Godspeed you! Black Emperor
GYBE's all instrumental approach avoids the pitfalls of dull politico-rock,
realising that the frame around their music is the place where some
kind of dialectic with their audience is likely to happen. Though
GYBE (literally) wear their political sympathies on their sleeves,
the music itself has an ambiguous yet important role to play; an
unmediated, emotional response to the uncertainties of the early
21st century. (Use it as a soundtrack to Newsnight for best results).
The sound is big; electric guitars, string quartet and drums engage
each other in a kind of stretched, stripped prog rock that unwinds
itself slowly. Insistent ostinati are woven through with mournful
melodic lines, building to skullcrunch intensity and falling away
again. If Stravinsky was still around, he'd be a fan.
Though GYBE's amped up minimalism is often as dark as pitch, there
are episodes of beauty and even hope. But for the most part the
music is taut, suffused with a ragged but determined power that
has few equals among their contemporaries.
BBC November 2002