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Mogwai - Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997) CD (album) cover



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4 stars One of the stronger MOGWAI releases, "Ten Rapid" is a collection of singles from the band's earliest days. "Summer" is a killer track and will win most people over immediately. "Ithica 27 phi 9" and "New Paths to Helicon, Part 1" will not dissappoint either. There's really not a bad track on the disc. The only thing keeping it from five stars is that while it's solid all the way through, after thirty or so listens, it fades to memory and you don't go digging for it years later like a classic album. Of course, there can't be many 5 star albums....
Report this review (#35070)
Posted Saturday, May 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
Carl floyd fan
3 stars Is it just me or is sound quality sometimes an issue? Especially on Summer which could rock very much, had it not been for the slightly muffled sound. This cd finds mogwai early in their career and finding their niche. It is not bad but not essential. Musicanship certianlly isn't on par with future releases but for a cd that has many unreleased songs from before their first album, it could be worse.
Report this review (#64607)
Posted Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)" is a compilation album by Scottish post-rock act Mogwai. The album was released through Rock Action in April 1997. It´s a a compilation album featuring a collection of recordings from 1996-1997. The 9 tracks on the 33:18 minutes long compilation have been released before in some form or other. Some have appeared on various artists compilations along other artists music and some have been given away for free a concerts.

It´s not terribly surprising that the material on "Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)" is similar sounding to the material on Mogwai´s debut album "Young Team (1997)". The quality is generally not as high though and the tracks featured on this compilation could easily have been outtakes from the "Young Team (1997" sessions. The music both mellow parts and energetic distorted climaxes.

The musicianship is decent and the sound quality (although it´s rather unpolished) is decent too. Fans of the early part of Mogwai´s discography may find the material on "Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)" a worthy listen, but to my ears this isn´t the most interesting material and I´d recommend listening to "Young Team (1997)" instead, if you´re curious about what Mogwai sounded like in their formative years. A 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#216228)
Posted Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This collection of songs originally released on singles and EPs on Mogwai's own Rock Action label from 1996 to 1997 captures the neurotic post-rock sound of the band in its formative stages. With the occasional jazz influence reminiscent of Bark Psychosis or Tortoise creeping in here and there, the precedent set by earlier post-rock groups is competently followed, whilst the occasional lo-fi sound quality lends an intriguing texture to the compositions not quite like anything which came before. The album should appeal not just to fans of Mogwai, but also to those who like other post-rock bands who tend to make their albums resemble field recordings (I'm thinking of the likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor and A Silver Mt. Zion here).
Report this review (#629072)
Posted Thursday, February 9, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Ten Rapid" is a collection of "Mogwai" early recordings that weren't released in their original forms on any of their albums released previously. The release dates on these various songs are between 1996 - 97. This album will give insight to fans and other listeners on how Mogwai's sound started to develop. The recordings, being early performances, are somewhat noisy in nature, but reflect the direction the band wanted to take it's sound and expand the post rock genre.

The album starts out with "Summer" which was released as a double A-side with "Ithica 27:9", which is included later on this album. It was also released in a different version on the debut album "Young Team". Beginning with a noisy and distorted version of the song's chorus, this soon fades and is replaced by a more melodic melody with occasional bursts of heaviness. The sound is similar to the direction the band "Tortoise" was taking in the beginning of their career but the song gets quite chaotic again as it continues while the vibes still shine through the wall of noise that comes and goes. "Helicon 2" (otherwise known as "New Paths to Helicon Pt. 2) , was released on a 7" single along with Part 1 of the song. This has a more laid back sound with the melody played by bass at first and then developed further by guitar as the drums move the track slowly along.

"Angels vs. Aliens" is a re-recorded version of the track of the same name that was released on a split single (shared with "Dweeb) in 1996. The track fades in with jangly guitars, bass line and drums. There are the typical subdued vocals that were often heard in Mogwai songs in the early days. The guitar lines get more complex and build up in intensity and the darkness contrasts with the sudden addition of bright chimes and a heavy wall of sound is constructed from guitar feedback and noise. "I am Not Batman" is a track that was released on a multi-artist compilation cassette that was given away free at the Ten Day Festival in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996. This one begins with a guitar drone that softens to allow a bass and guitar line to come in with the minimalistic vocals. Noises emerge from the drone generated from guitars as a pulsating drum and simple bass line stand out above the drone.

"Tuner" is one side of the band's debut single (the B-side "Lower" is not included on this collection). It starts out in a minimal fashion with tapping drums, bass and soft, barely discernible vocals. The song doesn't develop past this minimal sound. The version on this collection is a re-recording of the original single version. "Ithica 27:9" is the other half of the "Summer" single which was the first track on this collection. It builds from a soft beginning based off of a melody created from repeating notes. A sudden extreme increase in tempo and heaviness turn this into a wall of distorted noise before it suddenly settles back to the main theme again and then it fades on the last note.

"A Place for Parks" was included on a free multi-artist compilation given away at the Camden Crawl II show in England in 1996. It is a more simple guitar melody with some barely discernible spoken word and a soft base of bass and drums. "Helicon 1" is the other half of the "Helicon 2" single. This track has been used in several TV shows and movie previews. It fades in off of a descending 3 note guitar riff and layers build on top of this with a slow, almost march style drum pattern. After a few minutes, there is a sudden increase in intensity, the 3 note melody continues against a loud background. Later, the wall of noise drops and the track continues in a soft bass rift and the continuing guitar melody playing quietly and then fading out. "End" is the last track and is simply "Helicon 2" played backwards.

This is a rather short compilation at only 34 minutes total, and it is also mostly a study in extremes going from minimalist to a heavy wall of noise in a split second. The production is questionable, as should be expected from a collection of mostly singles and previously rare tracks. This was Mogwai experimenting with their sound in the beginning of their career. Of course things would get much better as the band continued on their path to become one of the most popular and innovative post rock bands that would influence the genre immensely. They would go on to become quite influential, along with Tortoise and Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the post rock world. This album, however, is probably more suited for the fans, and is definitely not a good entry point for those interested in exploring the band's sound. The music is quite rough sounding and abrupt, not really the sound that the casual listener would equate to Mogwai's later music.

Report this review (#2202906)
Posted Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | Review Permalink

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