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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

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Montreal, Canada (1994 – 2003, 2010 – present)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor (formerly punctuated Godspeed You Black Emperor! and abbreviated to GY!BE, GYBE or Godspeed) is a Canadian band based in Montreal, Quebec.

Formed in 1994 in Montreal, Canada, the band has been highly influential within the genre. Working with orchestrated arrangements, the nine-piece group created tracks with wide dynamic ranges, a highly evocative use of instrumentation and sounds and uncompromising long form compositions. Their engrossing use of art and visuals in both album packaging and live performances creates an enigmatic aura.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor took their name from a little known 1976 Japanese black-and-white documentary by director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, which follows the exploits of a Japanese biker gang, the Black Emperors.

They are most commonly classified as post-rock, but are just as well recognized outside any established scene and take influences from a range of styles including , , music, composition and the . Each release usually consists of an entire piece divided into movements, mostly between 15 and 25 minutes, sometimes eponymously specified in the liner notes.

GY!BE, although formed around 1994 with three members, had as many as fifteen members but tended to have a core group of nine. Their instrumentation varied with the lineup but the music is mostly based around electric and bass guitars, as well as a string and a percussion section.

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