Jan 15, 2017

Sundaze 1703


Today's artists are a Scottish post-rock band, formed in 1995 in Glasgow. The band typically compose lengthy guitar-based instrumental pieces that feature dynamic contrast, melodic bass guitar lines, and heavy use of distortion and effects. The band were for several years signed to renowned Glasgow indie label Chemikal Underground, and now use their own label Rock Action Records in the UK, and Sub Pop in North America. The band were frequently championed by John Peel from their early days, but now the final post on Mogwai.......N'Joy

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

The cosmic post-rock band Mogwai was formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite, guitarist Dominic Aitchison, and drummer Martin Bulloch, longtime friends with the goal of creating "serious guitar music." Toward that end, they added another guitarist, John Cummings, before debuting in March 1996 with the single "Tuner," a rarity in the Mogwai discography for its prominent vocals; the follow-up, a split single with Dweeb titled "Angels vs. Aliens," landed in the Top Ten on the British indie charts. Following appearances on a series of compilations, Mogwai returned later in the year with the 7" "Summer," and after another early 1997 single, "New Paths to Helicon," they issued Ten Rapid, a collection of their earliest material.

Around the time that Mogwai recorded the superb 1997 EP 4 Satin, former Teenage Fanclub and Telstar Ponies member Brendan O'Hare joined the lineup in time for the recording of Mogwai's debut studio LP, Mogwai Young Team. He exited a short time later -- returning to his primary projects Macrocosmica and Fiend -- to be replaced by Barry Burns. Mogwai next issued 1998's Kicking a Dead Pig, a two-disc remix collection; the No Education = No Future (Fuck the Curfew) EP appeared a few months later. In 1999, they released Come on Die Young. Rock Action arrived in early 2001. Late that year, Mogwai released the My Father, My King EP; two years later, they issued the ironically titled Happy Songs for Happy People. Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2004 arrived early in 2005.

Mr. Beast, which was released in 2006, found the band going in a softer, more reflective direction. Late that year, the band's collaboration with Clint Mansell on the soundtrack to The Fountain arrived; Mogwai also crafted the score for Douglas Gordon's Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which was released in the U.K. in 2006 and in the U.S. the following spring. The Batcat EP, which featured a collaboration with garage-psych legend Roky Erickson, arrived in late summer 2008, heralding the release of The Hawk Is Howling -- which reunited the band with producer Andy Miller for the first time in a decade -- that fall. In 2010, Mogwai released their first live album, Special Moves, as a package with the Vincent Moon-directed concert film Burning.

Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will For 2011's Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the band reunited with Young Team producer Paul Savage for a more streamlined set of songs. Later that year, they followed up with an EP of unreleased material from the Hardcore sessions, Earth Division, released on Sub Pop. Late in 2012, the band issued A Wrenched Virile Lore, a collection of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will remixes. Early the following year, the first taste of their score to the French zombie TV series Les Revenants (which was based on the 2004 film of the same name) arrived as a four-song EP; in February 2013, the full-length album appeared.

Mogwai filled the rest of the year with recording their eighth proper album, Rave Tapes, at their Castle of Doom studio, live performances of their Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait score in Glasgow, Manchester, and London, and other live performances. Rave Tapes, which boasted a more streamlined and electronic direction than Mogwai's recent albums, was released in early 2014. Late that year, the band issued the Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1 EP, a collection of Rave Tapes remixes as well as new songs.

Cummings left the band in 2015 to work on his own solo projects. Mogwai's first release after his departure was 2016's Atomic, a collection of reworked tracks from their music for Mark Cousins' BBC 4 documentary Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. They returned later that year with a number of compositions on the collaborative soundtrack for Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary about the impact of climate change, Before the Flood.

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

With each album, Mogwai discovers new ways of balancing the power and subtlety of their music. On The Hawk Is Howling, the band returns to its roots, working with producer Andy Miller for the first time in a decade and delivering its first set of completely instrumental songs in several albums' time. This is the most massive Mogwai's music has felt in quite awhile -- and for a band that turns in expansive pieces as regularly as they do, that's saying something. "I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead" opens the album with shades of Mr. Beast's sparkling beauty, but it uses every second of its nearly seven minutes to more climactic effect than the previous album's subdued approach: beginning with intertwining pianos and keyboards, it teeters on the edge between beautiful and ominous, ratcheting up the tension until the song finally dies out with a violin that bleeds into feedback. That still doesn't quite prepare listeners for the wallop that "Batcat" -- which is The Hawk Is Howling's lead single -- packs. It's no secret that Mogwai loves metal and has never shied away from heaviness in their own music, but even their most churning workouts seemed to hover; "Batcat" hits the ground hard, and with a blunter impact, than any of their previous guitar workouts.

As fantastic as "Batcat" is, it represents The Hawk Is Howling only as proof of how wide-ranging the album's sound is. "The Sun Smells Too Loud" is aptly trippy and surprisingly poppy, with wispy electronic textures and a huge rhythm section that gives the song almost planetary heft; and though "Daphne and the Brain" doesn't hit any peaks or valleys, its rolling majesty and shadowy guitar melodies are still awe-inspiring. Between these major statements, The Hawk Is Howling takes breathers with smaller-scale tracks, like the glittering "Kings Meadow," that reveal their intricacy with repeated listens. The album's second half expands on that subtlety in different ways: Though the Heathers-quoting "I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School" climaxes in a skewering guitar solo, it's preceded by six minutes of artful counterpoint and jazz-tinged drumming; "Scotland's Shame" takes the opposite approach, with strong rhythms propelling a pensive melody for a uniquely mournful yet hard-hitting result. These tracks demand close listening, which makes "The Precipice"'s slow-burning tribal rhythms and swarming guitars even more dramatic as the album's final statement. At first, it's tempting to want all of The Hawk Is Howling to be as obviously powerful as its biggest tracks, but with time it reveals itself as one of Mogwai's most masterful blends of delicacy and strength.

Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling  (flac  414mb)

01 I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead 6:44
02 Batcat 5:25
03 Danphe And The Brain 5:18
04 Local Authority 4:15
05 The Sun Smells Too Loud 6:58
06 Kings Meadow 4:42
07 I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School 7:33
08 Scotland's Shame 8:00
09 Thank You Space Expert 7:53
10 The Precipice 6:42

Mogwai - The Hawk is Howling    (ogg 165mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

For a band whose epic compositions and dramatic dynamics play so well in concert, it's somewhat surprising that Mogwai didn’t release an official live album until 2010's Special Moves. For fans who have seen the band live and novices alike, the set was worth the wait. Recorded at one of the band's 2009 Brooklyn shows, Special Moves is beautifully mixed, balancing all of their onstage elements carefully while capturing the sheer power of their concerts; there’s also just enough audience noise to remind listeners that they’re playing in front of a devoted crowd. This sense of balance extends to the rest of the album, from its even-handed mix of songs from each of Mogwai's albums, to its equal measure of introspective and bombastic moments. True to the band, Special Moves' setlist is somewhat willful; it’s not just a playlist of Mogwai's best-known songs. Happy Songs for Happy People's "Hunted by a Freak" is as close as the band gets to playing a hit single, a relatively concise moment in a generous set dominated by expansive performances. The two biggest showpieces come from the band’s first proper album Young Team: "Fear Satan," which the band plays after they've warmed up a bit, goes from pin-drop silence to massive walls of guitar over the course of 12 minutes, and "Like Herod," a dark, angular, 11-minute workout that, in retrospect, shows that Mogwai have been big metal fans throughout their existence. Meanwhile, Mr. Beast's "Friend of the Night" and Rock Action's "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong" demonstrate how the band's gentler moments blossom in a live setting. The show ends with the literal bang of "Glasgow Megasnake," a three-minute reminder that Mogwai excels at short and long-form rocking. While nothing can capture the true feeling of being flattened by one of Mogwai's shows except attending one, Special Moves is still a great live document. Coupled with Vincent Moon's moody black-and-white concert film Burning (which is worth the price of admission for "Batcat" alone), it's the complete Mogwai concert experience.

Mogwai - Special Moves  (flac  456mb)

01 I'm Jim Morrison I'm Dead 6:02
02 Friend Of The Night 5:30
03 Hunted By A Freak 4:07
04 Mogwai Fear Satan 11:43
05 Cody 6:11
06 You Don't Know Jesus 5:31
07 I Know You Are But What Am I ? 4:05
08 I Love You, I'm Going To Blow Up Your School 7:57
09 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong 9:06
10 Like Herod 10:38
11 Glasgow Megasnake 3:51

Mogwai - Special Moves    (ogg 160mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

By the 2010s, post-rock had been around long enough that the style’s artists could look back to their roots. Mogwai does that on Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, from the title’s bone-dry humor to the band’s reunion with Young Team producer Paul Savage. The musical DNA of Young Team -- and its definitive track “Like Herod” in particular -- is everywhere on Hardcore Will Never Die, informing the doomy coda of “Too Raging to Cheers” as well as opening track “White Noise”'s graceful melodic arcs, which lure the listener in rather than making a grand statement. Indeed, the album carries much of its emotional weight in its keyboard melodies, whether it’s the subtle soar of “Death Rays” or the more mournful tones of “Letters to the Metro.” Compared to the epic sprawl of The Hawk Is Howling, Hardcore Will Never Die feels simpler and more structured. The album’s rock songs, including “Mexican Grand Prix” and “San Pedro,” feel almost like a theme Mogwai returns to throughout the album, with driving motorik rhythms and precipitous riffing that get heads nodding vigorously, if not exactly banging. Mogwai tease listeners with tantalizing glimpses of their full power as the album progresses with “Rano Pano”'s shimmering majesty and “How to Be a Werewolf”'s epic solo, but they save Hardcore Will Never Die's definitive onslaught for last. “You’re Lionel Richie” combines the driest wit with the heaviest rock -- a quintessential Mogwai move -- as it builds from quasi-classical guitar figures to a scorching climax. As impressive as this moment is, it underscores how much smaller and subtler this album is than what came before it. While the album is far from rote, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will certainly feels familiar; it may not be as immediately impressive as some Mogwai albums, but its back-to-basics approach makes it another fine addition to their body of work.

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will  (flac  456mb)

01 White Noise 5:04
02 Mexican Grand Prix 5:18
03 Rano Pano 5:15
04 Death Rays 6:01
05 San Pedro 3:27
06 Letters To The Metro 4:41
07 George Square Thatcher Death Party 4:00
08 How To Be A Werewolf 6:23
09 Too Raging To Cheers 4:30
10 You're Lionel Richie 8:29
11 Music For A Forgotten Future (The Singing Mountain) 23:09

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will   (ogg  166mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

While post-rock may have fizzled to a damp halt years ago, it’s been to Mogwai’s credit that the Scottish survivors have been ever ready to change things up and carry on moving through a music scene that changes so swiftly. This latest collection of remixes is proof that the lads are still up on their tunes, and they’ve managed to rope in a whole gang of able bodies to shake up their sounds and chance upon something brand new. Drone king Tim Hecker’s throbbing rework of ‘Rano Piano’ is probably going to be the one everyone flicks to first, and it’s certainly a triumph, but we’ve also got some corkers from the retro synth set. Zombi, Umberto and Xander Harris all pop up with their typically nuanced dedications to Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and Giorgio Moroder giving Mogwai’s compositions a gnarly horror-afflicted bite they’ve always needed (but likely never thought to remedy). The uber-prolific Justin Broadrick turns in a remix under his own name too and seems totally at home as he pieces together the component parts accenting the drums and bringing back warm memories of Jesu’s scene-changing ‘Silver’. Coming to a close with a glorious slice of melancholy reductionism from main man Robert Hampson, and we’re left with a sense that ‘A Wrenched Virile Lore’ is far from the regular, lazy remix record and has been put together with a bit of care and attention, and not least some respect and reverence from the artists involved. Good stuff all round, and well worth a closer look.

Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore  (flac  387mb)

01 George Square Thatcher Death Party (Justin K Broadrick Reshape) 5:09
02 Rano Pano (Mogwai Is My Dick RMX) 7:19
03 White Noise EVP Mix By Cylob) 5:20
04 How To Be A Werewolf (Xander Harris Remix) 6:50
05 Letters To The Metro (Zombi Remix) 7:21
06 Mexican Grand Prix (Reworked By RM Hubbert) 4:34
07 Rano Pano (Tim Hecker Remix) 4:45
08 San Pedro (The Soft Moon Remix) 3:53
09 To Raging To Cheers (Umberto Remix) 6:29
10 La Mort Blanche (Robert Hampson Remix) 13:41

Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore    (ogg  141mb)

xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx xxxxx

No comments: