Godspeed You Black Emperor
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven

CD on Kranky

That one day all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, can join hands and sing out in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Never saw a page so white
I would not pour no ink
No void that shone so sharp as lies
The brilliant business near complete.

And me? I am just a poor drummer boy with no gift fit for a king... and here is something so monstrous, so unholy, an order so disorderly, that kings must bow down before it too... The very fact of a sky... the human structures beneath it, and their dissolution, fast or slow. That society, all human orders, are inherently unjust.

That I, as I sit here, wrestling with language, am not struggling to make order of the chaos of my perceptions. That is a stupid model. I am winding the cloaks of shadowy chaos around me ever closer. I am swimming in currents of a great ocean so fathomless it is pure drift, pure drift that lifts me and carries me perilous into life, netless. I mean there is no order, never was. Beauty slips in when the human mind is made to face the disorderliness of its true estate.*

The music, as it always is, a voice from somewhere else that pierces the gelatinous coating of your being. Two emotions it is easiest for diatonic music to evoke: happiness (many uses of the major mode) & (as here) sadness (the minor mode). Why exactly, biologically, sinus vibrations of the air in certain ratios should cause these responses in a human listener (cats & dogs don't seem to give a shit; & the jury's still out on plants, I guess) is somewhat mysterious.

And if I could give you one thing, anything, it would be the taste of your own death, to take with you forever, to impregnate every moment of your life until then. And if I couldn't give you that, I would lift the roof off your house & play this record as loud as an earthquake over the ruined city.

These riffs are deeply felt and seem at all times to be saying something just out of reach of thought, which is where I would take you, if I could find the way, birdcrumb trail that leads neither forth nor back but only here, right here, my love, beyond language, beyond reason, beyond faith, birdcrumb trail made only of the evidence of your own eyes and ears in this present instant of your soon-to-be-over-and-forgotten human life. This joy you have forgotten, you are always forgetting. And I hate cities anyway.

And that joy, if, by some chance, you find it, roll it up into a ball, the old texts say, roll yourself around it, hold it in you like a baby, red adamant of perfect vision, solar fire-drop of mountain root, clarity-body of melancholy orgasmic illusion, strike the gong three times in empty space where knowing stops. It's no joke. An eel it wiggles free from you again.

And on we fall....

—DJ Theo 69X

*Mathematics & science are not order. When they work they are signposts of chaos. And then, they are beautiful.