Godspeed You! Black Emperor is a Canadian post-rock band which originated from Montreal, Quebec in 1994. They were the first outside act to release their recordings through Constellation, an influential independent record label also located in Montreal.
After the release of their debut album in 1997, the group toured regularly from 1998 to 2002. In 2003, the band announced an indefinite hiatus in order for band members to pursue other musical interests. In the intervening period the group was occasionally rumored to have broken up,but the band finally reconvened for a tour in late 2010 and early 2011.
The band took its name from God Speed You! Black Emperor, a 1976 Japanese black-and-white documentary by director Mitsuo Yanagimachi, which follows the exploits of a Japanese biker gang, the Black Emperors.
Although various members of the band are often pinned down as anarchists, no one in the band has explicitly subscribed to this label;however, there is a strong political component to the band's music.For example, the liner notes to Yanqui U.X.O. describe the song "09-15-00" as "Ariel Sharon surrounded by 1,000 Israeli soldiers marching on al-Haram Ash-Sharif & provoking another Intifada," and the back cover of that album depicts the relationships of several major record labels to the military-industrial complex.
It was produced and recorded by musician Steve Albini at the Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois in late 2001.
Lacking both the group's characteristic interwoven field recordings and specifically named movements, the recording was instead described by the band as "just raw, angry, dissonant, epic instrumental rock."