GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR and Silo - Lille Vega, KÝbenhavn April 4, 2002

From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)

My friend Michael had not been feeling well and was about to go on a trip to Prague for a week and asked me if I would go record this show for him. I had heard their name a lot and have one live concert from 1999, so I knew more or less what their music was like. I did not realize the complex mixture of sounds that they generate though. But first, Silo. Silo are a 3 piece band and a sampler, Unfortunately for them the sampler seems to be the most interesting. The guitar player never actually played anything interesting on the guitar at all. Mostly repetitive material. The bass player seemed to be idle like 25% of the time and letting the sampled bass and drum lines do his job. The poor drummer mostly seemed to back up the sampler. It was like the sampler was in control. Not very interesting ambient music. We will see how they evolve.

GSYTEBE started off very quiet, as most if not all their songs do and it was quite a job for the audience to be completely silent. The cling of beer glasses by the people picking up the beer glasses and in the bar you could hear for the whole show except the loud parts and people talking a little as well. People were pretty quiet where I was, except at the very beginning of the show. The band played practically in the dark and I had hoped for a cool visual and light show to go with the music but they had none. They had a mostly black and white film on the backdrop for most of the songs but it was nothing really interesting or did not fit to the music, sort of bleak. Anyway, for me, their music came across as a mixture of Motorpsycho for the melodic parts of their songs, a bit of Bardo Pond the way the guitars work together to make a complex wall of sound at times and throw in some Spiritualized and Pendereki when the music gets very heavy. The songs generally started off slowly with cello and violin or guitars with some strange percussion sounds (bells, xylophones, etc.) and then would build up into big walls of sound that sometimes continue for 10 minutes and then back down again. This was how nearly all the songs went in slightly different variations. They played very long songs in general and played around 130 minutes of music. It could be mesmerizing at times. 3 guitar players, two bass players, cello, violin and 2 drum-percussion players. Nice show.

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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