.



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