17th april 1997|
angels vs aliens
i am not batman
a place for parks
uk cd: rock action [ROCKACT05CD]
us cd: jetset records [TWA05CD] 8th april 1997
us 12" vinyl: jetset records [TWA05] (2000 pressed)
scandinavian cd: voices of wonder [vow 062 cd] (digipak case)
australian cd: spunk [URA076]
us 2x10" vinyl: jetset [TWA05] (1000 pressed, april 2004)
japan cd: toys factory [TFCK-87247] 25th april 2001
a collection of early mogwai recordings from 1996 and 1997. first released by jetset records in the usa to help establish the band. uk release on the band's label rock action records. all other releases under licence from rock action.
'tuner' and 'angels vs aliens' were re-recorded for this release. 'end' is 'helicon 2' played backwards. all other tracks are the original versions released on singles and compilations during 1996 and 1997. the album was remastered prior to receiving a full uk release for the first time, on 10th january 2000.
"ithica 27/9: i think we stuck a pin in an encyclopedia. twice." - stuart on naming the song, july 2008
sleeve art by victoria braithwaite.
ten rapid on wikipedia:
"tuner" is a rerecorded version of the band's march 1996 debut double a-sided single (from which "lower" does not appear), released on rock action. "angels vs aliens" is a rerecorded version of the july 1996 split single with dweeb, released on ché trading. "a place for parks" was given away free to attendees of the camden crawl ii show in camden, north london, england on 19 september 1996, on a compilation cd entitled the camden crawl ii, released on love train. "i am not batman" was given away free to attendees of the ten day weekend festival in glasgow, scotland in october 1996, on a compilation cassette entitled hoover your head: ten day weekend, released on sano music. "summer" and "ithica 27ø9" were released as a double a-sided single in november 1996 on love train. "helicon 1" and "helicon 2" were released as a double a-sided single in february 1997 on wurlitzer jukebox.
writing credits (from chrysalis music publishing):
helicon 1 - dominic aitchison, stuart braithwaite
ithica 27ø9 - dominic aitchison, stuart braithwaite
summer - dominic aitchison, stuart braithwaite, david robertson
melody maker review, 10th may 1997 - neil kulkarni|
theres no point whinging anymore. the battle's moved on. there's enough people out there to dig mogwai, dig magoo, and dig all those wonderous wurlitzer jukebox singles to make it worthwhile for bands knocking this stuff out. and athough the new level of response to this whole dissident axis enables a new level of smugness to operate in its hardcore fans, it also finally allows it to be listened to as pop - without the necessary
reading and prior elitist listening that always seemed such a gigantic obstacle to actually enjoying the stuff.
therfore this mogwai lp, a collection of their singles to date, makes sense not amid the dank racks of yer local indie emporium but in hmv, next to yer new supergrass lp, yer new artifacts album, yer new mary j blige 12". the fact that it's only mail order is a cryin' shame. cos this is a fab pop record.
mogwai's strength is the way their seeming isolation hasn't rendered them bitter pop misanthropes. rather, it's urged them to send the most blinding pop transmisson they can craft from that fractured vision to an uncaring world which is then forced to stop caring. opener 'summer', cuts from gorgeous cine-stealth, uneasy-listening to a full blown wig-out-the fade-pan that melts the heart. 'helicon 2' is low robbed of words, silently slipping under clear blue waters. 'angels versus aliens' slips in on a teeming shoal of aqua-guitar, then builds to an epic tribal wall-of-sound worthy of can or a macro dub comp. songs that actually fucking do something, y'see?
'i am not batman' is dream-pop unafraid of nightmares; 'tuner' and 'ithica 27' are ruthless exercises in dynamics, taking those chances that you thought bands didn't bother with any more. 'a place for parks' is (no shit) lo-fi hip hop with summer passing in a time-lapse on cd timer; 'helicon 1' is a ninties 'porpoise song' and 'end' is eric b &
rakim remixing codeine's greatest hits-cos, hey, ain't you always wanted to hear that?
what moves you about mogwai is the sense of discovering that you share with the band, the feeling that they have the chops and the curiosity, the ability and will to try anything and take you along with them each wide-eyed step of the way. a playground for open minds everywhere. watch this space.
review, by heather b. hamilton|
i remember high school football games on cold friday nights, shivering it
out with friends on cold bleacher seats, watching cheerleaders swing
somersaults and ponytails under cold stadium lights. i remember the smell
of hot dogs, nachos, and hair spray mingling with the fog of cold breath
and wondering how the lone xylophone player next to the drums beat louder
than the entire horn section of the band.
little tinkly sounds played seemingly at random, climbing at a gradual
glide above the dust and noise of the crowd. the rest of the band could
only try to keep up with that xylophone player, flailing his arms fast and
furious, a crazed fairy. i can't hear the tinkles of a xylophone without
smelling the football field or feeling the pinch of cold air on my ears
and cheeks. bink, bink, tinkle, tinkle.
i listen to mogwai while wearing layers of flannel. it's the xylophones,
the dancing tinkles, yes, but then it's the shrill whispers of feedback
and the shrieking guitars and the sigh of a single snare drum. and while
the xylophone tolls a crisp victory melody the guitars swell anxiously to
the edge of ferocity, then collapse into a bruised shiver. guitarist
stuart braithwaite occasionally sings a muffled word or string of words,
but these nine hushed, aching, beautiful songs speak in angular riffs.
"summer," "ithica 27/9," and "new paths to helicon" are already religious hymns
in their native britain - they've earned their own plaid in glasgow. these
"collected recordings" tremble violently then subtly and can't be
separated from the image of a possessed fairy or gremlin in waiting.
like a fiddle-free dirty three, scotland's mogwai is all about achieving
catharsis, as gentle rolling melodies break out into rip roaring rock-outs that reach out and touch the sky. mostly instrumental, mogwai throws pop structure out the window in favour of free-form jams that allow pummeling drums, washes of feedback and churning guitars to collide full-force with
its sullen recurrent melodic themes. the contrast this guitar quartet
achieves between soothingly sweet tones and artful noise drives the songs
careening over the edge through sheer dynamic force. based on ten rapid's
heartfelt organic flow, it's no surprise that they are reportedly a
tremendous live act.