Mogwai-Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) Record Store Day 2018 Edition.

Label: Rock Action Records.

Nowadays, there aren’t many bands that stay together twenty-seven years, and release thirteen studio albums, five soundtracks and two live albums. There’s also the small matter of two remix albums and the four compilations that the Glasgow-based band Mogwai have released. The very first album that Mogwai released was the compilation Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) which was recently reissued for Record Store Day 2018 on white vinyl. 

Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) features nine tracks and is a reminder of Mogwai during the formative years of their career, and will keep their fans occupied until the release of the Kin soundtrack in late August 2018. Kin will be the next chapter in the Mogwai story which began in 1991.

The Mogwai story began in 1991, when Stuart Braithwaite and Dominic Aitchison first met in Scotland’s musical capital, Glasgow. Four years later, they met drummer Martin Bulloch and formed Mogwai, which film buffs will remember, is a character from the movie Gremlins. Mogwai was always meant as a temporary name, until they came up with something better. 

Later in 1995, three become four when guitarist John Cummings  joined Mogwai. Since then, John’s role in Mogwai has changed, and he’s now described as playing “guitar and laptop,” and as is regarded as the maestro when it comes to all things technical. However, not long after John Cummings joined Mogwai in 1995, the nascent band started honing their sound and making plans for the future.

In 1996, Mogwai founded their own record label Rock Action Records which would play an important part in the rise and rise of Mogwai over the next twenty-two years. So would another part of Mogwai’s nascent musical empire their Castle Of Doom Studios, which was cofounded by Mogwai and Tony Doogan in 2005. It’s situated in the West End of Glasgow, and has been a home from home for Mogwai, when they recorded new albums.  That was all still to come from Mogwai.

Before that, post rock pioneers Mogwai released their much-anticipated debut single on the ‘16th’ of March 1996. This was a double-A-side that featured Tuner and Lower, which was a limited edition of 500 that released on their new label Rock Action Records. Tuner was released to critical acclaim and the NME awarded it their single of the week award. While Tuner would later feature on Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997), Lower was omitted. However, Tuner offered a tantalising taste of Mogwai who critics were calling one of Scotland’s most exciting new bands.

In the summer of 1996, Mogwai released their sophomore single which was a rerecorded version of Angels v Aliens. It had originally been released on a split single that Mogwai and Dweeb released on Ché Trading label. However, the rerecorded version of Angels v Aliens is the definitive version of the song and became Mogwai’s second single which was released to plaudits and praise. It’s a welcome addition to Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997), and is a reminder of Mogwai as they continued to pioneer the post rock sound.

As one of music’s rising stars, Mogwai was invented to play at the Camden Crawl II, which was a free concert that took place in North London, on the ’19th’ September 1996. Members of the audience were given a free compilation CD released by the  Love Train label which featured the Mogwai track A Place For Parks. However, the first time the rest of Mogwai’s fans heard A Place For Parks was when it featured on the compilation Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997).

It was a similar case with I Am Not Batman, which was given away free to those who attended the Ten Day Weekend Festival in Glasgow, in October 1996. On the a compilation cassette Hoover Your Head was Ten Day Weekend which in the spring of 1997 featured on the Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) compilation.

Just a few weeks after playing a starring role at the Ten Day Weekend Festival, in their home city of Glasgow, Mogwai returned on the ‘4th’ of November 1996 with their third single. Summer and Ithica 27ϕ 9 was another limited edition double-A side and only 1,500 copies were pressed by the UK label Love Train. Critics hailed the single which later featured on Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) as a triumphant return from Mogwai. 

Buoyed by the success and critical acclaim that had accompanied their first three singles, Mogwai returned in February 1997 with  their fourth single. This was another double-A side New Paths To Helicon (Part 1) which featured New Paths To Helicon (Part 2) on the B-Side. 3,000 copies were  released on the Wurlitzer Jukebox label and featured Mogwai at their most inventive and innovative. Both sides feature on Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) and showcase a groundbreaking band during the early part of their career.

Just two months later, on the ‘17th’ April 1997, Mogwai released the compilation Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) on Rock Action Records. The track that closed the album was End, which was New Paths To Helicon played backwards. This was another example of Mogwai’s determination to innovate and push musical boundaries.

This is something that Mogwai have been doing ever since, and after thirteen studio albums, five soundtracks and two live albums they’ve been regarded as one of Scotland’s top bands over the past three decades. Twenty-seven years after Mogwai were formed, many critics believe that they’re now Scotland’s top band. 

That comes as no surprise, as consistently Mogwai released ambitious and groundbreaking music. Album after album, Mogwai push continue to musical boundaries to their limits, and sometimes way beyond as they continue to release innovative music. This is what post rock pioneers Mogwai have been doing since they released their debut single in 1996.

The following year, Mogwai’s debut single featured on the compilation Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997), which was the first album that the band released on Rock Action Records. Twenty-two years after Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) was released, it was reissued by Rock Action Records for Record Store Day 2018 and is a tantalising taste of post rock pioneers as the Mogwai Young Team as they embarked upon what has been a long and successful career. 

Mogwai-Ten Rapid (Collected Recordings 1996–1997) Record Store Day 2018 Edition.

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