Dual Review: Godspeed You Black Emperor – Luciferian Towers // Ryuchi Sakamoto – async

“Adventures in an of Age of Anxiety”.

I play Ryuichi Sakamoto async. There is no road map anymore. No revolution just a seemingly quiet acceptance of the way it is. A few heads pop up above the parapet causing a few ripples but mostly we are just living ‘in quiet desperation.’ There is plenty to distract us. Loads of social media platforms for our selfies, babies and pets. We can show how hip and cool we are with the click of a button. Netflix and our Sky Package numb us into silence. Media crews descend on natural disasters and hate inspired murders to enable us to look and walk away. That is someone else’s world.

Back in the day there were no benefit concerts to raise awareness (or my album sales) just a bloke with a guitar singing about ‘Masters of War’ or ‘Eve of Destruction’.

Will somebody somewhere please wake us up?

Luciferian Towers finds a resurgent G.S.Y.B.E. still seeking light in a dark world in a state of near collapse. They are on the outside looking in as commentators of doom. They want us to look upwards and outwards. They want us to shed the scales from our eyes and wake up to the realities of our world. War, famine, destruction, genocide, dictatorship ,all kinds of addictions hold us in a net of fear. Are we helpless? Are we safe?

Yes and probably not.

Luciferian Towers is an album full of intensity filled with moments of hopeful anticipation. Gone are the bone crushing riffs of ‘Asunder’ and ‘Alleluia’. This is the other side of the apocalypse. Melodic ambient drones allow you time to think and meditate .In the past the atmosphere has been that of a finely constructed menace. Luciferian Towers, with all its sonic beauty, is full of hope and positivity.and yet the end of the world is only a riff away.

Ryuichi Sakamoto came face to face with the end of his own world in the shape of throat cancer. His apocalypse would have been total. Unlike G.S.Y.B.E. his response is quieter but equally powerful.

Async is simply beautiful. Sakamoto is seemingly accepting of his mortality. His music overflows with a prayerful melancholy. He could be accused of sentimentality during a spoken word interlude contemplating life and death but this is a breathtakingly beautiful record that is as contemporary as it gets. Sakamoto opens your heart with his hushed piano and strange electronics , while G.S.Y.B.E. prize you open with wrench .

Two sides of the coin with one certain outcome. Rest easy.


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