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MOGWAI

Post Rock/Math rock • United Kingdom


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Mogwai biography
Formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1996, and named for that famous Gremlin, MOGWAI is Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals-when there actually are vocals), Dominic Aitchison (guitar, bass) and Martin Bulloch (drums). MOGWAI are one of the most influentail post-rock bands of all time. They got together with the goal of creating "serious guitar music." What they've done is create seven (basically - five LPs and two compilations of singles) superb albums of gorgeous yet bombastic music. 98% instrumental, there are two sides to MOGWAI, a Dr. Jekyll side and a Mr. Hyde side. They can be melodic and beautiful and then anarchic and destructive, sometimes within the same track. Bands like BILLY MAHONIE and SLINT give a touchtone, but MOGWAI is truly unique.

Tracking down the literally dozens of splin 7" vinyl singles, compilation album contributions, etc, is exhausting and pointeless, because the band's done it for you. Two full-length compilations are out, "Ten Rapid" and "EP+6." Be careful when buying the latter. There's an "EP," and "EP+2," an "EP+4," a "No Education = No Future," and a "4 Satin." All these repeat themselves but are captured in full on "EP+6" - that's the one to get. At any rate, all the rare tracks that fell through the holes are available as free downloads from MOGWAI's official site.

The full albums are "Young Team," "Come On Die Young," "Rock Action," and "Happy Songs for Happy People," plus the single track 20 minute EP "My Father My King." There is a very stripped and organic feel to "Young Team," "Come On Die Young," and "My Father My King." There are more electronics covering "Rock Action" and "Happy Songs for Happy People." While all MOGWAI is highly recommended, "Rock Action" is the place to start. Also, "EP+6" minus one 13 minute noise track, is stupendous.

: : : BrainRock Ben, Birmingham, AL, USA : : :

ALBUMS:
---- Mogwai [EP+6]
2003 Happy Songs for Happy People *[Japan Bonus Track]
2001 Rock Action *[Japan Bonus Tracks]
1999 Come on Die Young
1997 Young Team
* 1999 Young Team [Bonus Tracks]

Box Set/Compilation:
2005 Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2004
1998 Mogwai Fear Satan Remixes
1998 Kicking a Dead Pig: Mogwai Songs Remixed [Eye-Q]
* 1998 Kicking A Dead Pig: Mogwai Songs Remixed + Fear Satan Remixes [Jetset]
1997 Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)
1997 Club Beatroot, Pt. 4 [Split]

Mogwai official website

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MOGWAI Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MOGWAI Music


Rave TapesRave Tapes
Sub Pop 2014
Audio CD$8.33
$4.65 (used)
Les RevenantsLes Revenants
Import
Rock Action 2013
Audio CD$5.87
$11.77 (used)
Come on Die YoungCome on Die Young
Chemikal Underground 2014
Audio CD$12.67
$17.03 (used)
Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will (2xLP)Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will (2xLP)
Sub Pop 2011
Vinyl$15.93
$24.97 (used)
Hawk Is HowlingHawk Is Howling
Matador Records 2008
Audio CD$10.35
$7.18 (used)
Wrenched Virile LoreWrenched Virile Lore
Sub Pop 2012
Audio CD$7.00
$7.54 (used)
4 Satin4 Satin
EP
Jet Set Records 1998
Audio CD$14.50
$0.98 (used)
Happy Songs for Happy PeopleHappy Songs for Happy People
Import
Play It Again Sam UK 2003
Audio CD$6.23
$5.02 (used)
Mr BeastMr Beast
Import
Play It Again Sam UK 2006
Audio CD$5.25
$4.32 (used)
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More places to buy MOGWAI music online Buy MOGWAI & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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MOGWAI shows & tickets


  • New Fall Festival #4 on 9 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at Music Hall, Aberdeen on 21 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at Magna Science Adventure Centre, Rotherham on 23 Oct 2014
  • ATP Liverpool: Curated by Forest Swords on 24 Oct 2014
  • Simple Things Festival 2014 on 25 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at Brighton Dome, Brighton on 26 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at Concertzaal Vooruit, Ghent on 28 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht on 29 Oct 2014
  • Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2014 on 30 Oct 2014
  • Mogwai at Le Bikini, Ramonville-Saint-Agne on 31 Oct 2014
  • BIME Live on 31 Oct 2014
  • Primavera Fauna 2014 on 22 Nov 2014
  • Music Wins Festival on 23 Nov 2014

MOGWAI discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MOGWAI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 76 ratings
Young Team
1997
2.82 | 48 ratings
Come on Die Young
1999
3.50 | 57 ratings
Rock Action
2001
3.92 | 142 ratings
Happy Songs For Happy People
2003
3.72 | 88 ratings
Mr. Beast
2006
3.33 | 26 ratings
Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait
2006
3.66 | 71 ratings
The Hawk is Howling
2008
3.69 | 108 ratings
Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will
2011
3.83 | 12 ratings
Les Revenants Soundtrack
2013
3.43 | 30 ratings
Rave Tapes
2014

MOGWAI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 15 ratings
Special Moves
2010
2.40 | 5 ratings
iTunes Festival: London 2011
2011

MOGWAI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MOGWAI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.16 | 14 ratings
Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996-1997)
1997
3.45 | 11 ratings
Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003
2005
2.25 | 4 ratings
A Wrenched Virile Lore
2012

MOGWAI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
4 Satin
1997
2.00 | 3 ratings
No Education = No Future (Fuck the Curfew)
1998
3.81 | 9 ratings
EP
1999
3.44 | 13 ratings
My Father, My King
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Friend Of The Night
2006
3.24 | 10 ratings
Earth Division
2011

MOGWAI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Les Revenants Soundtrack by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.83 | 12 ratings

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Les Revenants Soundtrack
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Aldebaran_Well

4 stars Mogwai hail from Glasgow, Scotland, a wonderful place indeed! Maintaining the grey, atmospheric mood of their city, they have been delivering excellent post rock music since 1996, being one of the most important bands of their genre. In fact, if one would ask me to describe post rock and recommend three very definitive bands, I'd surely reply ''Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Sigur Ros''. They have released only good albums in their career so, we are dealing with a band of really high quality standards.

Some important differences with other post rock bands: Mogwai's sound is very warm, organic and well balanced throughout their, mainly instrumental, compositions. When their music explodes, they don't produce speaker-burning frequencies (you know, full high's and full low's) but retain a more, in a way, old school rock feeling, which works perfectly. They also don't need lengthy compositions all the time, they are capable of fulfilling wonderful songwriting ideas in 4 minutes songs with perfect precision, arrangement, and dynamics, in every mood required.

This album is the OST of the amazing TV French series ''Les Revenants'', which aired in 2012. This is an extremely atmospheric story of dead people who mysteriously return to their hometown without any memory of their passing. It's not a zombie story, it mostly deals with sentiments, human relations and mystery. Accordingly, Mogwai composed music that is equivalently sentimental, haunting, touching and enigmatic. Many viewers of the show felt astonished by the music, it gets the job done in an incredible manner, harmonically supporting the plot and every scene.

Due to its cinematic nature, the loud, aggressive side of Mogwai is almost entirely absent but this doesn't mind at all, since there are 14 beautiful themes here to enjoy. Most of the basic melodies are being shared between Barry Burns' piano and Braithwaite/Cummings guitar soundscapes. The presence of strings adds dramatic tones of intensity while Aitchison/Bulloch is a calm and wise rhythm section that provides a solid support at all times. The arrangements are truly great and well used and the compositions offer a wide range of emotional states. Some tracks stay true to post rock aesthetics (Special N, Relative Hysteria) with major chords and a bittersweet approach, while others (Jaguar, Whisky Time, Fridge Magic) step on the usual minimal and ambient cinematic path. ''What are they doing in heaven today?'' is the only song with vocals and along with ''Kill Jester'', they unveil folk references. These tunes may resemble a bit some calm moments of Crippled Black Phoenix or, even better, the acoustic side of Pink Floyd. ''Portugal'' and ''Eagle Tax''are sad and electrifying tunes that should certainly be considered amongst the album's best tracks. The only truly dark theme is ''The Huts'' but make no mistake, there's a fantastic harmony involved.

I have to mention three songs separately, due to their special musical interest. ''This messiah needs watching'', ''Modern'' and ''Wizard motor'' introduce us to a more electronic aspect of Mogwai's music. There is a common pattern here, simple yet great: classic post melodies interweave with drum loops, synth sounds and distorted bass. The result is a Mogwai-style electronic post, which is very successful. (Ok, maybe some relation with 65daysofstatic can be found.) This year's ''Rave Tapes'' is a step further into that direction so, maybe we are witnessing the formation of Mogwai's future. ''Hungry Face'' is the opening credits theme, first song of the album and definitely its best. A simple piano melody, a haunting cello, flowing drums, a gem of a song that is destined to hook into your brain, guaranteed. Last but not least, there is a tiny detail. I'm a bassist so please believe me when I tell you that Dominic Aitchinson's bass tone is one of the most ''monstrous'' in rock. Even when he hits open strings in melodic parts, there is always a sense of threat coming from his bass, keeping you always alert about an explosion that's soon to come! Brilliant.

This may not be their most representative record but ''Les Revenants'' is a very beautiful piece of art. One of the best soundtracks I've heard recently and with rock interest as well. What more could you ask? If you like Mogwai go ahead, you know what to expect. If you don't know them, this might as well be a good opportunity to meet another great band of contemporary music. 84/100 for me. 4 solid stars.

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 Les Revenants Soundtrack by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.83 | 12 ratings

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Les Revenants Soundtrack
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Its important to note that I know nothing about this band other than this album. I came across this when watching the brilliant French TV series for which this is the soundtrack. For those who don't know it's about people coming back from the dead although not in some Zombie apocalypse scenario but rather in a more standard drama. Its weird and played dead (excuse the pun) straight in typical French dead pan(oh sorry again) style. Slow atmospheric creepy and totally absorbing. And that basically describes the music. Its slow melodic and full of subtle melodies. No long tracks and no massive flourishes instrumentally. Each track is beautifully structured although I couldn't name a stand out piece. I suppose this could almost be seen as the commercial end of post rock but that would be to do it a disservice. How does it stand up against their other releases? Absolutely no idea as said before. That will be for someone else to judge.

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 Earth Division by MOGWAI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.24 | 10 ratings

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Earth Division
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by HolyMoly
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl and Canterbury Teams

3 stars This is an EP released shortly after Mogwai's impressive Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will album in 2011. It has similar album cover graphics, but musically it is very much a separate entity, although complementary. It contains four tracks totaling around 16 minutes, and all four of these tracks show Mogwai in their "mellow mode", with string arrangements on every track, playing a more central role than usual for Mogwai. The first track, "Get To France", is an instrumental based on a simple quiet piano theme. The following ""Hound of Winter" is the only track with vocals, and is based around an acoustic guitar. "Drunk and Crazy" turns up the juice just a little bit, being a placid track but clouded with sheets of white guitar noise and strings. And finally there is "Does This Always Happen?", bringing all the prior elements together into a typical, albeit quiet, Mogwai mood piece.

Overall the EP is underwhelming, but for those who are fans and can hear this EP in its proper context, it will be a necessary addition to your collection. Nowhere else is Mogwai so pastoral and just plain relaxing over an entire release (though the Zidane soundtrack comes close). None of their trademark quiet-to-loud eruptions here; though in reality they've kind of moved away from that tendency on recent albums anyway. I wish it were a little bit longer, but what's here is very pretty indeed and will not cause any raised eyebrows at your next dinner party.

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 The Hawk is Howling by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.66 | 71 ratings

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The Hawk is Howling
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mogwai's return to the musical approach of their early releases on the Zidane documentary soundtrack must have inspired them, because on The Hawk Is Howling they continue to incorporate more of the fragile textures of their early albums back into their music - but accomplish this much more satisfyingly than on the Zidane soundtrack. Could they have been holding their better material back for this album? Possibly, but I can't really blame them - I'd rather have one excellent album and one mediocre album than two good albums that both suffer from some filler (because in the former case I can just ditch the mediocre album and listen to the brilliant one over and over again).

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 Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.33 | 26 ratings

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Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars It's little surprise that Mogwai's soundtrack for a biographical documentary on Zidane sounds like a big step backwards for the band - the director apparently showed the band scenes from the film with a remix of Mogwai Fear Satan (from Young Team) playing over it to give them an idea of what sort of material the film called for. It's interesting listening to the band attempt to play once more in the style of Young Team or Come On Die Young, but I rather suspect that the band left that sound behind for a good reason; they've already done all they really wanted to do in that style and, frankly, sound a little bored (and more than a little boring) here.

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 Mr. Beast by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.72 | 88 ratings

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Mr. Beast
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mogwai's Mr Beast finds the band concentrating on short and to the point post-rock with a greater focus on piano and exquisite production values which seem to take a leaf from Sigur Ros' book. This makes it perhaps one of Mogwai's more accessible albums, particularly compared to their murky earlier work, but this accessibility does not mean there's nothing for post-rock fans to enjoy here. Indeed, the development of Mogwai's sound away from their roots will be something to a relief to many listeners, since whilst their early albums were great, by 2005 there were so many soundalike bands out there that it fell on innovators like Mogwai to set an example by pushing forward into new territory as opposed to lurking in their comfort zone.

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 Happy Songs For Happy People by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 142 ratings

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Happy Songs For Happy People
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On Happy Songs For Happy People, Mogwai provide precisely what the title suggests: a warmer, softer, more uplifting and downright more cheerful reimagining of their sound. With what seems to my ears to be less audio snippets and strange tampering with the sound than previous albums, this was an unprecedentedly warm and organic Mogwai album when it first came out, and seemed like a drastic departure from their earlier works. It isn't quite that extreme a change - we're still firmly in post-rock territory here - but it is fair to say that, just like the sorely underappreciated Come On Die Young, Happy Songs For Happy People provides an insight into a side of Mogwai people's usual assumptions about the band can't account for.

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 My Father, My King by MOGWAI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.44 | 13 ratings

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My Father, My King
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mogwai bill this a "companion piece" to the Rock Action - actually, I think it overshadows that album a little. My Father My King is an instrumental which the band had used to close their concerts for some time before tackling the task of recording it. Sure, maybe it is Mogwai's way of saying "We can do 20 minute tracks too, so don't think Godspeed You Black Emperor proved anything with Lift Your Skinny Fists!", but even so as far as 20-minute heavy post-rock workouts go it's pretty impressive. In fact, it's probably Mogwai's best non-album track altogether. Play it loud and play it with patience.

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 Rock Action by MOGWAI album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.50 | 57 ratings

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Rock Action
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mogwai must have realised they'd taken their predominantly instrumental and extremely sparse sound as far as it could go on Come On Die Young, because Rock Action sees them refreshing and evolving their sound extensively. The compositions presented are much more lush and musically embellished, vocals play a more prominent role, and the reliance on sampled dialogue to establish atmosphere is greatly diminished. The end result is an album which is unmistakably Mogwai but at the same time establishes an entirely new phase in their sound. Post-rock fans who were turned off by earlier Mogwai works but think they might enjoy a less sparse version of the Mogwai sound could enjoy themselves here.

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 EP by MOGWAI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1999
3.81 | 9 ratings

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EP
Mogwai Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The absolute best way to buy this disc is to get the EP+6 release of it, which includes the tracks from the band's two previous EPs as well, extending the running time to that of a full length album. More varied and accommodating of noisy crescendos than Mogwai's other major 1999 release, Come On Die Young, for those who weren't fond of that album's extremely subdued sound the EP+6 may provide a welcome substitute - for me, I find it complements the other disc wonderfully. A more than credible followup to the band's previous odds and sods collection, Ten Rapid, EP+6 shows the other side of a crucial period in the band's evolution.

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