Umělec magazine 2010/2 >> Postrock 101 List of all editions.
Postrock 101
Umělec magazine
Year 2010, 2
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

Postrock 101

Umělec magazine 2010/2


Petr Ferenc | The End of the Western Concept | en cs de ru


“And how deep would you say this pool is?” asks the guide in the cave, pointing over the railing at a puddle of crystal clear water with a slight emerald green tinge. It looks as if you could stand in it with your head above the water, but the guide quickly corrects our error, “Six meters. Isn’t it amazing how the water can make the bottom appear so much closer?”
Any decent cave tour will have such a pool of water, just as any decent castle has a portrait whose eyes seem to follow you around the room. (Who knows what it does after you disappear to the next room?) These are banal but requisite parts of the theater that tour guides play with their charges, and we usually accept them with a patronizing, all-knowing smirk.
And then, some time later, comes a moment when we remember these moments and, half consciously, half against our will, begin to take pleasure in their blatant stupidity. If we are properly attuned, we may find unexpected depths and hidden recesses below the surface (of a shallow, emerald green pool) and a dozen ships may set sail from the dull aristocrat’s lachrymose eyes.


The musical genre known as post-rock reconstructs just these kinds of moments, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are true masters of creating music that verges on the ill-defined boundary between banality and mystery, pomposity and simplicity, introversion and exhibitionism.
It is almost as if the first half of the 1990s, which saw the emergence not only of GY!BE but also similar bands such as Tortoise, Labradford and many others, had some kind of problem with beauty and simplicity, which one could only experience by sneaking anonymously into grimy, disreputable cinemas, collar turned up to hide one’s face. The music of these bands reveals a clear yearning for the monumental, for vaulted buildings and temples of sound full of daring curves and light; a yearning for a thousand violins and heavenly trumpets, the vibrations left in the wake of their individual tones forming a web of simple but refined motifs.
It is the music that plays out in the mind of the cheerful guitarist lazily strumming away on his instrument—is he accompanying his dreams or are they accompanying him? In the same way, singing in the shower, singing along while wearing headphones, or other aural dream-states are such intimate affairs, that most people avoid engaging in them in public. Post-rock, however, opted for a musical “coming out.”


Post-rock succeed as best as it could—halfway! The genre’s unconventional, seemingly random combination of musical motifs appeals to all those who have ever spent some time in a practice space, jamming on their instruments. Because this is exactly what post-rock’s confounded, endless ‘warming up’ often sounds like. The music’s simplicity is intuitive, without words and sounds so miraculous to all involved that the idea of adding any other layer of meaning would never occur to them. In this way, post-rock allows experienced musicians to return to the enchantment of first picking up an instrument.


In order not to have to be ashamed of this approach, the musicians spice up their music with mysterious found sounds, hidden messages, anonymity, images that are only remotely related to the music, and so on. This works especially well if the listener is not from the musicians’ home country: Are those absurd drawings, found photographs, audio samples of televangelists, and other layers of audiovisual material typical features of the musicians’ country, an inside joke among the musicians, or completely arbitrary combinations in which the listener can find more meanings than originally intended? The answer, of course, is all of the above, but how much of each? “As needed, by eyeballing (ear-drumming) it,” as a proper cook would say. You have to be capable of estimating it. After years of training and contemplation, you learn to guess the depth of the pool of water in the cave, or you realize that it doesn’t matter and the guide, with his arbitrary questions, is just an idiot.

Translated from the Czech by Stephan von Pohl.



There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism
Nick Land was a British philosopher but is no longer, though he is not dead. The almost neurotic fervor with which he scratched at the scars of reality has seduced more than a few promising academics onto the path of art that offends in its originality. The texts that he has left behind are reliably revolting and boring, and impel us to castrate their categorization as “mere” literature.
Magda Tóthová Magda Tóthová
Borrowing heavily from fairy tales, fables and science fiction, the art of Magda Tóthová revolves around modern utopias and social models and their failures. Her works address personal and social issues, both the private and the political. The stylistic device of personification is central to the social criticism emblematic of her work and to the negotiation of concepts used to construct norms.…
Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille Le Dernier Cri and the black penis of Marseille
We’re constantly hearing that someone would like to do some joint project, organize something together, some event, but… damn, how to put it... we really like what you’re doing but it might piss someone off back home. Sure, it’s true that every now and then someone gets kicked out of this institution or that institute for organizing something with Divus, but weren’t they actually terribly self…
Contents 2016/1 Contents 2016/1
Contents of the new issue.
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Spaghetti Sauce on Your Moo Shoo Pork
Charlie Citron
Road trip Lithuania
Road trip Lithuania
Arunase Gudaitas
Aš menininkas — Aš save myliu Vincent van Gogh in one letter to his brother described a café as a place where one could easily go insane. The café in the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Vilnius is such a place. Insider connoisseurs of the local scene consider it “very bohemian” and, indeed, in contrast to traditionally lackluster and overpriced eateries in museums, the atmosphere in the CAC…
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
1995, 35 x 42.5 cm, Pen & Ink Drawing
More info...
669,60 EUR
792 USD
More info...
6,50 EUR
1995, 35 x 42.5 cm, Pen & Ink Drawing
More info...
892,80 EUR
1 056 USD
Pavlán first attracted attention to his work at the First Comics Festival in Jelení (GRRR!!!...ŽBUCH!) where he presented his...
More info...
4,02 EUR


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts



Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford

London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom
Open on appointment


7 West Street, Hastings
East Sussex, TN34 3AN
, United Kingdom
Open on appointment

Ivan Mečl, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

Kyjov 37, 407 47 Krásná Lípa
Czech Republic
+420 222 264 830, +420 602 269 888

Open daily 10am to 6pm
and on appointment.


Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin
Germany, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open on appointment.



Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.