Mogwai

Full Discography

LPs
  • The Hawk Is Howling - OLE-832 - 2008-09-23
  • Mr. Beast - OLE-681/OLE-698 - 2006-03-07
  • Happy Songs For Happy People - OLE-567 - 2003-06-17
  • Rock Action - OLE-490 - 2001-04-24
  • Come On Die Young - - 1999-04-06
Singles & EPs
  • My Father My King - - 2001-10-23
  • Mogwai EP + 2 - - 1999-10-26

Biography

Mr. Beast  

The Hawk Is Howling 
Sept 23, 2008


Mogwai's sixth full-length CD The Hawk Is Howlingcontains all the extremity and dynamics you know and love, but with a more curious array of rhythms and melodies, hinting a bit more than previous records at both their electronic and metal influences.  Additionally, with only two songs under the five-minute mark, this is maybe their most "cinematic"-sounding record to date (which is saying something).

And this testimony from famed crime writer & Mogwai freak Ian Rankin:

You shouldn’t be reading this.  It’s completely redundant.  There are no lyrics on this album, so all the potency, texture and variation of moods come from instruments alone.  Mogwai paint pictures in sound; no words needed.

This makes them hellish hard to write about.  Everything is in the ear of the beholder: I may hear sadness where you hear laughter.  If writing about music really is akin to dancing about architecture, how can anyone hope to write about Mogwai?  Which is why you shouldn’t be reading.  It’s also why I shouldn’t be writing the text I’ve just told you not to bother reading.  I pen hundreds of thousands of words each year, and sometimes feel I’m contributing to an ongoing problem.  There are too many words in the world. We are bombarded by them.  We pass by street-signs as we read our latest phone-texts, on our way to the shops with their proliferation of labels and adverts.  Words scroll across our TV screens.  They fill our style mags and free newspapers.  They are plastered across our buses and phone-boxes.  But words can lie and, hell, even at their best they lack precision.  It would take screeds of them to begin to unpack any one track on this album  -  a track such as the opener, ‘I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead’.  Despite the irreverent title (and Mogwai love an intriguing title, especially one that hoodwinks the listener), this is a poignant tune, but it is the calm before the storm of ‘Batcat’, a ferocious and heartfelt thrash that harks back to the early ‘gonzo’ Mogwai of albums such as ‘Ten Rapid’ and ‘Young Team’.

Glasgow remains the band’s hunting ground, providing a source of continuing inspiration  - the sounds of urban fracture, of desperate nights, fights and high-rise love affairs.  Romance is fleeting but palpable in a track such as ‘Local Authority’ (see what I mean about Mogwai and their song-titles?), while ‘Scotland’s Shame’ seems to me one of the group’s most personal songs.

 ‘The Sun Smells Too Loud’ sounds the sort of phrase a pal might utter after too much summertime cider.  But it could also be a nod towards synaesthesia, which would only be fitting, as Mogwai’s music does conjure up colours, emotions and pictures.  This is one of the most upbeat tracks on what is predominantly a chilled album  -  rizlas and cheap hooch in the park, and worlds waiting to be conquered tomorrow.  ‘King’s Meadow’ continues the mood, taking us out of the park, homeward bound: music for day’s end.  ‘I Love You, I’m Going to Blow Up Your School’ (with its titular nod towards cult film ‘Heathers’) adds an undercurrent of continuous menace which finally explodes six minutes in, its drama heightened by the protracted build-up.  ‘Thank You, Space Expert’ meantime is the closest thing on the album to a twenty-first century lament.  Maybe I’ve been at the cheap cider myself, but its melody seems to me to lend itself to massed bagpipes  -  and isn’t that something to contemplate?  Then again, maybe it’s just me.
 (Are you still reading…?)

And so we come to the final song in this elegant and elegiac hour-long set… and it’s a barnstormer, a guitar-heavy pelter that leads the listener, step by cautious step, towards the precipice of its title.  But when we step off, do we end up tombstoning or do we soar and howl like the hawk?  That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.  All I know is, eleven years in Mogwai still sound like the future, their five-strong core membership still the coolest gang in town.

I’m about to stop writing.  You’re about stop reading.  We’re going to listen instead.                                                      --IAN RANKIN
 

Mr. Beast 
March 7, 2006


These days - when membership of the rock army can be symbolised by the simple purchase of a Ramones T-shirt - dedication has become a debased currency, subject to the hyper-inflationary dictates of fashion. Raw recruits sign up for the short term, soon surrendering their affections to whichever sexy "scene" might spring up next. Unswerving commitment to rock's righteous cause is rare; it demands a troop of seriously single-minded dudes with their collective heart and soul fixed on one goal - to bring the noise.

Scottish five piece Mogwai formed in 1995 and debuted a year later with the single "Tuner/Lower", released on their own Rock Action label. They've since gone on to develop their distinctive style of apocalyptic, yet deeply humanised noise across four albums, establishing the transcendentally effective quiet-loud/quiet-loud dynamic as their very own and spawning a generation of imitators. Usually tagged a post-rock band because of their slow-build, instrumental workouts and the neo-classical majesty of their more ambitious songs, Mogwai are rather a bunch of a-rockers, drawn to whatever serves their cause - be it the stripped-down delicacy of Erik Satie or the boiling rage of Big Black. Mix light and dark together, Mogwai understand, and you make magic.

"Mr Beast" is the band's fifth studio album and, as the title suggests, sees them returning to their first, true love - Rock with a capital "R" - after using a softer palette with more varied instrumentation for album number three ("Rock Action") and delivering a balanced summary of their work to date with 2003's "Happy Songs For Happy People". Mogwai of course, make their own rules in order to break them, so, alongside huge blocks of thrillingly implacable guitar noise, "Mr Beast" features exquisitely poignant piano passages (most of them played by keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Barry Burns) and great, limpid spaces.

Guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite explains the album's impetus thus: "We consciously tried to have some louder music on this album, because we had begun to realise that there was a big difference between our live shows and our records, and there was no real reason for that. We wanted to make a record that we were going to enjoy playing live, because when we're on stage, we like the songs where we're really going for it more than the ones where we're just kind of plinking away. 

"The quiet-loud/quiet-loud formula that was our trademark became pretty clichéd," he adds, "and also a lot of other people started doing it, so we consciously tried to stop. Not that we invented it, but it got to the point where people thought that was all we did, plus we were getting tired of it ourselves. We'd taken it to extremes on songs like "Like Herod" [from 1997's Mogwai "Young Team"] and we thought there wasn't much further we could go with it. What we ended up doing then was being really quiet and minimal, but later we realised that we really missed making a lot of noise! Now felt like a good time to get back to that, because in a way, it's what started the band. Although only about 25 per cent of the new album is actually noise, that's the one thing we consciously had in mind when we set out." 

Recorded between April and October 2005 in the band's own Castle Of Doom studios in Glasgow, "Mr Beast" was produced by Tony Doogan, who also produced "Happy Songs. . ." and was the engineer on "Rock Action". It opens with "Auto Rock" - whose sweetly melancholic, central piano motif is gradually engulfed by a swell of fulsome guitars and pummelling drum beats - and closes with lurching, psych-rock behemoth "We're No Here" (sic). In between are eight future Mogwai classics, including the heads-down "Glasgow Mega-Snake", where what must surely be a dozen guitars swarm around a molten metal core like crazed killer bees, the drum machine-driven country gospel of "Acid Food," which features pedal-steel guitar, the wintry splendour of "Friend Of The Night" and the impossibly poignant "I Chose Horses," featuring guest vocalist Tetsuya Fukagawa (of Japanese hardcore bandEnvy) and a keyboard contribution from composer/arrangerCraig Armstrong. Whether light and lean or dark and monstrous, however, these songs underline Mogwai's belief that to have meaning, rock needs both mass and monumentality. If "Mr Beast" has one thing, it's presence. 

"I like music that has weight," admits Braithwaite, "even if it's not sound weight. If I think of a really 'heavy' record, I think of 'Songs Of Love And Hate' by Leonard Cohen as much as I think of the latest record by Sunn O))). It is a bit weird when people think our music is depressing, because I find bad music depressing and we all think sad music is incredibly uplifting. Even if a piece of music is melancholic, if it makes you think, or has some weight to it, then I find that really uplifting. It's like seeing a beautiful painting - it makes your day a bit better." 

Of Mogwai's continued interest in pushing their own parameters, Braithwaite declares, "We didn't want to be a band that made a few good records and then made a series of increasingly shitty ones that were like fading photocopies of the earlier records. I've seen that happen a lot of times. The fact is, none of us can do anything else - it's not like we dropped out of architecture school and can go back to it one day! We knew we were in this for the long haul and we knew we wanted to be making worthwhile, important music until the day our hands stop working, so it serves our purpose to challenge ourselves, on every level." 

The beauty expressed by "Mr Beast" is the sound of those challenges being met - fearlessly. As to the noise, it's Mogwai's design for life. 

                               -- Sharon O'Connell



Mogwai are:
 Stuart Braithwaite, Dominic Aitchinson, Martin Bulloch, Barry Burns, John Cummings 


DISCOGRAPHY - ALBUMS:


Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996 - 1997)
(ROCKACT05CD) April 1997
Mogwai Young Team (CHEM018CD) October 1997
Kicking A Dead Pig (CHEM057CD) May 1998
Come On Die Young (CHEM033CD) (OLE-365) April 1999
Rock Action (PAWCD1) (OLE-365) April 2001
Happy Songs For Happy People (PIASX035CD) (OLE-567)June 2003
Government Commissions (BBC Sessions 1996 - 2003)(PIASX051CD) (OLE-646) February 2005 
Mr Beast (PIASX062CD) (OLE-681) March 2006 

 

 


 

Happy Songs For Happy People
June 17, 2003

It's a treacherous business, trying to explain Mogwai. Pretension and hyperbole lurk around every punctuation mark. Oceanic torrents of adjectives come easier than words which actually mean something. Confronted with a music that has all the emotional impact of the greatest rock, but few of its obvious signifiers, you're left struggling to make sense of the nebulous, but powerful feelings they provoke.

Either that, or you just rely on their capacity to give excellent quotes. Here's one by Stuart Braithwaite from back in 2001. "We have no relevance," he lamented, observing the way pop music is generally disseminated. "We have no relevance to that one-dimensional view of culture. That is the antithesis of us. Music as a cultural force is a way of life."

Music as a cultural force is a way of life. It's a slogan that has defined this Glasgow band for something like eight years now. In that time, they have made four albums and quite a few more singles, records which manage to combine significant might with unusual subtlety, that articulate certain profound things about the human condition - rage, euphoria, melancholy, a yearning for the transcendant, generally big stuff - with very few audible words. In that time, too, Mogwai have made an incalculable impact on the way we understand the very nature of rock, though they'd probably think such a claim would be far too crass.

Let's try and remember 1995, when Stuart Braithwaite (guitar) and Dominic Aitchison (bass) recruited John Cummings (guitar) and Martin Bulloch (drums) into the band which would soon become Mogwai. Great slabs of instrumental rock were hardly common currency. Post-rock was a technical term used by only a few theorists. Slint were yet to become the kneejerk reference point for any band striving to bend hardcore into solemn, mathematical new shapes, chiefly because there weren't many bands, visibly at least, striving to do that. Radiohead were an indie band with a U2 fetish. '(What's The Story) Morning Glory' was inescapable, or at least seemed to be.

Realistically, four Glaswegian teenagers playing glowering, volatile instrumental rock, with a slowly unravelling dynamic diametrically opposed to the mainstream, weren't the most obvious next sensation. But watching them support the likes of marvellous and obscure hardcore bands like Bob Tilton, there was always a sensation that here, at last, was a band who could channel and focus the discontent and ambition simmering in all the musicians who felt disenfranchised by the Britpop hegemony, who could present this truculent underground music on a grand scale without compromising any of its radical intensity. This, of course, is just what Mogwai did. By 1997, they had flooded the market with singles for a bewildering array of bedroom record labels. They gained matching tattoos, a temporary fifth member in the mischievous shape of Brendan O'Hare, and a reputation for rock'n'roll excess that was both provocative and pleasingly imaginative: the audience at one London show were offered deconstructed amps, as well as guitar shards, as souvenirs during an enjoyably cataclysmic version of 'Mogwai Fear Satan'. The records were good, too. 1997's 'Mogwai Young Team': the bloodied culmination of Mogwai Phase One. 

1999's 'Come On Die Young': an eerie, stark beast recorded at an isolated studio in upstate New York and with the assistance of a notable new member, multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns. 2001' s 'Rock Action': lusher, calmer, more vivid and expansive, more words to identify. Increasingly, you were either with Mogwai or against them. All passion and antagonism, their collaborators lined up like a coalition of the willing in the battle against mediocrity: guest players Gruff Rhys, The Remote Viewer, Luke Sutherland and David Pajo; remixers Kevin Shields and Alec Empire; producers Steve Albini and Dave Fridmann; firm allies Arab Strap, Godspeed You Black Emperor! the bill they picked for 2000's All Tomorrow's Parties festival. 

Inadvertently, these five punk rock aesthetes and multi-tasking shit-stirrers caused a shift amongst bands and commentators about what rock could be, what rock could do. Mogwai proved to the slower-witted, that rock need not be a constricting doctrine. Instead, it was revealed as a license to explore an infinite library of possibilities, a kind of music, which always benefits from being stretched, challenged, subverted, reinvented. Which brings us, of course, to the new Mogwai album. 

The fourth Mogwai album, or the seventh if you count one remix thing ('Kicking A Dead Pig, 1998) and two exceptional singles collections ('Ten Rapid', 1997, and 'EP+6', 2001). This one is called 'Happy Songs For Happy People', a nice name for a summer record whose song titles allude to paranoia, vague threats, the Bible, boundless horrors and '80s hair metal. It sounds, glibly, like a Mogwai album, or at least like a band who have such a confident and accomplished understanding of what they want their music to be that all the old influences and comparisons seem more redundant now than ever before. It also sounds precisely nothing like the prevailing musical fashions of 2003 - which renews Mogwai's outsider gang status, railing against the heathens and in a position of adversity which undoubtedly suits the contrary bastards.

'Happy Songs For Happy People' is compact - just over 40 minutes - and extraordinarily skilful at sucking you in. The big crescendos don't come after long passages of quiet, they grow organically and stealthily. The metal power, the hardcore methodology, the pastoral prettiness are hard to separate any more. Rather, they exist in a state of grace that's moving and inspiring and all those other vague emotions music regularly promises, but rarely delivers.
'Happy Songs For Happy People' is released on June 9th. In a not unconnected development, Mogwai will be playing live shows in the next few months.



 

 

My Father My King
October 23, 2001

The first new release from Glasgow’s Mogwai since this past spring’s Rock Action, the new EP My Father My King is an extraordinary recording. Back to the wall of shimmering guitar power after the more mellow moves of Rock Action, the EP is a single 21-minute long song of epic power and beauty. Based on a simple ancient Jewish melody taught to the band by Arthur Baker, Mogwai surround it with their trademark sound to produce a gigantic composition that has been a huge hit at recent live performances.In this case, they worked with veteran producer Steve Albini to ensure that the full glory of the live performance was adequately captured in the studio, and the result is nothing short of stunning.

 

 

 

Rock Action 
April 24, 2001

“I’m gonna take satisfaction/I’m gonna get rock action” 
— Iggy Pop, “Rock Action” 

Mogwai return with their third full length LP and contrary to rumour, half—truth and wilful disinformation the new record is called Rock Action (working titles have included Exorcist III, Public Notice: Unattended Children Will Be Sold As Slaves’ and Pardon Our Dust As We Grow To Serve You Better.) Rock Action comes two years after the groundbreaking and magnificent Come On Die Young. 

Rock Action cuts a very different cloth to that of old. Mogwai have done with the double albums, done with the post rock schtick. Rock Action sees a considerable leap in the songwriting talent of the band — including, for the first time, significant contributions from Barry Burns (Burns joined at the tail end of the CODY sessions). This is a group simultaneously focused and unhinged, as rooted in tradition as they are compelled to refute conventional practice. They’re just as likely to stroke your head as mess with it, but they’ll do that too, because they can and because it’s necessary. Mogwai love rock, but take offense at so much of what calls itself "rock." All of which begins to explain how Mogwai come to be where they are at this very moment: poised to release a record titled Rock Action. 

Some Mogwai history: Formed in 1995 by Stuart Braithwaite (guitar) and Dominic Aitchison (bass), soon to be joined by Martin Bulloch (drums) and John Cummings (guitar), and much later Barry Burns (see below) First gig at the 13th Note in Glasgow. First single ‘Tuner’/‘Lower’ released on band’s own Rock Action label, March 1996. Three more singles appear during the next 12 months, each for a different label, each heightening the sense that here was a band unafraid of aiming high and then reaching higher, beyond the parochial definitions of what young men playing guitars are supposed to achieve. Emerging into a world suffocating in the creative halitosis of that thing known as Britpop, Mogwai were unapologetic about their ambition, unafraid to believe they could make records as great as those that had ennobled their musical salad days — The Velvet Underground And Nico, Closer, Isn’t Anything... Mogwai served notice that it was still OK to feel, still OK to believe that music wasn’t a matter of life or death — but rather something far more important than that. 

1997 saw the release of Ten Rapid, a user—friendly compilation of the preceding 12 months’ singles, priming the public for the giant steps that were to come. First "4 Satin," the band’s debut release for esteemed Glasgow independent label Chemikal Underground, featuring three songs of absolute and intense degree. Then the debut full—length Mogwai Young Team. A staggering statement of intent, a record filled with wordless songs of love and hate and devotion, it seemed the only flaw in its immaculate design was: How to do better next time? 

But such are the perils of an external perspective. Mogwai themselves dismissed Mogwai Young Team almost as soon as it was released. The recording sessions had been rushed, they claimed. Intimations of a fractious atmosphere in the studio — alluded to on the record itself by the song "Tracy" — were seemingly borne out by the departure in bizarre circumstances of auxiliary noisemaker Brendan O’Hare, who had joined earlier that year in a fit of youthful enthusiasm. With the benefit of hindsight, 1997 was Mogwai’s year of living dangerously, embracing the rock beast...and surviving. They resolved to never leave anything to chance again. 

In summer 1998 came a new EP, the combatively titled "No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew)," a hard—but—fair comment on the so—called Labour government’s enlightened attitude towards urban deprivation as imposed upon the teenagers of the band’s native Lanarkshire. So potent a doomed youth anthem was lead track "Christmas Steps" that it caught the eye of the Manic Street Preachers, who invited Mogwai as support on their autumn enormodome jaunt. For the Manics it was a chance to vicariously relive their splenetic past. For Mogwai it was a chance to scare the shit out of several thousand people every night. In Wales, Dominic showed the unappreciative hordes his arse: "It was the biggest cheer we got on the whole tour," he remembered. 

In November Mogwai departed Glasgow to record a new album, with a new secret weapon in the ranks: Barry Burns, wit, raconteur and all round instrumental utility man. Give Barry a horn and he’ll blow it, hand him a flute and he’ll toot it, and you don’t even want to know how he treats guitars. With Barry’s generous contributions to the fore, Mogwai’s second album Come On Die Young could hardly fail. Released in March 1999, it proved the band justified in their criticisms of its predecessor, and the point was emphasised by a string of legendary live shows, providing Glastonbury with a suitably stellar climax, during which Stuart Braithwaite urged the masses to "Fuck The Queen." That summer also witnessed Mogwai’s move into the rag trade with their cheeky "Blur: Are Shite" T—shirts. So demonstrably justified was this opinion that a certain Mr Albarn himself was moved to demand a consignment. 

Y2K came and went, thankfully without Martin’s pacemaker succumbing to the mythical bug. More thankfully still it heralded yet more new creative horizons for Mogwai. They solidified a mutually supportive relationship with legendary producer Arthur Baker by collaborating on a 20—minute—plus version of a traditional Jewish hymn "My Father My King." This in turn became the centerpiece of the band’s triumphant performance at All Tomorrow’s Parties, the now—essential weekend festival held in a holiday camp on England’s south coast. Amidst much paddling and piddling about, Mogwai found time to curate the event, ensuring the participation of such illustrious forebears and kindred spirits as Shellac, Sonic Youth, Papa M and Wire. 

All of which goes to prove the essence of what makes Mogwai such a precious band: they mean what they do and do what they mean. They don’t let their art get in the way of having a good time. And they never stop thinking, pushing, kicking against the pricks. So when it’s time for a new Mogwai record, the safest thing to expect is the unexpected. Rock Action is that and much more. After two epic double albums, Rock Action is a single set, eight tracks, less than 40 minutes long. Aesthetically, it’s near perfect: it could almost be one song in eight phases. Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals sings in his native Welsh on the heartbreaking "Dial: Revenge," while Stuart himself sings on "Take Me Somewhere Nice," "O I Sleep" and "Secret Pint" (which is, as you will appreciate, the song—title of the year). Once again it was recorded at Dave Fridmann’s Tarbox Studios, with additional sessions at Ca Va in Glasgow and Sorcerer Sound in New York City. 

"It’s very different," says Stuart. "We’ve used a lot of varied instrumentation, like banjos and violins and trumpets. Oh, and trombones! It’s not stark at all. It’s more Pet Sounds than Psychocandy. It’s velvety, with a little ’v’. We’ve moved away from the sackcloth of old. There’s still noise, though. We’ve spent a lot of money making this album sound hissy. There’s a lot of bands at the moment making the kind of music we’ve already made. We needed to do something different. People are going to be really surprised. The whole album is peppered with spastic magic." 

Several years ago that noted modern sage Stephen Malkmus opined that Mogwai were "the band of the 21st Century." It should be noted that the 21st Century has now arrived.

 

 

 

Mogwai EP + 2
October 26, 1999

Possibly the best Mogwai music to date, coupled with two tracks from their controversial import—only No Education = No Future: Fuck the Curfew EP, makes this new Mogwai EP one enthralling work.

Mogwai regularly go into the studio for a day or two to flex their throbbing creative muscle and flesh out a few ideas. Usually this results in a couple good songs and a lot of hangovers. This time, though, they worked up four stellar new compositions and were so proud that they (and we) simply HAD to put ’em out. [note the Cowdenheath Brass Massive appearance on “Burn Girl Prom Queen”]

Mogwai just completed a full—on North American tour which, frankly, blew a lot of people’s minds with the sheer volume, precision, and beauty of their performances. Mogwai have flown so far past their influences it’s scary. This EP shows their trademark dynamic tension with gentler and more expansive arrangements. It’s a prime example of how inspiring a band they’ve become.

“Sometimes [Come On Die Young] is kind, sometimes it is cruel and at many times it is lovingly, leeringly abstract, because this is Mogwai in full, frazzled, fantastic effect. Live fast, Play slow, Die young.” — Simon Williams, NME

 

 

 



Come On Die Young
April 6, 1999

From the glamour—free fringes of Glasgow come Mogwai. They are a band whose recorded output to date far exceeds their tender age. Their music is the sum of the previous forty years — the primeval rhythms of rock ’n’ roll; the raw viscera of the Velvets; the naked passion of Joy Division; the heart and soul of the holy trinity of Spaceman 3, Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine; and the brooding beats of the dance floor. All this from a primarily instrumental band.

Mogwai’s roots can be traced to 1995 when friends Stuart, Dominic and Martin quit their various bands on the periphery of the Glasgow scene. From that moment on they set about crafting serious guitar music, recruiting a second guitarist, John Cummings to the team.

Over an eighteen—month period they conjured up some magical tunes for the likes of Wurlitzer Jukebox, Love Train and Che labels. These releases were collected together on the "Ten Rapid" LP, released on Mogwai’s own Rock Action imprint.

Chemikal Underground, Glasgow’s most successful and most fiercely independent label, inked a deal with Mogwai in ’97. Their first release was the "4 Satin EP" and shortly thereafter one Brendan O’ Hare, former Telstar Pony and ex—Teenage Fanclub, came into the fold. Brendan’s involvement was on a strictly ad hoc basis — he was and still is the motivating force behind Macrocosmica. He however contributed to the recording of the debut long player "Mogwai Young Team".

"Mogwai Young Team" was recorded with what appears to have been a degree of fanaticism. All members of the band adopted new identities — pLasmatroN (Stuart), Demonic (Dominic), Capt. Meat (John), Bionic (Martin) and quite naturally The Relic (Brendan) — were branded with "MYT" and all save The Relic shaved their heads before recording commenced. "Mogwai Young Team" was released in October ’97. It is an LP that transcends the everyday a record that pushes the sensibilities of the listener from the opening bars of "Yes, I am a long way from home" to the heart—stopping "Mogwai Fear Satan". To date MYT has sold in excess of 35,000 copies in the UK alone.

Mogwai ’98 took their audiences to another place. A six—month excursion throughout Europe and the UK left little time for returning to the studio. Their recorded output last year included the remix project "Kicking A Dead Pig" which surfaced on the dance—oriented Eye—Q label and their reworking of David Holmes’ "Don’t Die Just Yet". To the consternation of a few and to the bemusement of the musically challenged, Mogwai joined the Manic Street Preachers on their tour in September.

For a band without words, Mogwai have used their chosen medium to great effect in setting a political agenda. Last year a nightfall curfew was introduced in South Lanarkshire for all those of school age. Mogwai’s response was to highlight the campaign, initiated by the Scottish Human Rights Project, opposed to this draconian legislation. Mogwai believe that the curfew was an unfair and unjust solution to the rising youth crime rate. They felt a better answer lay in offering positive alternatives — improved amenities and a better education. They printed and distributed thousands of stickers bearing the legend ’Fuck The Curfew’ and also released the "No Education = No Future (Fuck The Curfew) EP".

In the final months of ’98, Mogwai decamped for the rural life in the backwoods of New York State. Their home for three weeks was to be Tarbox Road Studios, Cassadaga, some 50 miles from Buffalo. Working with Dave Fridmann, one time member of Mercury Rev and producer of their much praised "Deserter Songs" LP, Mogwai fashioned their soon to come second LP, "Come On Die Young". This time they were to take an altogether different tangent. Gone are the quiet bit, loud bit quite loud bits and in comes a new depth of composition and a new permanent member in Barry Burns. Ah... Barry — ex—music teacher, all round good fella and very big on the Lanarkshire flute circuit.

"Mogwai Young Team" took its name from Scottish gang graffiti, "Come On Die Young" does the same.

C.O.D.Y. released March 29th, 1999.

Stuart Braithwaite — guitars / keyboards / percussion
John Cummings — guitars / piano
Dominic Aitchison — bass / guitar
Martin Bulloch — drums

And introducing
Barry Burns — flute / guitar / keyboards

News From The Matablog

John Peel - remembered



Today marks 10 years since the passing of John Peel, a man who opened the BBC radio airwaves for bands and artists outside the remit of the stations "regular" programming and opened the minds of thousands listening at home to sounds they otherwise may have never heard. One of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, throughout his 5-decade spanning career he never showed no signs of slowing down and his influence on (the good part) of modern music is immeasurable.

As a small tribute to the many Matador bands who recorded a Peel Session over the years, we've compiled a selection of some of the session that made it on to YouTube, (many - including The Fall, Wisdom Of Harry and Pretty Girls Make Graves - haven't) and there's a full archive of all the Peel sessions over at the BBC Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/sessions/.

Featuring: Cat Power, Interpol, Yo La Tengo, Pavement, Belle and Sebastian, Sonic Youth, Mogwai, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Solex, Unsane, Arab Strab, Unwound, Guided By Voices, Superchunk, Techno Animal and Boards Of Canada.

Enjoy.

Matador Releases For Record Store Day, April 16

To be perfectly frank, we thought about blowing off Record Store Day this year. It's not that we don't support record stores - far from it, it's what 37 of 38 employees prefer - but the huge glut of supposedly limited-edition releases, the scrum to get to the counter in the morning, and then the instant reappearance of many of the records on eBay at inflated sums are all an unintended and unwelcome side-effect of the event.

That said, we couldn't help ourselves, and neither could three of our artists, so we proudly announce the following limited-edition items. They're all awesome, they're all limited, and if you don't succeed on getting your hands on them on Record Store Day, just remember that the prices on eBay will (most likely) come down over time.

SO, on Saturday, April 16, Matador will have the following RSD exclusives:



From Byrdesdale Garden City in the UK comes the compilation album DAVID'S TOWN. Featuring 11 unreleased tracks from local bands including Gacy and the Boys, Animal Man, Grain and Hateful Coil, in styles varying from DIY to post-punk to power pop, this limited edition from FU-Discs was recorded in Byrdesdale between 1976 and 1979 and not released until now. An essential document of a thriving scene.



Next comes the new 7" single from THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, "Moves." Currently moving up the radio charts, and of course featured in Tom Scharpling's genius video for the track, it comes with the unreleased B-side "Drug Deal Of The Heart," recorded at the sessions for the album Together. (Note: the band is playing Coachella on RSD weekend, and then will tour out of there through April and May.)



Finally we have the new 12" from ESBEN AND THE WITCH, the great trio from Brighton, UK - many of you will have seen one of their great shows at SXSW this month. They just wrapped up their US tour and returned to their homeland. The single is the radio edit of "Chorea" and features a remix of their pounding classic "Eumenides" by Stuart Braithwaite of MOGWAI, along with an entirely unreleased 18-minute version of "Corridors" recorded for The Creators Project and only played at a special installation in London for Karl Sadler's Lit Forest. (Note: Esben return to the road in the UK starting this Friday.)

As usual, we will be taking down our webstore in observation of Record Store Day. Get out there, get in line, and spend some money, goddammit!!!

Sonic Youth play London NYE show

As previously reported by our buddies over at ATP you're in for a treat if you happen to be in London this new years eve as there's an amazing gig with Sonic Youth headlining a 4-band bill. Make sure to get down there early to see Factory Floor opening the party, followed by The Pop Group and the 'ATP house band' Shellac, with Mr Stuart Braithwaite spinning records between sets.

Not a bad start to 2011!

What they're up to: Kathryn Calder, Mogwai, Dead Meadow, Matmos

Even though we'd been convinced that all that slaving away at the myriad marketing gimmicks, "promo opportunities" and general suffering we put bands through would leave us with some very exhausted talent, it turns out that these guys just can't stop doing thangs... read on to see what some of our beloved have been up to.

Though she's on tour with the New Pornographers, as we speak, Kathryn Calder just put the finishing touches on her new solo record.  On August 11 the world'll be treated to 'Are You My Mother?' which features an all-star band featuring Neko, Kurt and Todd from The New Pornographers and a handful of other Canadian musical luminaries. Check File Under: Music for more info.

Mogwai will be releasing the pretty stunning looking live LP entitled, 'Special Moves' to coincide with the release of their first live film 'Burning', which was filmed in Brooklyn during the band's tour in support of 'The Hawk Is Howling' in April of 2009. Check Mogwai's site for info on ordering the record and where you can catch screenings of 'Burning'.

Dead Meadow shot by 3mmet

Following the release of their live-film, Dead Meadow released their second live album 'Three Kings' and soundtrack to aforementioned film, on the Xemu label in April.

Matmos and So Percussion shot by maggiemoo1

Matmos' Drew Daniel and Martin Schmitt have teamed up with So Percussion on a collaboration entitled 'Treasure State' -- expect to have your mind twisted on July 8. Cantaloupe Records sez: "The record had a complex gestation period: at the invitation of Brett Allen, the members of Matmos and So Percussion went to the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana-- the Treasure State which gives the album its title-- and collaboratively generated the bulk of the songs. San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos' M. C. Schmidt, "fifth" So Percussion member and producer Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results." There's a handful of live dates, to boot!

Upcoming Mogwai DJ Set on Viva-Radio

nf027_banner

While on their recent US tour, Mogwai's Barry Burns had a chance to pop into a few places to flex his DJing muscles. He made it over to Viva-Radio's Brooklyn studio on the day of the one of the band's Music Hall show to record a DJ set and have a chat with Ted Shumaker. The results can be heard in all their glory next week.

Viva-Radio

Naked Fridays Pt. 27

Friday June 5th 4-5PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Pre-blog News

NEWS

Matador Releases For Record Store Day, April 16

To be perfectly frank, we thought about blowing off Record Store Day this year. It's not that we don't support record stores - far from it, it's what 37 of 38 employees prefer - but the huge glut of supposedly limited-edition releases, the scrum to get to the counter in the morning, and then the instant reappearance of many of the records on eBay at inflated sums are all an unintended and unwelcome side-effect of the event.

That said, we couldn't help ourselves, and neither could three of our artists, so we proudly announce the following limited-edition items. They're all awesome, they're all limited, and if you don't succeed on getting your hands on them on Record Store Day, just remember that the prices on eBay will (most likely) come down over time.

SO, on Saturday, April 16, Matador will have the following RSD exclusives:



From Byrdesdale Garden City in the UK comes the compilation album DAVID'S TOWN. Featuring 11 unreleased tracks from local bands including Gacy and the Boys, Animal Man, Grain and Hateful Coil, in styles varying from DIY to post-punk to power pop, this limited edition from FU-Discs was recorded in Byrdesdale between 1976 and 1979 and not released until now. An essential document of a thriving scene.



Next comes the new 7" single from THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, "Moves." Currently moving up the radio charts, and of course featured in Tom Scharpling's genius video for the track, it comes with the unreleased B-side "Drug Deal Of The Heart," recorded at the sessions for the album Together. (Note: the band is playing Coachella on RSD weekend, and then will tour out of there through April and May.)



Finally we have the new 12" from ESBEN AND THE WITCH, the great trio from Brighton, UK - many of you will have seen one of their great shows at SXSW this month. They just wrapped up their US tour and returned to their homeland. The single is the radio edit of "Chorea" and features a remix of their pounding classic "Eumenides" by Stuart Braithwaite of MOGWAI, along with an entirely unreleased 18-minute version of "Corridors" recorded for The Creators Project and only played at a special installation in London for Karl Sadler's Lit Forest. (Note: Esben return to the road in the UK starting this Friday.)

As usual, we will be taking down our webstore in observation of Record Store Day. Get out there, get in line, and spend some money, goddammit!!!

Sonic Youth play London NYE show

As previously reported by our buddies over at ATP you're in for a treat if you happen to be in London this new years eve as there's an amazing gig with Sonic Youth headlining a 4-band bill. Make sure to get down there early to see Factory Floor opening the party, followed by The Pop Group and the 'ATP house band' Shellac, with Mr Stuart Braithwaite spinning records between sets.

Not a bad start to 2011!

What they’re up to: Kathryn Calder, Mogwai, Dead Meadow, Matmos

Even though we'd been convinced that all that slaving away at the myriad marketing gimmicks, "promo opportunities" and general suffering we put bands through would leave us with some very exhausted talent, it turns out that these guys just can't stop doing thangs... read on to see what some of our beloved have been up to.



Though she's on tour with the New Pornographers, as we speak, Kathryn Calder just put the finishing touches on her new solo record.? On August 11 the world'll be treated to 'Are You My Mother?' which features an all-star band featuring Neko, Kurt and Todd from The New Pornographers and a handful of other Canadian musical luminaries. Check File Under: Music for more info.



Mogwai will be releasing the pretty stunning looking live LP entitled, 'Special Moves' to coincide with the release of their first live film 'Burning', which was filmed in Brooklyn during the band's tour in support of 'The Hawk Is Howling' in April of 2009. Check Mogwai's site for info on ordering the record and where you can catch screenings of 'Burning'.


Dead Meadow shot by 3mmet


Following the release of their live-filmDead Meadow released their second live album 'Three Kings'and soundtrack to aforementioned film, on the Xemu label in April.



Matmos and So Percussion shot by maggiemoo1


Matmos' Drew Daniel and Martin Schmitt have teamed up with So Percussion on a collaboration entitled 'Treasure State' -- expect to have your mind twisted on July 8Cantaloupe Records sez: "The record had a complex gestation period: at the invitation of Brett Allen, the members of Matmos and So Percussion went to the SnowGhost Studios in Whitefish, Montana-- the Treasure State which gives the album its title-- and collaboratively generated the bulk of the songs. San Francisco plunderphonicist Wobbly then chopped and edited the results on several tracks, and finally, with frequent interventions from Matmos' M. C. Schmidt, "fifth" So Percussion member and producer Lawson White overdubbed extra elements, processed, and mixed the results." There's a handful of live dates, to boot!

Upcoming Mogwai DJ Set on Viva-Radio

nf027_banner

While on their recent US tour, Mogwai's Barry Burns had a chance to pop into a few places to flex his DJing muscles. He made it over to Viva-Radio's Brooklyn studio on the day of the one of the band's Music Hall show to record a DJ set and have a chat with Ted Shumaker. The results can be heard in all their glory next week.

Viva-Radio

Naked Fridays Pt. 27

Friday June 5th 4-5PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Mogwai DJing on air and online this week



[Photo of Mogwai at the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night by Ryan Muir]

Tonights' Music Hall of Williamsburg show is the second of Mogwai's three sold out shows in Brooklyn. They're taking some time while in town to DJ at some nearby radio stations

Tonight at 6:30PM EST, tune into WNYU's New Afternoon Show for a DJ set and interview with Stuart. WNYU can be found on 89.1 for listeners in the New York City and streaming at www.wnyu.org for the rest.

Tomorrow afternoon, Stuart will bring his playlist to East Village Radio, starting at 2:30 PM EST.

Don't miss it!

Catch Mogwai on their remaining dates and take advantage of the Hawk Is Howling CD+DVD/ticket bundle while you still can.