Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Mogwai – With Portfolio

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I’ve been showering constantly since posting the Dario G track but the dirt isn’t coming off. Hopefully, this will do the trick.

In the mid to late nineties there were a number of, mainly American, bands making avant garde instrumental music (Tortoise, Trans-Am, Salaryman etc.) loosely collected under the banner of ‘post rock’. However, none of these could quite match the standard of Glasgow’s Mogwai.

Mogwai were formed in early 1996 with the goal of destroying Britpop – as shown by their ‘blur: are shite’ t-shirts. They were rapidly signed by The Delgados’ chemikal underground records and released a number of singles (collected on Ten Rapid). But the quality of their debut album, Young Team, was a huge surprise – to me at least.

The album had critics wetting their knickers and Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus declaring them 'the best band of the 21st century' three years before the century had even begun.

Like their film star namesake, Mogwai start all cute and fuzzy but rapidly turn into wailing, bloodthirsty psychopaths. They refined the usual rock dynamic of quiet-loud-quiet-loud into quiet-very quiet-barely audible-loud enough to knock your granny through a stained glass window. Vocals are scarce. On Young Team they are limited to a garbled telephone conversation and Arab Strap’s Aiden Moffat doing his usual Rab C Nesbitt rambling on ‘r u still in 2 it’. The highlight of the album is the sixteen minute noise-fest closer ‘Mogwai Fear Satan’ but I’ve chosen to post the shorter but equally noisy ‘with portfolio’.

This track begins with a slow, sombre melody plonked on out of tune piano. This is joined by gently swirling feedback which grows into a cacophonous din crashing from speaker to speaker.

Make sure you play it LOUD.

Mogwai – with portfolio.

Buy Mogwai Young Team.

Download more Mogwai.


At 7:15 PM, Blogger Caley said...

I just got back into this album head over heels last week. Great post.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger soundfromwayout said...

Isn't the critter in Gremlins called Gizmo, not Mogwai?

At 7:47 PM, Blogger Hannah said...

I should have known better than to combine this with a night of no sleep and a pounding headache.

Listening through earphones...now that's painful!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Woodshed said...

Mogwai is the name of the species, gizmo is the name of that one. Gizmo is a mogwai in the same way that Snoopy is a dog, in the same way that Quentin Tarantino is an annoying, goon-faced knob. Hope that clears it up.


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