Helicopter Crashes

Inaudible Explosions

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Self-released in 1997, Helicopter Crashes' sole CD, Inaudible Explosions, is a beautifully disconcerting chunk of post-rock. In retrospect, it almost seems visionary and its only flaw (besides occasional self-indulgence) consists of having been conceived a couple years too soon, before the indie underground was ready to receive such an album the way it deserved. Traces (but only traces) of early Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Stars of the Lid, and Loren MazzaCane Connors can be detected in the drug-induced guitar dreams of L. Marshall and J. Gavin. They can strum a simple chord sequence for five minutes before moving into ambient noise territory, using extended techniques, adding lo-fi electronics (lots of reverb, in particular), and mixing in field recordings. The album comprises two lengthy tracks. The second, "Unavoidable Explosions" (32 minutes), sounds like a single-take improvisation, a cloudy shoegazing affair. The first piece, 35 minutes in length, is actually five separate compositions lumped into one CD index. "Inaudible Explosions" starts with a discussion on the effects of drugs on sleep -- a suitable overture that wasn't as cliché in 1997 as it seems to be now. After a 20-minute exploration of psych-folk instrumental structures and "out" passages come shorter, tighter tunes. In "Just Before She Fell Asleep Forever," a girl recites a prayer to the Virgin Mary in French over and over, a trait delivered without any obvious irony. This album holds up to the passage of time and remains a little-known gem of Canadian experimental psychedelic/drone music.

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