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Mogwai

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Biography

Formed by longtime friends whose goal was to create "serious guitar music," Mogwai did much more than that over the course of their decades-long career. Their early experiments in extreme dynamic shifts and long, sweeping tracks -- exemplified by their 1999 debut album, Young Team -- built on Slint's legacy while defining the sound of post-rock (even though they disliked being associated with the style). As time went on, Mogwai's music grew more ambitious and more diverse, spanning the electronic-enhanced introspection of 2001's Rock Action and 2014's Rave Tapes to the heavier sounds of 2008's The Hawk Is Howling and 2017's Every Country's Sun. The band's mastery of atmosphere made them a natural fit for soundtrack work, and their scores for Zidane (2006), Les Revenants (2013), and Atomic (2016) were just as vital as their own albums. Formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1995 by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite, guitarist Dominic Aitchison, and drummer Martin Bulloch, Mogwai added another guitarist, John Cummings, before debuting in March 1996 with the single "Tuner." A rarity in the Mogwai discography for its prominent vocals, it was followed by a split single with Dweeb titled "Angels vs. Aliens" that landed in the Top Ten on the British indie charts. After appearances on a series of compilations, Mogwai returned later in the year with the 7" "Summer," and after another early 1997 single, "New Paths to Helicon," they issued the compilation Ten Rapid. That May, they released the 4 Satin EP. Former Teenage Fanclub and Telstar Ponies member Brendan O'Hare joined the lineup in time to record the band's debut studio LP, Young Team. Recorded at Hamilton, Scotland's Gargleblast Studios, it featured some of Mogwai's most striking examples of their sudden dynamic shifts. O'Hare exited a short time later -- returning to his primary projects Macrocosmica and Fiend -- to be replaced by Barry Burns. Mogwai next issued 1998's Kicking a Dead Pig, a two-disc remix collection; the No Education = No Future (Fuck the Curfew) EP appeared a few months later. In 1999, they released Come on Die Young, a set of elongated, implosive tracks. Mogwai continued to evolve in the 2000s, adding electronic and textural elements to their next album, 2001's Rock Action. Late that year, the band released the My Father, My King EP. On 2003's ironically titled Happy Songs for Happy People, the band added strings and pianos as well as synths to their palette, making it one of their lushest-sounding albums to date. Government Commissions: BBC Sessions 1996-2003 arrived early in 2005. Their fifth album, 2006's Mr. Beast, continued the reflective direction of their work in the 2000s. In the middle of the decade, Mogwai began their soundtrack career, which became an important part of their music in the years to come. The band collaborated with Clint Mansell on the soundtrack to Darren Aronofsky's 2005 film The Fountain. Mogwai also crafted the score for Douglas Gordon's documentary Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, which was released in the U.K. in 2006 and in the U.S. the following year. With 2008's Batcat EP, which featured a collaboration with garage-psych legend Roky Erickson, Mogwai heralded the return of the heavier rock that dominated that year's full-length The Hawk Is Howling. In 2010, Mogwai released their first live album, Special Moves, as a package with the Vincent Moon-directed concert film Burning. For 2011's Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, the band reunited with Young Team producer Paul Savage for a more streamlined set of songs. Later that year, they followed up with an EP of unreleased material from the Hardcore sessions, Earth Division, released on Sub Pop. Late in 2012, the band issued A Wrenched Virile Lore, a collection of Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will remixes. Early the following year, the first taste of their acclaimed score to the French zombie TV series Les Revenants (which was based on the 2004 film of the same name) arrived as a four-song EP; in February 2013, the full-length album appeared. Mogwai filled the rest of the year with live performances of their Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait score in Glasgow, Manchester, and London, and with recording their eighth proper album at their Castle of Doom studio. The Krautrock and electronic-influenced Rave Tapes arrived in early 2014. At the end of the year, the band issued the Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. EP, a collection of Rave Tapes remixes and previously unreleased songs. In 2015, Cummings left the band to work on his own projects. Mogwai's first release after his departure was 2016's Atomic, a collection of reworked tracks from their music for Mark Cousins' BBC 4 documentary Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. Later that year, Mogwai, along with Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Gustavo Santaolalla, contributed music to Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio's climate change documentary Before the Flood. On 2017's Every Country's Sun, the band reunited with Rock Action producer David Fridmann and balanced the electronic leanings of their 2010s output with the heavier sounds of their work in the '90s and 2000s. In 2018, Mogwai scored their first feature film, the sci-fi crime thriller KIN. ~ Heather Phares & Jason Ankeny
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   Glasgow Mega Snake
  3.   Hunted By A Freak
  4.   Friend Of The Night
  5.   Dial Revenge
  6.   Coolverine
  7.   Letters to the Metro
  8.   Thank You Space Expert
  9.   Rano Pano
  10.   Party in the Dark
  11.   Christmas Song
  12.   U-235
  13.   Crossing the Road Material
  14.   Killing All the Flies
  15.   The Sun Smells Too Loud
  16.   Helicon 1
  17.   Batcat
  18.   We're Not Done
  19.   Donuts
  20.   Brain Sweeties
  21.   Simon Ferocious
  22.   Yes I Am A Long Way From Home
  23.   Battered at a Scramble
  24.   Master Card
  25.   Hexon Bogon
  26.   Moses? I Amn't
  27.   Cody
  28.   Old Poisons
  29.   I Know You Are But What Am I?
  30.   Danphe and the Brain
  31.   Two Rights Make One Wrong
  32.   Mogwai Fear Satan
  33.   Take Me Somewhere Nice
  34.   Like Herod
  35.   The Precipice
  36.   Punk Rock:
  37.   Teenage Exorcists
  38.   Sine Wave
  39.   Kappa
  40.   End
  41.   Summer
  42.   Tzar
  43.   Bitterness Centrifuge
  44.   Blues Hour
  45.   You're Lionel Richie
  46.   My Father My King
  47.   Helicon 2
  48.   Rage: Man
  49.   Too Raging to Cheers
  50.   May Nothing But Happiness Come Through Your Door
  51.   Weak Force
  52.   D to E
  53.   New Paths to Helicon (Pt.1)
  54.   Jaguar
  55.   Mexican Grand Prix
  56.   The Huts
  57.   This Messiah Needs Watching
  58.   Travel Is Dangerous
  59.   Little Boy
  60.   I Am Not Batman
  61.   Kin
  62.   Guns Down
  63.   Miscreants
  64.   Funeral Pyre
  65.   Scrap
  66.   Eli's Theme
  67.   Don't Believe the Fife
  68.   1000 Foot Face
  69.   20 Size
  70.   After the Flood
  71.   Huaynaputina
  72.   Ghost Nets
  73.   Are You a Dancer?
  74.   Pripyat
  75.   SCRAM
  76.   Ether
  77.   Like Herod-1
  78.   HMP Shaun William Ryder
  79.   Satchel Panzer
  80.   The Lord Is Out of Control
  81.   No Medicine for Regret
  82.   Deesh
  83.   Repelish
  84.   Remurdered
  85.   Heard About You Last Night
  86.   Soup
  87.   What Are They Doing in Heaven Today?
  88.   Modern
  89.   Portugal
  90.   Fridge Magic
  91.   Relative Hysteria
  92.   Special N
  93.   Whisky Time
  94.   Kill Jester
  95.   Hungry Face
  96.   Rano Pano Klad Hest
  97.   La Mort Blanche
  98.   Earth Division
  99.   Untitled 2
  100.   Untitled
  101.   Hasenheide
  102.   White Noise
  103.   San Pedro
  104.   How to Be a Werewolf
  105.   George Square Thatcher Death Party
  106.   Angels Versus Aliens
  107.   Devil Rides
  108.   Stupid Prick Gets Chased by the Police and Loses His Slut Girlfriend
  109.   I Love You, I'm Going to Blow Up Your School
  110.   Kings Meadow
  111.   I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead
  112.   Scotland's Shame
  113.   I Can't Remember
  114.   I Don't Know What To Say
  115.   Black Spider
  116.   Terrific Speech 2
  117.   Wake Up and Go Beserk
  118.   Terrific Speech
  119.   Black Spider 2
  120.   I Do Have Weapons
  121.   Time and a Half
  122.   It Would Have Happened Anyway
  123.   Folk Death 95
  124.   Emergency Trap
  125.   Team Handed
  126.   Acid Food
  127.   Auto Rock
  128.   New Paths TP Helicon, Pt. 2
  129.   Stanley Kubrick
  130.   Stop Coming to My House
  131.   Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep
  132.   Kids Will Be Skeletons
  133.   Gwai on 45
  134.   Honey
  135.   Nick Drake
  136.   Black Sabbath
  137.   Secret Pint
  138.   Robot Chant
  139.   You Don't Know Jesus
  140.   O I Sleep
  141.   Xmas Steps
  142.   Small Children in the Background
  143.   Rollerball
  144.   Burn Girl Prom Queen
  145.   Ex-Cowboy
  146.   Waltz for Aidan
  147.   Helps Both Ways
  148.   A Cherry Wave from Stranded Youngsters [Third Eye Foundation Tet Offensei
  149.   R U Still In 2 It
  150.   With Portofolio
  151.   Tracy
  152.   Radar Maker
  153.   Katrien
  154.   Stereodee
  155.   Now You're Taken
  156.   Superheroes of BMX
  157.   Tuner
  158.   Golden Porsche