Video of the Week

vendredi 9 mars 2007


-Barry Burns (guitar, flute, keyboards)
-Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, keyboards, percussion)
-John Cummings (guitar, piano
-Dominic Aitchison (guitar, bass)
-Martin Bulloch (drums)
Brendan O'Hare [Young Team]
-Barry Burns [Rock Action]

Young Team (1997)

----> cest ici que ça se passe <----

Additional personnel includes: Aidan Moffat (vocals); Shona Brown (flute).
Recorded at MCM Studios, Hamilton, Scotland in 1997.
Judging from this stunning album, Scotland's Mogwai are hell-bent to load up Sonic Youth and Pavement's lo-fi psych-meets-pop breakthroughs onto a silver rocket, and fly into the heart of the sun. Mogwai are all about the melodic-but-noisy instrumental. When they construct a good long one--and there are plenty on YOUNG TEAM--the rollercoaster can be as thrilling and forward-propelling as a late-era Coltrane solo. Two guitars interweave sheets of sonic sabotage, and yet instead of dark, harsh slabs, they emerge with melodies that share much with the early "pop" efforts of the afore-mentioned Stocktonites and with Syd-era Floyd. Combine these qualities with their complete grasp of Albini's law of instrumental dynamics (loud/soft/loud/soft/etc.--see "Like Herod" for prime example) and what comes out is a unique, forceful and catchy statement of purpose.

Melody Maker (11/1/97, p.44) - "...Mogwai fashion raw electricity into gravity-heavy melodies of impossibly sad sweetness....with massive amounts of distortion."


Come On Die Young (1999)

----> cest ici que ça se passe <----

Additional personnel: Dave Fridmann (various instruments); Richard Formby (lap steel); Luke Sutherland (violin); Wayne Myers (trombone).
Recorded at Tarbox Road Studios, Cassadaga, New York and Cava, Glasgow, Scotland.
Mogwai are top choice, triple-grade A, USDA prime slowcore. OK, they're from Scotland, but that's beside the point. Mostly an instrumental outfit, they strum and drone their way through the 12 tracks on COME ON DIE YOUNG with a dark spirit that is beautiful, breathtaking, and mysterious. Occasionally they'll sing a few bars (the lovely "Cody") and there's restrained use of keyboards and flute throughout. They're also not above descending into a cloud of white noise, as in "Ex-Cowboy." But what makes Mogwai a cut above is their deft use of melody. Although it may not be immediately apparent, there's always a singable phrase being performed somewhere. Was Pavement's Stephen Malkmus being ironic or infatuated when he said, "Mogwai will be the best band of the 21st century"? You decide.

Spin (5/99, p.154) - 7 (out of 10) - "...COME ON DIE YOUNG is a melodic, slo-mo album of increments and repeating intervals, where changes are subtle but no less drastic. The formula: lightly strummed guitar bits, lethargic snare snaps, and anonymous ether-chatter that escalates into whirring zeniths of feedback...or cultivates a pretty narcolepsy..."
Q (5/99, p.110) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...opening Punk Rock sets the tone....proceeds at a languid, near-hypnotic pace, with chiming guitars and floaty piano lines piercing through sheets of soporific sound. Bold and frequently beautiful...this is a gentle delight..."
The Wire (5/99, p.63) - "...Though they're high on punk rock attitude, Glaswegian group Mogwai's album is a subdued affair, with moments of graceful beauty nestled inside gathering stormclouds..."
NME (8/12/00, p.29) - Ranked #25 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums".
NME (4/3/99, p.41) - "...Stark and darkly atmospheric, it obliterated the traditional qiet/loud formula, replacing it with layers of white noise and intense meloncholy..."


Rock Action (2001)

----> cest ici que ça se passe <----

Additional personnel includes: Remote Viewer (banjo, programming); David Pajo, Gruff Rhys, Willie Campbell, Charlie Clark, Gary Lightbody (background vocals).

Engineers include: Dave Fridmann, Tony Doogan, Bill Racine.
Principally recorded at Tarbox Road, Cassadaga, New York and Cava Studios, Glasgow, Scotland.
From the opening static surge of "Sine Wave" to the majestic closer "Secret Pint," ROCK ACTION is Mogwai at its best. For this 2001 album, the Scottish post-rock band reigns in much of the bombast of earlier recordings, opting for melody and texture over all else. Guitarist Stuart Braithwaite contributes more vocals than ever before, though they're often hushed or heavily treated, and Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys lends his voice to the haunting "Dial: Revenge." While the ominous, amped-up "You Don't Know Jesus" is the closest that the record comes to living up to its cheeky title, ROCK ACTION's true highlight is the gorgeously chiming nine-minute mini-epic "2 Rights Make 1 Wrong." Throughout the album, Dave Fridmann's sterling production calls attention to the dynamic arrangements, allowing fascinating sonic elements (including strings and horns) to emerge from Mogwai's three-guitar/bass/drums lineup. For most Mogwai fans, ROCK ACTION stands as one of the band's finest moments, and for newcomers, it's an excellent point of departure.

Spin (5/01, p.147) - 8 out of 10 - "...An immaculate 38-minute lullaby for the not-working class, replete with tape hiss and timpani, sweetly brooding vocals, and otherworldly 'HOBBIT'-core....Like the band itself, it keeps getting bigger and better on its own sweet time."
Q (5/01, p.114) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Excellent....walking the guitar-noise-symphony walk. This is their most rewarding album yet..."
Mojo (5/01, p.102) - "...If beauty and ambition be the defining values of that album title concept, they've served up here in spades."
Alternative Press (2/02, p.65) - Ranked #17 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
Alternative Press (6/01, p.78) - 4 out of 5 - "...A tongue-in-cheek and often exquisite stab at excess..."
Magnet (12-1/02, p.56) - Included in Magnet's "20 Best Albums of 2001".
Magnet (4-5/01, pp.79,82) - "...Extraordinarily rich and emotionally riveting....the post-post-rock era's SGT. PET SOUNDS' LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND."
CMJ (4/30/01, p.4) - "...Mesmerising and hypnotic..."
NME (12/29/01, p.59) - Ranked #28 in NME's 50 "Albums Of the Year 2001".


Happy Songs For Happy People (2003)

----> cest ici que ça se passe <----

Additional personnel: Luke Sutherland (guitar, violin); Greg Lawson, (violin); Scott Dickinson (viola); David Gillian, Caroine Barber (cello).
Recorded at Cava Studios, Glasgow, Scotland.
Of all the bands emerging in the mid-'90s who were labeled "post-rock," Scotland's Mogwai always seemed to be one of the closest to (gasp) an actual rock band. While their third album ROCK ACTION showed them edging ever closer to rockdom, with more conventional song structures and vocals, the follow-up is a hearty about-face. HAPPY SONGS FOR HAPPY PEOPLE is one of the band's more atmospheric efforts. Whereas the band's early sound was often defined by angular, hypnotic guitar riffs a la Slint, HAPPY SONGS is full of dreamy, ambient electronic textures that wouldn't sound out of place on, say, a Spiritualized album. There is the occasional vocal, but voices (like everything else) are used purely as texture here. The tracks occasionally build to powerful crescendos, but for the most part, this is a mesmerizing, meditative effort suggestive of autumnal introspection and long walks through twilight forests. Is that post-rock enough for you?

The fourth album from Glasgow's kings of glowering, volatile quasi-instrumental rock is subtler than their previous work, compositionally beautiful but intense and trance-inducing at the same time. 9 tracks. Matador. 2003.

Rolling Stone (07/24/03, p.88) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Lovely wintry keyboard washes, guitars that slowly wax into rage, and an ambience of thick-blooded despair..."
Mojo (7/03, p.98) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...An ultramodern rock masterpiece, low-key yet ominous, offering new yet comforting ways of singing familiar tunes....A relentlessly brilliant record, lush with insidious thrills..."
Uncut (6/03, p.111) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...There's a gnarly tension matched only by their melodic complexity. HAPPY SONGS...refines their grandiose panoramic via electronic gurgles and glitches....Somnambulant and blissful..."


Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (2006)

----> cest ici que ça se passe <----

Mogwai were appropriately tapped to compose the soundtrack to "Zidane", a portrait of the notorious French futball (or soccer) player by Turner Prize winning director Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno that wowed audiences at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Unlike their in-your-face studio albums, the music here is restrained and deliberate to accentuate the fascinating visuals of the film. Many had speculated that the band's participation in soundtrack work was an inevitablility, given their past ambient leanings. The only question was when....and it has come to pass.

Aucun commentaire: