AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #166 : MOGWAI

A GUEST POSTING by ROBERT STRANGEWAYS

There’s a whole bundle of great ICAs in the pipeline, courtesy of guest postings.  A huge thanks to everyone for their submissions and apologies if you’ve been waiting a while to see your handiwork come to life.  I want to keep the ICAs to one per week just now, so please continue to be patient….and again my thanks.

I’ve plucked this one out as it is a very first guest contribution from someone who I’ve been very fortunate to get to know in recent years and who has, very kindly, allowed me to scratch the itch of the DJing bug by offering me the opportunity to be part of the various nights that he organises in Glasgow.  I will get round to posting up my thoughts on the first ever Mixtape from a few weeks ago, along with the incredibly eclectic setlist, but for now will bring you Robert’s thoughts on one of his all-time top bands……

For me, Mogwai have been one of those bands who get better with every release, one of those bands that you think can’t possibly build on their last release, then they do.

They have been described as many things; “Post-Rock, Math-Rock, Ambient, Rock Alternative, Shoe-Gaze” but the truth is I don’t think they can be pigeon holed. They have created their own place in music, judging by the audience size and rapturous reaction to their show in the Hydro at the end of last year it’s a good place to be.

This compilation is designed to showcase the range of sound they create and not just the loud-a-bit, quiet-a-bit, loud again some people associate then with. From their first album “Young Team” through numerous albums and sound-tracks to their most recent “Every Countries Sun” they have evolved and become something special.

Helicon 1 (from Ten Rapid, 1997)

Second single and still a live favourite, collected on the recently re-released “Ten Rapid” compilation. Originally Called “New Paths to Helicon pt1” it often gets shortened to Helicon 1.

The Sun Smells Too Loud (from The Hawk is Howling, 2008)

The Hawk is Howling was the first Mogwai album to have no lyrics on any of the songs consisting only of instrumental tracks.

Eternal Panther (Party in the Dark Single – B-side, 2017)

An amazing song from the “Every Countries Sun” sessions and B-Side to their most “pop” single to date “Party in the Dark”. It was included in a recent compilation “Glasgow Nights” for Money Advice Scotland which is available on band-camp and features a host of current Scottish artists.

It reminds me a little of Swervedriver and Arab Strap live (maybe just me)

Remurdered (from Rave Tapes, 2014)

By their eighth studio album “Rave Tapes” it saw the band really extend on the electronic sounds of previous albums but draw on an altogether darker sounding album. “Repelish” on the same album is also worth checking out, it heavily samples someone talking about hidden messages in rock records.

2 Rights Make 1 Wrong (from Rock Action, 2001)

“Rock Action” game the name to both an album and their excellent record label, home to Outlines, Remember, Remember and Sacred Paws among many others.

This song features on a Blueprint Skateboard video called “First Broadcast” and Soundtracks Ali Cairns part as he flies through the air beautifully.

I Know You Are But What Am I (from Happy Songs for Happy People, 2003)

Last year as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Castle was lit up with a projection showing the development of the rock over time. The images and show were sound tracked by Mogwai. I never really got the album “Happy Songs for Happy People” or this song when it came out but that night brought it alive and matched the work perfectly.

Jaguar (from Les Revenants Soundtrack, 2013)

Soundtracks have been good for Mogwai, from following a French footballer round the pitch for 90 minutes (Zidane) or sound tracking an Atomic Apocalypse (Atomic). This track is from the French supernatural series “Les Revenants” renamed The Returned for the UK

Crossing the Road Material (from Every Countries Sun, 2017)

One of the stand out tracks from the afore-mentioned “Every Countries Sun”, definitely one of the best sounding tracks when played live from the new album. At the time of release the band recorded a session for 6 Music with Cat Myers from Honeyblood drumming, it’s on you-tube and is well worth your time.

Cody (from Come on Die Young, 1999)

A beautiful romantic sad song and title track for their second album “Come on Die Young”

Old songs stay ’til the end
Sad songs remind me of friends

I can’t tell you how many times this song has struck me when driving on the way how from a club or gig late at night

When I drive alone at night, I see the streetlights as fairgrounds
And I tried a hundred times to see the road signs as Day-Glo

Friend of the Night (from Mr Beast, 2006)

Friend of the Night comes from their shortest album (clocking just 45 minutes ) as they side stepped the building of crescendos instead opting for straight on assault. There is a live version of this track on their live Album/DVD (Special Moves/ Burning) which showcases their live experience well.

Mogwai Fear Satan – (from Young Team, 1997)

The final song is from the debut album “Young Team” 16 minutes of musical terror highs and lows. Always a live favourite and LOUD so very LOUD. The track has been extensively remixed and reworked even at one point used as walk on music for the Manic Street Preachers.

ROBERT

8 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #166 : MOGWAI

  1. Mogwai are one of those bands that i only know vaguely although i have seen them live a couple of times and they’ve been brilliant – i’ll give this ICA a good listen as they must all be great tracks as you’ve missed off Hunted By A Freak…!

  2. What a great ICA! I’m not nearly familiar enough with this interesting band. Looking forward to exploring their catalog. Cheers, Strangeways, well done.

  3. Terrific choice for an ICA and a great tracklistng too! I’m always going to suggest the inclusion of My Father My King but at 23 minutes, it’s, ahem, testing for some.

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