Season's greetings and all that mother jazz. It's your Uncle Stef here with another musical recommendation.
I like to think that my tastes are pretty diverse. Look back on this blog and you'll see that I'm equally happy listening to Phil Collins, Miles Davis and Alice Cooper as I am PIL and Motorhead. I just love music.
At the moment, I am working on a short horror story (keen readers of this blog will know that, while my chosen profession is that of singer, I am actually a frustrated author) and, for inspiration, I went looking for some dark ambient music. The last time I did this my search was very fruitful, turning up such musical pioneers as Suicide, Coil and Throbbing Gristle. My latest discovery has been no less revelatory.
Godspeed You! Black Emperor are a collective of experimental musicians from Canada. Their compositions are often quite lengthy affairs, averaging around the twenty minute mark, split into movements of varying dynamics. There's no singing; any vocals are courtesy of spoken word monologues, samples and field recordings - such as the street preacher whose lachrymose sermon features at the start of East Hastings on the band's debut album.
Of course, music of this length runs the risk of whimsical indulgence. But Godspeed are not Yes and they use their time to construct pieces of rare terror and beauty, often within the same track. This is not depressing stuff, though; there is hope amongst the horror and the effect of sitting through one of their albums - as I often do on long car journeys to and from work - is frequently transcendental.
Finding their music has been a rare treat for me. I love coming across stuff that happily sits outside the mainstream. That said, Godspeed You! Black Emperor deserve to be embraced by the masses. So, I urge you to go and check them out.
Go on. Improve your life. You'll thank me for it.