The cosmic post-rock band Mogwai was formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1996 by guitarist/vocalist Stuart Braithwaite, guitarist Dominic Aitchison, and drummer Martin Bulloch, longtime friends with the goal of creating “serious guitar music.” Toward that end, they added another guitarist, John Cummings, before debuting in March 1996 with the single “Tuner,” a rarity in the Mogwai discography for its prominent vocals; the follow-up, a split single with Dweeb titled “Angels vs. Aliens,” landed in the Top Ten on the British indie charts. Following appearances on a series of compilations, Mogwaireturned later in the year with the 7″ “Summer,” and after another early 1997 single, “New Paths to Helicon,” they issued Ten Rapid, a collection of their earliest material.
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 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 recording their eighth proper album, Rave Tapes, at their Castle of Doom studio, live performances of their Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait score in Glasgow, Manchester, and London, and other live performances. Rave Tapes, which boasted a more streamlined and electronic direction than Mogwai’s recent albums, was released in early 2014. Late that year, the band issued the Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1 EP, a collection of Rave Tapes remixes as well as new songs. Cummings left the band in 2015 to work on his own solo 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. For their first album without Cummings, 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.
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