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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

F♯ A♯ ∞

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

1997

F♯ A♯ ∞
Album Summary

This album has been submitted by a user and is not included in any edition of the book.

F♯ A♯ ∞ (pronounced "F-sharp, A-sharp, Infinity") is the debut studio album by Canadian post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. It was first released on August 14, 1997, through Constellation Records on a single LP and on June 8, 1998, through Kranky on CD. The CD version and the LP version have substantial differences between them. Recorded at the Hotel2Tango in the Mile End of Montreal, the album, as became common for the band, is devoid of traditional lyrics and is mostly instrumental, featuring lengthy songs segmented into movements. It was initially released in limited quantities, and distributed through live performances and developed a cult following via word of mouth. In 1995, Mauro Pezzente moved into a loft with his then-girlfriend in Mile End, Montreal. Pezzente used the flat as a performance venue, dubbing it the Gallery Quiva. Around 1996, fumes from the mechanic's garage below the loft forced them to vacate it. Shortly after their departure, Efrim Menuck moved into the space and established Hotel2Tango, serving both as a recording studio and practice space. There, in 1997, the original recording of F♯ A♯ ∞ took place. By this time, the band had reached an unwieldy 15 members. In preparation of the album, they trimmed their numbers to ten. The culmination of material spanning back to 1993 resulted in two lengthy songs, each about 20 minutes in length. After the record's release, the band became interested in touring the United States. In order to make headway, they sent a copy of their album to the Chicago-based record label Kranky. Impressed by the recording, Kranky offered to re-release the album on compact disc. The re-worked version of the album included several new sections, resulting in three movements and slightly over an hour of music, nearly doubling the previous runtime. This new version was released in June 1998.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.38

Votes

76

Genres

  • Rock

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Reviews

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Tue Nov 21 2023
5

Hell yeah. An hour of atmospheric post rock baybeeee.

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Mon Jan 08 2024
5

Crazy debut that is still strong over 25 years from release. I can’t imagine how different this sounded to late 90s listeners. Hell, it’s still quite unique today.

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Sat Jan 13 2024
5

I already kind of liked the album off name alone, but what a ride this provided. Anytime those drums came in, I was sent

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Wed Jan 17 2024
5

No evidence yet but that Godspeed are genius. The debut's long, and was clearly assembled in parts. Digital division into three tracks is strange, as one hears the gaps, players changing, "hidden" tracks (where really all are hidden). The record's style and title and cover suggest place, and you get that, but there's also a journey, management of time making the end easy. Nice use of strings, too; They draw the sound away from rock as such, a great trick.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Hell yeah this belongs on the list, for ambience alone. I can see exactly why this influenced 28 Days Later, very post-apocalyptic.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
4

this gave me the burst of creativity and focus that i needed

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Mon Jan 08 2024
4

Cool album, thanks for suggesting

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Mon Jan 08 2024
4

Cinematic and haunting. Deserves a place on the list.

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Sun Jan 14 2024
4

A haunting, unique, cinematic journey from beginning to end. You're not going to pop it on at a party, but it'd be cool to drive around at night to! Most importantly I'm very happy to have been exposed to it, which is what this website is all about.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
4

If there's a list of the best post-rock bands there are two Canadian bands that have to be included: Godspeed and Do Make Say Think, from Montreal and Toronto respectively. I do love DMST the most but GYBE have their charms. This debut by GYBE is dark and foreboding and I do think their subsequent Lift your skinny fists was better, but this was pretty rad back in the day.

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Wed Jan 31 2024
5

Oh yeah this is the good stuff. I'd only ever heard LYSFLATH before, and this delivers the goods just like that does. Excellently atmospheric, potent, haunting. Love it.

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Sat Feb 17 2024
5

I don't think I'll want to listen to this again anytime soon but it's basically peak post rock. 9/10

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Sat Apr 20 2024
5

Banger The percussion hit so hard in the first half of Providence Reminded me of my fav by Alon Mor; Lands of Delight

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Sat Jan 20 2024
4

I knew this band name but I can't remember why. It's always encouraging that something this wierd can exist and even thrive. I don't know I'd pull this our every day but listening was a worthwhile experience.

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Sat Jan 27 2024
4

Enjoyed this a lot in sections, other times it kind of faded into the background. But this sort of music usually takes a while to get into. Very good on a first listen and I'll bet I end up going back to this regularly

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Wed Feb 07 2024
4

Although I like some post-rock - and in that cause longer songs - from time to time, these songs seem to be much more split up in distinct parts. It might be a creatieve choice, but in my opinion they would stand better as individual songs. On the other hand: The music is very good. Some good build-ups, lovely use of the violin. Very beautiful atmosphere

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Sat Feb 17 2024
4

7/10. You know, I scoffed at the review that said this album gave them a burst of creativity, but you know what, after listening to this today I mixed a new recipe for cocktail bitters, colored on sugar with a highlighter, and invented a Princess Bride themed drinking game, so maybe this is a creative booster.

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Sat Apr 06 2024
4

Thankful to whoever added this to the list, I've wanted to get into Godspeed for some time now but could never quite get Skinny Fists. I definitely feel one has to go into this LP expecting something symphonic – this is not easy listening by any means, and is better enjoyed as an art or performance piece. That being said, there are some great entertaining moments within the epic 15-30 min. long tracks that could exist as songs on their own, yet still contribute to the grand scale Godspeed builds across the entire LP. While I wasn't a huge fan of the 2-3 minute blocks of silence here and there, I have to concede it built a sense of dramatic tension and made sense in context. This isn't an LP one can take in as background music, and I appreciated that – having to sit down and appreciate the scale and detail of what's going on here was a great listening experience, and one I will likely revisit again.

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Thu May 02 2024
4

Very interesting! For some reason it reminds me of David Lynch. It has sort of the same vibe to it as Twin Peaks and some of his movies. I will definitely listen to this again. It seems like the type of album that rewards repeat listens. 4 stars.

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Tue Nov 21 2023
3

Not my kind of music at all, but I did sort of enjoy parts of it. 3.5/5, but lowered to 3 since its re-listenability is low for me. Thanks for sharing; was an experience for sure and way better than a lot of albums on the actual 1,001 list!

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Tue Nov 21 2023
3

This wasn't horrid but definitely not my thing. Just straight up rock got

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Mon Mar 18 2024
3

Epitome of post rock and one of those uncomfortable albums/bands that do not leave you indifferent. Ideal soundtrack for the end of the world, this was GY!BE's calling card. Since they have created a unique and very meritorious discography

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Fri Apr 26 2024
3

I would have expected '...Skinny Fists...' in this list as it has been seen as their masterpiece. But to be honest, this album is just as good! Only 3 stars though, because it is just not my favorite kinda music.

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Sun Jan 14 2024
2

While it’s very funny that according to Wikipedia this band is also known as God’s Pee, I found myself checking often how along I was on this or if it was even still playing. Which according to my rules is a two - not my thing but that’s okay

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Sun Feb 25 2024
2

Interesting record, but somewhat very dense. Not my kind of music

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Tue Nov 21 2023
1

One of the songs is nearly 30 minutes long. It's a no from me.

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Tue May 14 2024
3

Definitely too long. Great composition and entertaining, once the noisy intros are done...

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