A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Of all the things the Godspeed You! Black Emperor crew could do, releasing a Techno 12″ is probably the most surprising and unlikely of them all.
Hot on the heels of Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything, released back in January, TSMZ have dusted off the live favorite “Hang On To Each Other”, from 2005’s Horses In The Sky ep, which was mostly acapella with a slight, wheezing harmonium. The crew realized the music was basically house chords, and did the right and just thing, to release a for-real disco 12″, “for to give to d.j.’s to play because we live in the kind of town where some d.j.’s maybe will.” (their words).
This of course brings to mind the horrible remixes of the kind slapped on to CD Singles in the late ’90s, with the original song with a barebones basic breakbeat slapped on top. Is this just a knockoff cash cow?
You should know better than that.
GY!BE (and TSMZ) are the bastions of integrity, and would never issue a sine wave if they didn’t believe in it enough to tattoo it on their bicep. “Hang On To Each Other” is a right-n-proper club banger with a great message. The instruments, “808, Oberheim Two-Voice, bright yellow toy keyboard, low pass filter, auto-wah bass guitar, wooden drone-box, squeaky tape delay, broken oscillator, string machine, distortion pedal, and violin. No guitar.” are satisfyingly worn, warm and warped, dipped in grit and rolled in steam.
Here’s a couple more words from them, as Efrim and friends have a way with manifestoes:
The chords to that tune are like house music chords, and we figured we’d re-record it someday, thusly and EARNESTLY. 4-on-the-floor. Drum machines and arpeggiators. Pink lasers and grape-flavored smoke machines. Most important thing = No irony.
Because we love that kind of music, and impromptu dance parties too.
In this simple club edit, we see a fine illustration of what i’m always banging on about, here at Forestpunk. An intersection of post-rock, anarcho punk, folk, field recordings, and dance music of all stripes. This is what it is like to be a music in fanatic, in 2014. I don’t know one person who only listens to one kind of music. The idea of ‘purity’ is a sick joke, so you better get down with the cross-pollination.
TSMZ stand to cross over on this one, as its disembodied disco grooves sound quite in keeping with the current batch of degraded club music belching out of basements and cassette decks. “Hang On To Each Other” would be right at home on 100% Silk.
It’s definitely a good sign, for us as listeners, and a society as a whole, that TSMZ are making such positive, uplifting body jams. GY!BE were the soundtrack to nihilism and decay in the 2000s, and this slight 12″ is, yet again, a banner for us all to groove under.
One last quote from the press release:
Much respect and much love to thee sweaty dancers, and the lost ones, and the ones who fell away.
I sincerely hope their prediction that DJs will play this, and get people sweating. The idea of a bunch of people grinding away to TSMZ is proof enough that we are living in a better world.
If you get this in time, TSMZ are playing tonight in Portland, at Mississippi Studios: http://www.mississippistudios.com/
Hang On To Each Other is out now, in limited quantities, from Constellation Records.