Tag Archive for 'Mogwai'

Radio Kampus. 3rd January 2018

As I return from what feels like quite a lengthy hiatus, but in reality has been only a few weeks, I find the Radio Kampus studio becoming something of a technological haven. There’s new stuff! And we have, what looks like a selection of webcast cameras and a video editing console. That’s all very exciting.

I returned to Radio Kampus on 3rd January for a review of my top 10 albums of 2017. I hope you enjoy it.

01 – Filthy Friends – Despierta

02 – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Holy Mountain

03 – Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Fam/Famine

04 – Benjamin Gibbard – December

05 – Good Weather For an Airstrike – Little Steps

06 – M8N – Railway Bars

07 – Alvvays – Plimsoll Punks

08 – Mogwai – Crossing the Road Material

09 – Meursault – The Mill

10 – Pin Park – Cat

Radio Kampus. 5th July 2017

It’s my second week in Washington D.C. and sadly, due to a mix-up at Radio Kampus, my second pre-recorded show didn’t go to air. Still, it’s here in all it’s glory for you as a podcast. We have 2 finalists for the Scottish album of the Year, including the eventual winner; some new Mogwai; and some wonderful ambient music too. Enjoy.

1. Cate Le Bon – Wonderful (Drag City)

2. Ela Orleans – Dionysus (Night School)

3. Omar Souleyman – Khayen (Mad Decent)

4. Liam J Hennessy – Over the Bay (Sound in Silence)

5. Tófa – Yours is Ours (Self-released)

6. Olga Wojciechowska – Abandoned Words (Time Released Sound)

7. Sacred Paws – Strike a Match (Rock Action)

8. Max Richter – Infra (Deutsche Grammofon)

9. Dmnsz – G (Pointless Geometry)

10. Mogwai – Party in the Dark (Rock Action)

11. Olivier Messiaen – Oraison (EMI)

Radio Kampus. 24th May 2017

I had pretty much programmed the show on Monday evening before the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester, England but I didn’t feel right letting the episode go by without marking it somehow – I threw out the original opener (sorry BMX Bandits – next week) and we open with one of the best bands, from one of the many homes of independent music in the UK – and some would argue one of the best. I love Manchester, and so, I’m sure, do many of you.

After a brief moment of love for Manchester, we move on to some new releases from Scotland, Poland, Russia and England. It’s an absolute storming show and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did recording it. Enjoy.

1. Joy Division – Atmosphere (Factory)

2. Mogwai – Coolverine (Rock Action)

3. DŻDŻY – Felis Silvestris (Postaranie)

4. Dwa Pokoje – Wyprawa (PostPost)

5. Gang Śródmieście – Saszka (Self-released)

6. Artificial Waves – Hush and Embrace (Fluttery)

7. Animal House – Coca Cola (Self-released)

8. Gazawat – Chechens Used To Sing And Dance While The Shells Continued To Fall Down (BDTA)

9. Honey and the Herbs – The Nutfucker (Self-released)

10. Codes in the Clouds – Sixes and Seventeens (Erased Tapes)

11. Wild Books – Planes (Instant Classic)

Radio Kampus. 25th January 2017

Back in the Radio Kampus studio on Bednarska in Warsaw tonight after a week off ill with the flu. Luckily, there was a great DJ set to fill in with and I hope you enjoyed that last week. This week though, I’ve been buoyed by the news of a huge Mogwai show in Glasgow later this year, and had a trip down memory lane with the Facebook live-stream of the T2 Trainspotting premiere at the weekend.

This week’s show then features a track from the original film’s soundtrack, some classic Mogwai, and some excellent independent music from across the world. I hope you enjoy it.

1. Mogwai – Glasgow Mega-Snake (PIAS)

2. Brave Little Note – Grrrl Trouble (Self-released)

3. M∞N – Słupki kolejowe (Sadki Rec)

4. Can – Vitamin C (United)

5. The Nyx – Home (Rumours Music)

6. Val/Kyrie – Scenes of an Adult Nature (Self-released)

7. Bad Wave – Time to get Lost (10k Islands)

8. Fnuf – A Little Bit More (Self-released)

9. Lost Education – Sign (Self-released)

10. Grupa Etyka Kurpina – From Bethlem to Bedlam (Self-released)

11. Underworld – Born Slippy .NUXX (EMI)

Mogwai – Rock Action

Having discovered a diary (a livejournal.com download) from 2001 to 2006, I thought I might occasionally post bits and pieces from it. I’m sure I wrote much earlier than 2001 – certainly I can remember reviewing R.E.M.’s Monster in the mid 90s – but this is the earliest review I seem to have kept. I reviewed Mogwai’s Rock Action record for my friend Niall’s Homegrown fanzine. Here it is, in all its glory. Enjoy.

rock-action’It’s gonna sound like a Black Sabbath Tribute album.’

This was my first indication of what the new Mogwai album would sound like, and after speaking to Dominic Aitchison, on a dark Thursday afternoon in December from behind a counter in Glasgow’s HMV, I didn’t know what to expect of Mogwai’s latest offering – given that all members of Mogwai are prone to a little sarcastic misdirection. Previous to this, it had been reported that Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals would guest on the record, so the words of Mogwai’s bassist added to my intrigue.

On hearing the first note of the very first song on the album though, I knew that Dominic was being playful. The album begins with “Sine Wave”. Initially, a speaker-shuddering series of recurring bass notes followed by Stuart Braithwaite’s tremolo-heavy, poignantly slow guitar chimes in. The track builds with more and more synth, piano, and guitar effects being added, and reaches a climax before filtering down to a heavily digitised vocal and delayed guitar before fading out completely.

I’d listened to only one track and I was captivated. I had to have more.

“Take me somewhere nice” fades in from the silence left by “Sine Wave” and begins with an irrepressibly sweet guitar arpeggio and an extended intro before Braithwaite lends us his first vocal of the new album. It also produces my favourite vocal line of the album, ’What would you do / if you saw spaceships / over Glasgow’. Indeed. The third track on the album, “O I Sleep”, lasts only one minute but it is by no means a filler track. It begins slightly reminiscent of the final track on Ten Rapid, then two off-kilter piano parts combine and Stuart sings of fires burning.

“Dial: revenge” is the much talked about collaboration between the ’gwai and Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals. From its very beginning, if you’d put that track on first you couldn’t be blamed for thinking the bloke down at your record shop had possibly given you the wrong CD, such is Rhys’ mark on the song. Given the hype, it was certainly worth the wait. The guitar is a lovely arpeggio around the Am chord and Gruff’s vocals are just mesmerising. “You Don’t Know Jesus” starts with an ethereal guitar riff and builds upon that; stage-by-stage until it is a fantastic array of tuneful noise. As usual, on tracks like this the drums are an incredibly important factor, and Martin Bulloch doesn’t disappoint. At the song’s peak the drums sound outstandingly clear, and have a superbly strong presence. After another classic fade out we are given one minute and eight seconds of noise that is “Robot Chant”.

The strongest song on the album, and possibly one of the best Mogwai songs ever to be committed to tape, is “2 rights make one wrong”. Its recurring guitar pattern, the hook of the track, the drums and bass following shortly after and the brass section adds immensely to the atmosphere (and volume) of the song. As much as Dominic would hate this, “Secret Pint”, is reminiscent of Arab Strap; and as such it feels as fitting as a closer as “Sine Wave” was an opener.

If Rock Action is the direction Mogwai are moving in, the band have a long, successful journey ahead of them. I’m still waiting for that Sabbath Tribute record, though.