Tuesday, 4 February 2014
Review of "Rave Tapes" by Mogwai
This is my first encounter with Glaswegian post-rock group, Mogwai. I’ve never liked the term “post-rock” but because I don’t know how else to categorise this group I’ll roll with the term just this once.
“Rave tapes” is the group's eighth studio album. Soft eighties techno synths dovetail with twangy electric guitars to create an instrumental album worthy of a movie soundtrack, soothing and gentle in mood. I say “instrumental” – there are occasionally spots of vocals on this record such as the lullaby whispering on “Blues Hour” and the incomprehensible vocoders on the final track “Lord is Out of Control”. Fragments of bizarre spoken word are also employed on the track “Repelish” detailing the use of Satanic subliminal messaging in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. It’s a bit of a weird moment on the album but quite frankly the record could do with a few more weird moments. Indeed, “Rave Tapes” succeeds at creating a brilliantly calming and consistent atmosphere and every track flows excellently, but a scarcity of standout moments prevents this record from being anything other than decent background music.