Time Machine Review: Godspeed You! Black Emperor – F#A#∞ (Canada, 1998)


A bit of purple prose won’t hurt anybody, so I’d like to introduce GYBE‘s first fatigue ever saying that F#A#Infinity is like the journey of a life. A bittersweet path of joys, sorrows but above all: Emotions.

If you’re not familiar with the music of this act from Canada, then you may be surprised of what can be hidden beneath the post-rock label. An ethereal cocktail of rock and orchestral music is the easiest thing to be heard. But beyond that, a maze of ambient music, noise, art-rock and field recordings discloses itself. An extremely complex masterpiece of “intelligent” music. Long and breathy compositions hard to be told by words. F#A#∞ is…infinity indeed, and an infinite listening experience as well. Just close your eyes and let your mind run away, towards new worlds and new horizons. Where nothing really matters anymore, nothing but the never-ending and hypnotic auditory “ambients” weaved by this Canadian band.

Ok, now I’m tired of talking crap, I need some rest and some Godspeed You! Black Emperor tunes. But I wanna wrap this up in an odd way for our “standards”. These are the lyrics of the opener: The Dead Flag Blues. Follow these lines and then let yourself fall into a cathartic sleep.

“the car’s on fire and there’s no driver at the wheel
and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
and a dark wind blows

the government is corrupt
and we’re on so many drugs
with the radio on and the curtains drawn

we’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
and the machine is bleeding to death

the sun has fallen down
and the billboards are all leering
and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles

it went like this:

the buildings tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
and pulled out their hair

the skyline was beautiful on fire
all twisted metal stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze

i said: “kiss me, you’re beautiful –
these are truly the last days”

you grabbed my hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a fever

we woke up one morning and fell a little further down –
for sure it’s the valley of death

i open up my wallet
and it’s full of blood”

1. The Dead Flag Blues
2. East Hastings
3. Providence

Label: Constellation Records | Kranky
Websites: Website | Facebook
Release Date: 8th June 1998
Reviewed by Teo

Suggested Albums:
Hammock – Chasing After Shadows… Living with the Ghosts (USA, 2010)

Caspian – The Four Trees (USA, 2007)

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