And suddenly November is upon us, I’m thirty next week (how’d that happen? I mean, I’m on Myspace and stuff…Oh.), and I’ve got a cold and the dark Scottish weather is starting to kick in.
So what could be more appropriate than Stuart Braithwaite and his merry men? Mogwai, for it is they, are the perfect soundtrack to these dark nights. Almost always instrumental, and the masters of the previously mentioned ‘Scottish indie aesthetic’, they include the mighty Cure amongst their influences, as well as Slayer, Sonic Youth and Slint. Sometimes DEATH DEFYINGLY LOUD, and sometimes so quiet you have to turn the record player up very loud, then dash across the room as you realise you are just about to wreck your speakers. But always beautiful. They have collaborated with Aidan Moffat from Arab Strap, and at one time included Teenage Fanclub/BMX Bandits member Brendan O’Hare amongst their number, as ‘musician without portfolio.’ (sic)
Five albums in, trying to pick a favourite album depends on what you have heard. So go and buy the lot! If you have never heard these stalwarts of the scottish music scene, try these for tasters, as well as visting their Myspace page and onetime label Chemikal Underground, where many tracks can be streamed, not to mention their own web page, where you can download tracks as Podcasts. See, generous with it too.
If you are strapped for cash, I would recommend you start with Young Team, their debut, it’s a very good place to start. They need a home in your record collection. Some tracks are short, some last longer than a Civil Wedding Service (2001 single My Father, My King – a cover of a Jewish prayer is twenty minutes long). My favourite track, which also features Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals fame has to be Dial:Revenge. This being a collaboration between two of the Celtic fringe’s finest, it’s sung in welsh. Only a tennybopper could resist.
Try these for starters:
Mogwai -‘Tracy.’ mp3 from 1997’s Young Team
Mogwai -‘Dial: Revenge.’ mp3 from 2001’s Rock Action
Mogwai -‘Hunted By A Freak.’ mp3 from 2003’s Happy Songs For Happy People
Mogwai -‘Folk Death 95.’ mp3 from 2006’s Mr. Beast
As always, if you like what you hear, support the artists involved.