Post-rock

Post-rock is a subgenre of rock music characterized by the influence and the use of instruments commonly associated with rock, but using rhythms and «guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures» not traditionally found in rock. Post-rock music is mostly instrumental. The post-rock sound incorporates characteristics from a variety of musical genres, including ambient, jazz, electronica, and experimental.

Birth: 1989 Bloom: 1999

Don Caballero and Tortoise were among the most prominent bands described as post-rock in the 1990s, but their styles are very different, despite being instrumental bands centered on guitars and drums. As such, the term has been the subject of backlash from listeners and artists alike.

The term «post-rock» is believed to have been coined by critic Simon Reynolds in his review of Bark Psychosis` album Hex, published in the March 1994 issue of Mojo magazine. Reynolds expanded upon the idea later in the May 1994 issue of The Wire. He used the term to describe music «using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords». He further expounded on the term: «Perhaps the really provocative area for future development lies... in cyborg rock; not the wholehearted embrace of Techno`s methodology, but some kind of interface between real time, hands-on playing and the use of digital effects and enhancement».

However, the term «post-rock» was used by Russian jazz saxophonist Алексей Козлов (Aleksej Kozlov) when he founded «Post-rock Association» in 1989, which combined bands like Арсенал (Arsenal), Вежливый Отказ (Vezhlivyj Otkaz), Ночной Проспект (Nochnoj Prospekt), Нюанс (Njuans), Лунный Пьеро (Lunnyj P'ero), ГЛТ (GLT), До Мажор (Do Mazhor), and many others.

Bands from the early 1990s, such as Slint or, earlier, Talk Talk, were later recognized as influential on post-rock. Slint`s Spiderland and Talk Talk`s 1988 Spirit of Eden are credited as giving birth to post-rock.

Originally used to describe the music of English bands such as Stereolab, Laika, Disco Inferno, Moonshake, Seefeel, Bark Psychosis, and Pram, post-rock grew to be frequently used for a variety of jazz and krautrock influenced, largely instrumental, and electronica-tinged music made after 1994.

Groups such as Cul de Sac, Tortoise, Labradford, Bowery Electric and Stars of the Lid are cited as founders of a distinctly American post-rock movement. The second Tortoise LP Millions Now Living Will Never Die, made the band a post-rock icon. Many bands (e.g., Do Make Say Think) began to record music inspired by the «Tortoise-sound».

One of the most eminent post-rock locales is Montreal, where Godspeed You! Black Emperor and similar groups, including Silver Mt. Zion and Fly Pan Am record on Constellation Records, a notable post-rock record label. These groups are generally characterized by an aesthetic rooted in, among other genres, musique concrète, chamber music, and free jazz.

Today, despite criticism of the term, post-rock has maintained its prominence. Sigur Rós, with the release of «Ágætis byrjun» in 1999, became among the most well-known post-rock bands of the 2000s. In part this was due to the use of many of their tracks, particularly their 2005 single «Hoppípolla», in TV soundtracks and film trailers, including the BBC`s Planet Earth. Their popularity can at least somewhat be attributed to a move towards a more rock oriented sound with simpler song structures and increasing utilization of pop hooks. Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, Do Make Say Think, and Mono are some of the more popular post-rock bands of the new millennium.

Also read: Ambient

Umbrellate style: Rock

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