Fri, Apr 19, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Live Wire: Oracles of electro-rock

By David Frazier  /  Contributing reporter

■ Delphic plays on Monday at 8pm at Legacy, 1 Bade Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市八德路一段1號). Tickets are NT$1,700, or NT$1,400 in advance.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor is probably the band that defined post-rock. The Montreal group formed in the mid 1990s and developed a sound that is now often described as cinematic — instrumental music overlaid with the occasional sound byte that progresses in an organic structure of building and diminishing distorted guitar driven intensities. It is like the experience of a movie, but without the movie, or at least that’s what many have said. The band actually does use play film loops as an integral part of its act, but the visuals — like the music — reach back to lo-fi aesthetics and pre-digital technologies. They use real film for projection source material, and eight musicians on stage are playing instruments that are electric or acoustic, but not electronic — three guitars, a violin, double bass, electic bass and two drummers. The sounds build and drift in layers, like a symphony or a landscape.

Now, this particular Godspeed show at NTU Arena is highly anticipated for several reasons. First, there is Taiwan’s long running predilection for post-rock, which dates back to late 90s, when underground tastemakers oohed and aahed over Spacemen 3. Godspeed was only a distant, reverent fantasy for Taiwanese rockers then, and with only a cult following in North America, a Taiwan visit was not likely. But in Taiwan, postrock continued to grow into one of the most identifiable currents in the local indie scene (thanks in large part to The Wall, who are organizing this show). Bands like Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Mono and Toe have been hugely successful here over the years. But as Taiwan’s appetite for post-rock grew ever stronger through the 2000s, Godspeed went on hiatus, disbanding in 2003. The group reformed, however, in 2010, and now they are returning to the scene like lost heroes. Their 2012 album Alleluja! Don’t Bend! Ascend! was the first in a decade, and has received significant indie acclaim, enough in fact to launch a world tour. Sigur Ros blew everyone away with a visual and sonic spectacle at NTU Arena in November. Everyone expects the same to happen here.

■ Godspeed You! Black Emperor performs tomorrow at 8pm at NTU Sports Center (台大體育館) 1 Roosevelt Rd Sec 4, Taipei (台北市羅斯福路四段一號). Tickets are NT$2,800.

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