Mogwai: a chronological playlist (part 1)
Published on January 16th, 2014 | Jonny Abrams
Mogwai release their eighth album Rave Tapes on Monday – sublime it is too, as testified to in our review – so we trawled back through their back catalogue and handpicked a selection of choice cuts with which to snare the uninitiated/arouse debate amongst the initiated.
Please do enjoy part 1 of our chronological Mogwai playlist, a fair chunk of which features appropriately celestial visual accompaniment courtesy of YouTube user Elliott Walsh…
“Summer” (1996 double A-side single with “Ithica 27ø9”)
Twinkles up heavenwards on a graceful trajectory. Revisited on Mogwai Young Team on the decidedly dissimilar-sounding “Summer (Priority Version)”.
“Stereodee” (from 1997 LP 4 Satin)
Is this as close as Mogwai ever came to ‘baggy’? Definitely a touch of the My Bloody Valentines about it – not that MBV were ‘baggy’, but they were compared to Mogwai. Explodes into fierce rapture at the end, like stars exploding. The sky will crumble together, or something.
“Yes! I Am a Long Way from Home” (from 1997 LP Mogwai Young Team)
This opening track from their astonishing debut album goes remarkably well with the image of the globe: it’s music that feels naturally secreted from the Earth, in a state of benevolent rapture. That’s the second ‘rapture’ we’ve used, isn’t it? That’s Mogwai for you. Anyway, the ensuing savagery of “Like Herod” completes one of the all-time great introductory double-smashes.
“Tracy” (from 1997 LP Mogwai Young Team)
Sheer bliss. No more need be said, although it would be remiss of us not to mention the immortal “Dominic punched Stuart” conversation at the end.
“Ex-Cowboy” (from 1999 LP Come On Die Young)
Dig the bipolarity of Mogwai’s muse with this majestically bleak/bleakly majestic epic. Well, they’re all epic, but you know…
“Untitled” (from 2001 EP Travels in Constants, Vol. 12)
They need to upgrade the words ‘transfixing’ and ‘hypnotic’ in order to adequately express just how transfixing and hypnotic “Untitled” is. Synth, flute and thwacking great drum sound in perfect harmony.
“Dial: Revenge” (from 2001 LP Rock Action)
If anything can be exquisitely haunting, then this Gruff Rhys-featuring single is it. Far be it from us to suggest that they collaborate again one day, perhaps on a full album, but we just suggested it right there.
“2 Rights Make 1 Wrong” (from 2001 LP Rock Action)
The soaring, healing, elated apex of Rock Action, all emanating upwards and outwards from a jangly little guitar motif, this is Mogwai at their most goosebumps-inducing majestic. Also featuring Gruff Rhys, but not as prominently.
“My Father My King” (2001 single)
This twenty-minute monster, billed as a companion piece to Rock Action, was based melodically on a Jewish prayer and has often been used as a set-closer for live shows. An essential part of anyone’s Mogwai miscellany.
Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of our chronological Mogwai playlist!