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Sings Reign Rebuilder

4.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 130701 Ltd
  • ASIN: B00005QDTA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 502,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

BBC Review

Another successful iteration of the Montreal sound here, with this striking new release from Set Fire To Flames. You may not know the name yet, but as with most projects emanating from Montreal's experimental music community, it comprises erstwhile members of numerous (fabulously named) bands, such as godspeed you black emperor!; Exhaust; Fly Pan Am; A Silver Mt Zion; Molasses; Hanged Up; HRSTA; squintf***er press; undo etc.

So it's the usual Montreal suspects. And, as usual, they employ strength in numbers - 13 of 'em here, on cello, violin, tapes, numerous guitarists and percussionists etc. And, as usual, it's also bloody beautiful.

You tend to know what's coming with this dirty gothic blend of minimalism and drone-rock, but it's still largely irresistible. The langorous, minimalist melodies are as wonderfully dirge-like as ever; the vocal samples - "voices from the edge" - are impressively forboding; and the occasional crescendo is inevitable but amazingly, always affecting.

The sound is in epic widescreen, recorded over a five day stretch on cheap da-88's rolling freely, capturing the shifting ensemble as they drift compositions in and out of focus, in and out of improvisation and environmental noise. The band tell of the ancient ramshackle house they inhabited during recording - conjuring something akin to the final scene of Blair Witch - which creaks and groans throughout the piece. Elsewhere, the delightful putt-putt sounds of fishing traffic off Vancouver Island sidle up alongside the Pärt and Ligeti and early Floyd influences. It's a wonderfully spacey record.

Sure, it sounds like all the other Montreal bands. And there's not a lot of sweetness and light here - the tone is darker than Hotblack Desiato's dash. But despite the occasional hackneyed potboiler, this stuff works. It really works. Set Fire To Flames are one of the more impressive entrants to the now burgeoning scene; one of the more successful subsets of this intense, creative collective, and this is undeniably affecting music. --Dan Hill

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Set Fire to Flames are another collective from the burgeoning Montreal underground rock scene that has already spawned the likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am and A Silver Mount Zion. In fact, many of the musicians here are also members of those bands. Given the size of this band and its long melancholic string arrangements, found sounds and field recordings and ringing guitar arpeggios, the comparison with Godspeed is an obvious one.
What makes Set Fire to Flames a different proposition is what they do with these same raw materials. There's something wonderfully dream-like about this album, ideas drift in and out like someone tuning a radio - you could probably put it on random play and still get the same feel from it every time. The street recordings pepper the whole disc; there are the now-familiar apocalyptic ramblings of madmen and ambient street noises but also the sound of tall ships rolling and the brilliant metamorphosis of helicopter-like phase shifts into the voice of an auctioneer. This ambience is added to by the clattering percussion and scraped strings of the group's atmospheric improvisations.
With Godspeed you know where you stand. After 10-15 minutes of slow-building symphonic arrangements you can bank on them setting the controls for the heart of the sun, before withdrawing, satiated. SFtF do away with any kind of resolution and adopt a much more subtle approach to making music. They also embrace more influences, the strings made me think of David Cross playing Gavin Bryars, but they are often joined by delicate touches of brass and woodwind. There's even a nod in the direction of Dub on one track. All this makes the album harder to get into at first, but more rewarding in the long run. If, like me, you felt that 'Levez vos Skinny Fists...' was more of the same from Godspeed but you still like their sound then this is an album for you. Oh, and the packaging is sumptuous too!
Comment 11 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
again, set fire to flames is a collective post-rock group formed by the godspeed family. after the five-day experimental session, sound clips and melodies were recorded and finally mixed down to this 15-track album.
violin, cello, distorted guitar effects, samplings and various dubbings make this album so beautiful. and the album itself is very rich in ambient sounds, but it is at the same time a little bit lack of arrangement. maybe because in some parts of the session jamming is put forward as an essential experiment.
there's one thing i least like: some tracks are quite short, happening to be some introductions but then faded away without any special development. maybe this approach is intentional but for most people (myself included) who are expecting the epic-liked godspeed music this album is a good choice to collect some other interesting moments but it may not be the best choice.
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Format: Audio CD
I won't try to describe this too thoroughly as I imagine you are familier with Godspeed You Black Emperor (I know there was meant to be an exclamation mark there somewhere).

I always enjoyed GYBE a lot but gradually their charm began to fade. Every GYBE track seemed to begin with a wonderful repeated phrase that grew and grew until a squal of guitars and frenetic drumming blew warm air from my speakers.

This album is like a collection of the spacious and haunting repeated phrases and distorted samples that often began a GYBE track, the difference is that Set Fire To Flames don't resort to the standard wig-out. Instead they allow the spaces between notes, between sounds and (very importantly) between my ears to breathe. I still enjoy GYBE but this album is one that I play again and again. It's the sort of music I would play when content, in my home, probably pottering around simply enjoying myself and my time.
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Format: Audio CD
There is something about the GYBE spin offs that never seems to match the real thing but at points Sings Reign Rebuilder acheives great heights in different directions from usual GYBE territory. One of the tracks on this album would be best described as Trip Hop and, when done through the blistering waves of elegant noise that GYBE et al specialise in, trust me; it's something special.
Buy this, but not before you have the two albums and EP of GYBE.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9fa4c48c) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f6318b8) out of 5 stars Lullabyes for staying up all night. 23 Jun. 2007
By Brian Lange. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I just purchased "Sings Reign" along with "Telegraphs in Negative" today, and I have not stopped listening to them.

'Post-rock' as they call it... faux-classical as I sometimes like to cal it. It is definitely in the vein of bands such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Lull, Noise Gate, Silver Mt. Zion, etc... Yes, there are members from GYBE in this band, and though the sounds are probably in the same genre, I would not necissarily classify them as similar. Perhaps to the untrained ear it would be considered the same, but Fire to Flames seems to veer much more towards the experimental drone/atmospheric/static/randomness in nature. If you're not sure what I mean, or think that this describes GYBE already, you will see what I mean if you purchase this record.

I highly recommend both of Fire to Flames' recordings. I feel it inspiring, haunting, calming, cerebral, and any other "makes me sound smart" adjective you can throw in there. Like I said, I have been listening to these records almost non-stop since getting them this morning, and it puts me in an interesting place. I actually reccomend this over most other post-rock I've been exposed to.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This would easily make my top 10 albums list and might just crack the illustrious 5 desert island discs.
This is one one of those cds you wont listen to for a few months then dig out and just have it on a continual loop of obsession for a week. The music has moments of quietness, loudness, grooviness and everything in between, it may not be to everyone's tastes but if you are into Godspeed You Black Emperor you will love this CD, similar sound but in many ways I find this superior to GYBE...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f21ae70) out of 5 stars unbelievably beautiful. 10 Sept. 2002
By G. R. Meluch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
a heart broken by a dying dog should aspire to be so darkly gorgeous and true as sings reign rebuilder. wherever one listens to it, one's surroundings become overtaken by it as the perfect soundtrack to the perfect film. the samples of transients are unlike any i've ever heard. the music will make you think about your very existence. pay any amount to own this. it is truth. 60 percent improvised 40 percent written 100 percent the greatest record of two thousand one.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa02880fc) out of 5 stars Not for the casual listner 23 Feb. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Set Fire to Flames focuses a lot more on noise than other artists on the label. This does not detract from the overall sound, fortunately. In fact, in the right mindset, the feel is very much like A Silver Mt. Zion, only more intense. Those who are simply moving on from Godspeed You Black Emperor! should probably sample other groups from the label first.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
while there are millions of ambient artists out there, they dont have the sound that set fire to flames have. to go along with the other reviewer, there is an influence of the godspeed members but it is not at all like the albums made on constellation records. there is much more space, and mood set by eery strings and noise. it is kind of like infinity symbol of godspeeds, the more desolate, expansive sound and less grand compositions. its deff. something to check out if your into that kind of music but do not go in expecting another 'post rock' or whatever you want to call that genre. its in a field of its own pulling strings with noise artists with sampling and tape minipulation. enjoy.
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