LP is pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl and comes in a tipped-on heavyweight gatefold jacket printed in full-colour process plus a spot metallic ink and spot matte varnish. LP dust sleeve is also 4-colour print. Package includes a 7 inch in printed dust sleeve (same audio appears in a different sequence on the CD) and a 12"x48" pull-out poster (printed full colour on both sides) featuring a collage of film stills specially-photographed and captured from the GYBE live 16mm projections.
CD comes in a custom gatefold jacket printed on 100% recycled paperboard in 4-colour process plus spot metallic ink and spot matte varnish. CD dust sleeve is also 4-colour print.
Hard to believe a full decade has passed since the release of Yanqui U.X.O., the last album by GYBE. Never a band to care for conventional industry wisdom, Yanqui was released shortly before xmas 2003 with little publicity and no press availability, no marketing plans or cross-promotions or brand synergies, with back cover artwork tracing the inextricable links between major music labels and the military-industrial complex. Driven by word-of-mouth from a passionate and committed fanbase galvanized by the group's sonic vision and its dedication to unmediated, unsullied musical communication, the album found it's rightful audience.
To suggest that such simple principles and goals have become harder to maintain and enact a decade later is an understatement. For all the contents and discontents - for all the "content" - of our present cultural moment, the idea of circumventing the glare of exposure, the massaging of media cycles and the calculus of identity management appears quaint, if not futile.
But Godspeed is looking to try all the same. The band wants people to care about this new album, without telling people they should or talking about themselves. They want to hold on to some part of that energy that comes with the thrill of anonymous discovery and unmediated transmission, knowing full well that these days, anti-strategy risks being tagged as a strategy, non-marketing framed as its opposite, and deeply held principles they consider fundamental to health as likely to be interpreted as just another form of stealth.
The band has been carving its own path again since 2010, regrouping as the same self-managed collective entity it has been from the outset, making appearances at a tiny clutch of music festivals, and otherwise just touring its own shows. It's been a disorienting time to resurface, but it has felt overwhelmingly right, honest and good. We think Godspeed has made a new record that maintains if not exceeds the standards of their previous work - a high bar, many would agree.
GYBE picked up right where they left off, and after almost two years of practicing, playing and touring, 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! Delivers two mighty sides of music (bookended by two new drones) that the band had been working up prior to their 2003 hiatus, which they have now shaped into something definitively stunning, immersive and utterly true to their legacy. The future looks dark indeed, but on the evidence of this new recording, Godspeed appears wholly committed to staring it down, channeling it, and fighting for some rays of sound (and flickers of light) that feel righteous, unflinching, hopeful and pure.
2. Their Helicopters' Sing
3. We Drift Like Worried Fire
4. Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable
- About Drift
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