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1-Speed Bike

1-Speed Bike - Pashto Translator Needed

Pashto Translator Needed
(independent) - 2010

Michael Panontin
When Godspeed You! Black Emperor went on their indefinite (though recently ended) hiatus in the early part of the millennium, for fans it seemed to open a void unfilled even to this day. But for the various band members it merely fueled the flow of more diverse and creative juices, from the sprawling avant-chamber music of A Silver Mt. Zion to the more earnest historic impulses of Black Ox Orkestar. As 1-Speed Bike (and sometimes 1-Speed Fukin' Bike), drummer Aidan Girt took another route altogether, planting his tongue firmly in cheek with his quirky mash-ups of drums, samples and electronics, first on 2000's Droopy Butt Begone and continuing through a series of limited releases up to the more recent Pashto Translator Needed.

Since the Godspeed lull, Girt has started a family and ensconced himself in a cabin in the woods outside Montreal. But all that bucolic scenery has hardly mellowed him, especially on the deeply political Pashto Translator Needed, essentially a scathing screed on Canada's - and by extension NATO's - military presence in Afghanistan. Girt outdoes himself on his trademark song titles, like the chilling lead-off track 'Tim Horton's as a Gateway Drug to the Canadian Army' or the more industrial 'We Trade You Sting for a Toyota Pick-up Truck Filled with Weed'. While some of the more sterner electronic tracks could almost fit into the Warp Records catalogue, Girt is at his strongest when he samples and splices, as on the brilliant 'Oakland Public Archive Cambodian Tape Remix for the Afghan People', which cuts up a gorgeous Southeast Asian vocal and some guitar into a hilarious wingding of a dance track. This one is begging for a twelve-inch remix - any takers out there?

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