Oooh, now this is a special one… F#A#∞ is the first ever album released by formative post-rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor, dating from 1997. The vinyl comes packaged with a coin flattened by being left on a Montreal train track (yes really) and various other trinkets, which adds to the mystery and inscrutable beauty of the music.
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Leftfield even to the post-rockers of its heyday, and arguably the crowning jewel in Constellation's long canon of experimental rock music, 'F A Infinity' still surprises me. Godspeed You! Black Emperor became something else after this record: more structured, and sensitive to the symbiosis of their rock and ambient actions. On their debut record, however, it felt like they were kids in film school who never finished with the editing process. This record collages together brief motifs, toys with vocal samples and occasionally breaks into a climax with little idea of its method. Whether you listen to it in its truncated vinyl form -- whose packaging alone attempts to mystify, to obscure the process -- or in full on CD, this record takes our preconceived notions of post-rock and breaks up with them.
'F A Infinity' is, in that sense, more tone poem than album: the screeching bagpipes of "East Hastings" are unrelated to Efrim Menuck's shit-hot riffs, and the talk of the apocalypse often comes between subdued home recordings. The post-rock arrangements are more an additive than the final piece -- it's about imagery, not narrative, and while this ensemble would go on to make gorgeously cinematic music, they never quite recaptured the strange glory of this weird fucking record.
10/10 chris Customer review,
Truly awesome album, the best band in this area in my opinion and a shame they moved to the silver mount zion orchestra stuff. Well worth the LP version but hey I bought the CD too :-)
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