The great and mysterious Canadian post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor formed in 1994, and their first official release is F♯ A♯ ∞, an album that came out in 1997. But before that album’s release — before the band had even officially formed — there was a tape. All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling is one of those pieces of underground-rock oral tradition that, until very recently, remained a sort of mythic memory-fragment. But that album exists, and it leaked online earlier this month. Following that leak, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have gone ahead and given All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling a proper release.

All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling isn’t really a proper album; it’s more of a demo. The album was recorded almost entirely by Efrim Manuel Menuck, who would be considered the bandleader of Godspeed You! Black Emperor if the band wasn’t philosophically opposed to things like leaders. Future GY!BE members Mauro Pezzente and Mike Moya also made contributions, and they gave out 33 copies of that cassette in 1994.

There are 27 tracks on All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling, but on their Bandcamp page, GY!BE have shared the record as four tracks, each of which are around 17 minutes long. Here’s how they describe it on that Bandcamp page:

this was a retirement letter,

recorded spring/summer/fall summer of 1993.

all of it by efrim, and a little bass from mauro.

vocals on $13.13 by d.c., acoustic gtr. snippet and backwards hash by dan-o.

no relation to the band that followed.

all proceeds from sales going to the CJPME’s campaign to provide medical oxygen to the Gaza Strip.

be gentle.

xoxoxox efrim

The “no relation to the band that followed” bit is fascinating. So is the “retirement letter” part. However All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling fits into Godspeed canon, this is a wild early portrait of a group of musicians who would eventually become extremely important, and you can hear it below.

You can buy All Lights Fucked On The Hairy Amp Drooling for an extremely reasonable $6 CAD at Bandcamp.