Party In The Dark

Oh look everyone, Mogwai just recorded and released one of the best things they’ve ever done. And it doesn’t sound like a nuclear apocalypse either.

Feedback intro leading to Hooky-esque bass, rolling drums, euphoric guitars and gentle singing, everything rising steadily and insistently to a crescendo. Seems to fit in with these end days of summer, the closing in of the nights, the fading sunshine and Autumn’s chilly fingers poking at you.

This song, from 2008’s Hawk Is Howling, is a masterpiece of flowing, ecstatic, instrumental rock, which could work equally well on a dancefloor. One of my favourite pieces of music from the last decade.

The Sun Smells Too Loud

The picture shows a statue of Friedrich Engels, imported from Ukraine and placed outside the Manchester’s new arts centre Home, in Tony Wilson Place. Engels lived in the city in the middle of the 19th century and wrote The Condition Of The Working Class In England based on his observations and research here. Engels had been sent to Manchester by his father, to live in Weaste, Salford, to work at the family firm. It was supposed to ‘cure’ him of his radical views. It had the opposite effect. Karl Marx visited him several times during his almost thirty year stay. The rest, as they often say, is history.

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Fear

Flaming June eh? How come it’s nearly half way through 2016 already? Today’s offering is a treat for noiseniks from 1998, Kevin Shields remixing Mogwai and their already fearsome Mogwai Fear Satan song. Shields goes for broke with this sixteen minutes long song, adding flute and what at one point sounds like bagpipes to the guitar feakery. The first play of this on 12″ when it came out made me wonder if the stylus or stereo were broken and although the breakdown section at around nine fifty is pretty beautiful it’s probably not best served at a family barbeque. Credit where it’s due, thanks to DH for his photo of a forest in the Lake District taken at the weekend.

Mogwai Fear Satan (My Bloody Valentine Remix)

Atomic

Mogwai are going to release their soundtrack to Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise, a BBC4 documentary from last summer. The documentary was a montage of the atomic age- mushroom clouds, fallout shelters, the Cold War, protests, X-rays and so on. The album will be have ten tracks and this one, U-235, is out on Soundcloud. It actually manages to sound like growing up in the 1980s with the ever present threat of nuclear war.

Rave On

I’m a bit of a dipper with Mogwai. I’ve got Young Team, Hawk Is Howling and one other- can’t remember which off the top of my head. All three are excellent albums. They managed to pull off the trick of being always the same, always different. They have really good song titles. The new album- Rave Tapes- has unexpectedly wormed its way into my ears over the last week and is highly recommended. Quiet bits, noisier bits, some beautiful melodies, guitar lines and keyboards building intricately, a few crescendos, atmosphere, a bit of groove and rumbling drum patterns, the sampled ramblings of a Led Zep fan.

Here, one set of noisy boys (Mogwai) remix another set of noisy boys (Fuck Buttons).

Colours Move (Mogwai Remix)

I Have Crow’s Feet Around My Eyes

Harbour’s can indeed be dangerous. The seagulls at Bridlington are pretty aggressive for a start.

Mrs Swiss and myself are off out in town today- late afternoon drinking- for my brother J’s 40th birthday. Family occasion + alcohol = potential trouble, arguments at the least. Best behaviour. J is a big fan of The Fall, to put it mildly. This is Mogwai’s cover of the Fall’s mid-life classic Bill Is Dead (which I posted for my own 40th birthday post).

Bill Is Dead

Mogwai ‘The Sun Smells Too Loud’

One of the best tracks I’ve heard over the last couple of years is this, The Sun Smells Too Loud, off Mogwai’s Hawk Is Howling lp from 2008. I bought Young Team when it came out way back in 1997 featuring the mighty Mogwai Fear Satan, and kind of stayed in touch with them over the years, but wouldn’t pretend to be an all out fan. At some point last year house favourite and sponsor Mr Andrew Weatherall finished one of his 6 Mix shows with this song, and it took the top of my head off. Beautifully controlled guitar playing, huge tom tom drums, rising and falling melodies, intense, exciting, sad yet euphoric blah blah blah. Describing music is really hard sometimes. A seriously great record, and proof that you don’t need vocals or lyrics to make emotional connections in music. Top song name too.

05 The Sun Smells Too Loud.wma