Artist of the Week: Mogwai
Mogwai (1995) are a Scottish band formed by Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), John Cummings (guitar, vocals), Barry Burns (guitar, piano, synthesizer, vocals), Dominic Aitchison (bass guitar) and Martin Bulloch (drums). They are, with Tortoise, one of the most influential and successful post-rock acts, focusing mainly on highly dynamic and lengthy guitar-centered instrumental pieces with a pendent for distortion and effects. Being one of John Peel favorite bands (they recorded 7 Peel Sessions in 9 years), Mogwai released some absolute classics of noisy, shimmering and intricate soundscapes such as their debut Young Team (1997), Rock Action (2001), Happy Songs for Happy People (2003) and Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (2011).
After last year’s intimate and low-key brilliance of their score for the French TV Series Les Revenants, Mogwai is back with the new Rave Tapes, a much more economic and cerebral affair that brings to mind the minimalist approach of previous efforts such as 1999’s Come Die Young or 2006’s Mr. Beast. It’s their most cinematic and expansive record to date and, arguably, one of their finest.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.