10 Essential Albums from Constellation Records

Godspeed You Black Emperor! performing live on...

Source: Pitchfork.

They brought the world Godspeed You Black Emperor!, whose guiding principles—saying no to photos, interviews, lead singers, and singles, and yes to ominous 20-minute instrumental orchestral-noise suites contextualized by group-written manifestos—ran completely contrary to conventional buzz-building strategies. And, ever since, the label has had an allergic reaction to chasing trends. While everyone was trying to sign the next Strokes in the early 2000s, Constellation gave us avant-garde klezmer. While many indie labels were scooping up any banjo-plucking beardo to ride the post-Mumford gold rush, Constellation was turning Colin Stetson into the indie world’s preeminent free-jazz superstar, or shining a light on the experimental Middle East–inspired electronica of Jerusalem in My Heart.

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