February 14, 2022

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - all lights fucked on the hairy amp drooling

The mythical "debut" from the iconic post-rock titans Godspeed You! Black Emperor is given an official release by the band.

Recently, a YouTube video surfaced and reported to be the long-sought-for debut cassette from the always mysterious Godspeed You! Black Emperor. In the band's lore, the cassette was recorded almost exclusively by Efrim Manuel Menuck and only thirty-three copies ever existed. Those were given out to friends in the mid-90s and never heard about again. As the band grew in popularity and became certified gods to certain fans, the lure of the cassette began to grow. When it appeared out of nowhere via an anonymous source, many questioned the legitimacy of the recording and for a bit, Constellation Records (the band's label) denied to comment on the "leak." Today, we got the confirmation we needed when the band posted the official recording to their bandcamp with the following message:

this was a retirement letter,
recorded spring/summer/fall summer of 1993.
all of it by efrim, and a little bass from mauro.
vocals on $13.13 by d.c., acoustic gtr. snippet and backwards hash by dan-o.
no relation to the band that followed.
all proceeds from sales going to the CJPME's campaign to provide medical oxygen to the Gaza Strip.
be gentle.
xoxoxox efrim

Efrim, provided a bit more context here and you can stream the lengthy recording now. As the note alludes, this does not sound like the Godspeed many have come to cherish, but still reveals an intimate look at what preceded the band and how they've evolved over time. This sounds much more like ramshackle punk that came together via sound collage rather than the soaring, sweeping epics we've come to expect. Still, for those who've been waiting decades to hear it, there is something rather awe-inspiring about it and real moments of pure joy.

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