Godspeed You ! Black Emperor 

Yanqui U.X.O.
/constellation; 2002/

rating : 9



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Musically, there is not a lot of things left for GYBE! to prove or discover. The music remains the same, fragile, glorious and poisonous, but something is gone. To me it seems like I'm listening to people who have realized they have said all they had to say. They sent their songs up in the air for people to grab them, and the world didn't change. 

Yanqui U.X.O. sounds more like a requiem than anything else. The voices that filled GYBE's previous albums are gone. The three pieces sound like they were written out of desperate frustration. These people never were optimistic, but this sounds like music to listen to when everything is over, when every little piece of hope is gone. To be honest I think that half of the emotion conveyed by the previous albums was provided by the interviews/voice samples used, the best example second track on Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada. But this time, surprisingly enough, GYBE's musicians succeed in moving us as much without the aforementioned trademark samples.  

09-15-00, the opening track, is played by a confused yet united band. The second part, filled with quiet doubt, follows an epic pt.1, once again a 15 minutes crescendo going louder and louder. Rockets Fall on Rocket Falls, the second piece, is the most interesting. It starts in a typical GYBE! way and suddenly it becomes very cinematic. It sounds like the music to accompany a dark children's story, la Peter & the Wolf, and then it explodes, following the motifs put aside during the middle part. There's flanger in it, noisy efficiently simplistic guitar parts and a foggy tremolo. The final track, Motherfucker=Redeemer is split into two parts, just like 09-15-00. It starts with an oppressive disco beat and all the instruments slowly enter, one after the other. It slowly rises, the violin goes wild, the drummers fiercely beat their instrument and then it calms down as if the band had realized the pointlessness of their fight. The end of this first part sounds like Neil Young's music for Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, ghostly and guitar-driven. The second part closes the album in an magnificent way : for the first time in Yanqui U.X.O. the band rises, grabs our hearts and drags us into a stormy one-way trip through post-apocalyptic landscapes, the voices gone and the music echoing. There is no coming back.

-Barbara H

/nov 15th 2002/