Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Godspeed You Black Emperor|
Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
This nine-piece Montreal collective sketches large-scale sonic landscapes using everything from strings to samples. Exceedingly plush and atmospheric, Slow Riot funnels a dramatic undercurrent through their music, adding a... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 1999
This nine-piece Montreal collective sketches large-scale sonic landscapes using everything from strings to samples. Exceedingly plush and atmospheric, Slow Riot funnels a dramatic undercurrent through their music, adding an undeniably cinematic quality--especially in a section featuring the paranoid rants of a street person. The result is a grand and swirling melange with a sweeping scope and an elevating sense of tension. --S. Duda
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Their finest, and one of '99's best
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 01/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (Kranky, 1999)Godspeed You Black Emperor! Have been around for a few years now, turning out classical-pop crossover material in relative obscurity and building themselves a small but rabid fan base. The band's aversion to publicity of any sort (motivated not by affectation so much as a deeply left-wing anarchic bent in the Montreal collective that spawned this nine-piece, who go so far as to not even reveal their last names in most cases) has kept them from the audience they fully deserve for their style of music, especially in these days when Cecilia Bartoli is a superstar even in America and Sarah Brightman and Michael Ball are cutting platinum records left and right. There is a great untapped market for pop-informed classical music, and that is exactly what GSYBE! And their legion of spinoffs do. And they haven't done it anywhere any better to date than on the EP Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada.As with most GSYBE! releases, the number of tracks on the disc is small (two, in this case); unlike most GSYBE! releases, the tracks aren't divided up into smaller pieces. "Moya" and "BBF3" are single, fully-realized long works. This has the effect of giving the EP a greater feeling of unity then other GSYBE! discs; you know you're still listening to the same song at the end of the track that you were at the beginning.What makes the music stand out from the crowd, aside from the obvious conceit that very few pop bands use the violin and cello as front-row instruments, is the band's incredible sense of dynamic. As with some of the best classical music, often the same phrase crops up again and again in a piece, with only a change in dynamic to keep things fresh. And it never fails here. Everyone was hitting on all cylinders, and the result is two glorious, majestic classical pieces of with more pop sensibility than can be found in any ten boy band producers put together.(Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not talking "Boston Pops" pop here, not by a longshot. I'm talking sexy, aggressive, channeling-the-spirit-of-Robert-Johnson drum-and-bass manipulated-tape-loop Madonna-dreams-of-being-this-good pop.) **** ½"
Vocals...who needs 'em!
Wheelchair Assassin | The Great Concavity | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the CD's in my vast and ever-expanding collection, "Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" may well provide the best "mood music." Blurring the lines between rock and the symphony, instrumental ensemble Godspeed You Black Emperor prove that modern music doesn't need vocals to be powerful and evocative. This music is intense, darkly emotive and always brilliantly crafted and played. In less than half an hour, "Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada" displays more power than 99 percent of the bands on the radio will in their whole careers.The opener "Moya" may start out as a slow and minimal string-driven song, but that doesn't last long. It soon evolves into an incredibly dense, cathartic soundscape, with new instruments entering the fray until they build to a thunderous crescendo. Although this music is largely orchestral and genuinely pretty, make no mistake: these guys can rock. Hard-hitting drums and piercing guitars join with the exquisite strings to create mammoth swells of eerie orchestration. Grand melodies abound throughout the song, resulting in an epic, symphonic sweep that few can match.The second track, "BBF3," may be even more entrancing. This song doesn't have any vocals, but it does introduce some words in the form of a paranoid rant interspersed with the music. Rather than becoming a distraction, however, the dialogue only serves to add to the song's already dramatic air. Not that GYBE need much help in creating drama: "BBF3" exploits tension and dynamics in a manner that would make Mogwai proud. Quiet, subdued passages build anticipation before giving way to full-on onslaughts that may actually make you bang your head. Around the seven- and twelve- minute marks, there are transitions so well-executed they had me twitching from pleasure overload, and you may well find yourself having a similar experience. Perhaps most importantly, this album (or EP, as the case may be), is made to last. Although the inital jolt of hearing these songs is often staggering, repeated listens reveal even more wrinkles, ensuring that anyone with an ear for detail can find hours of enjoyment here. For the discriminating music listener, this CD is a must. So dig in."
And now for something completely different!
Troy Schubert | Santa Barbara, CA United States | 11/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This work is unlike anything you have ever heard. Don't expect crashing metal or purely instrumental classical or straight rock, this music is alternative in the true sense of the word.First of all, it is just two tracks, Moya and Bbf3 (strange already?) each of which is above 10 minutes in length. Each track has movements, repeating themes, slow sections, energetic sections, all tied together with an absolutely amazing progression. I don't know how they do it, but each track seems to flow so smoothly from one part to the next that it totally takes you in. Depending on your current tastes in music, you might consider this progression glacially slow for a rock song, or too speedy for a classical piece, but remember that it is neither. I personally feel that the progression is perfect, neither too slow nor too fast, lingering on each theme for exactly enough time to get explore it properly and develop it, then having a smooth, beautiful transition to the next.OK, enough of this technical stuff, how does this music make you feel? There is definitely an emotional quality to the music. Calling this music depressing would be like saying the Golden Gate Bridge is orange. I mean, yes, there is definitely an element of depression, sadness, and loneliness, but to say that is all is missing an entire aspect of it. There is also some glimmer of hope, and incredible tension and excitement at some points. "Inspiring" also comes to mind, though not in a typical way. The lyrics (if they can be called that) in the second track are an interview with a man who I think you will agree is very...weird. But the way the music is arranged it seems like it is responding to what he is saying in a most peculiar way...even though at first listen it may seem like there is no connection.If you can't handle anything with tracks longer than 3 minutes, this is not for you, but definitely try this CD if you want to hear something completely different, inspiring, musically beautiful, and thought-provoking."