The ever-mighty Scottish postrockers from MOGWAI just released a remix album on the 19th of November entitled A Wrenched Virile Lore via Rock Action Records. But why would a band so perfectly established in the scene feel the need to allow others to cut up their work and mingle it all together again?

Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore (2012)

MOGWAI A Wrenched Virile Lore

01. George Square Thatcher Death Party – (Justin K Broadrick Reshape)
02. Rano Pano – Klad Hest (Mogwai is My Dick RMX)
03. White Noise (EVP Mix by Cylob)
04. How To Be A Werewolf – (Xander Harris remix)
05. Letters To The Metro – (Zombi remix)
06. Mexican Grand Prix – (reworked by RM Hubbert)
07. Rano Pano (Tim Hecker remix)
08. San Pedro – (The Soft Moon remix)
09. Too Raging To Cheers – (Umberto remix)
10. La Mort Blanche – (Robert Hampson remix)


MOGWAI are well known to the art of surviving in the ever so quickly changing music scene. From day one the band was keen to change their sound not sticking to something someone might call a winning formula. With the remixes of 1998’s Kicking a Dead Pig they already proofed to us that their genuine sound of hymnic guitars and vocals can also be transferred into brilliant bases of electronic tracks. So now the quintet form Glasgow, known for their melancholic and spheric take on things, repeated the trick from 1998, inviting other artists the chance to remodel the tracks from their 2011 released album Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. We have remixes by the brilliant likes of Justin K. Broadrick, Tim Hecker, Robert Hampson and not to forget RM Hubbert. This latest collection once again offers us an interesting new take on the tracks of their highly praised seventh studio album with unique and inspired interpretations, showing that the lads from MOGWAI know how to change up their sounds coming up with something entirely new and independent. Each of the tracks, that has been taken by one of the fellow artists, takes the songs original idea and transforms it into something, sometimes surprisingly good. Yet, the overall outcome is decidedly mixed.

The most strikingly and unusually remixed track is probably acoustic guitar player RM Hubbert’s take on Mexican Grad Prix. His acoustic folk version of the song offers a charming and warm character by simply just adding his own sombre folk style of perfectly picked guitars and whispered voices taking a disco-tinged piece of postrock and turning it into something very fragile and delicate. Tim Hecker’s interpretation of Rano Pano is also certainly a triumph. He keeps with MOGWAI themselves filling the spaces with beautiful ambient sounds while keeping the guitar line at the centre. The intoxicating facets of the original song are swathed into an entirely different frame giving it a spectacular new sound. If this version of Rano Pano isn’t your style then you should check out Klad Hest’s remix.

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As much as we would like to praise every new take on the original tracks of Hardcore will never die but you will, there are some that are pretty average. THE SOFT MOON‘s interpretation of San Pedro sleeks out what used to be one of the most interesting parts of the album, replacing it with half-hearted electro sounds. And also Zombi’s view on Letters To The Metro and Umberto’s remix of Too Raging To Cheers leave the listener with an unsatisfied desire for something more spectacular and exciting.

Yet, neither Justin K. Broadrick’s fulminating reshaping of George Square Thatcher Death Party nor Robert Hampson’s take on both White Noise and George Square Thatcher Death Party renaming it La Morte Blanche are disappointing at all. Both manage to give the originals a completely new and exquisite character and A Wrenched Virile Lore a dazzling opening and final.

It is certainly not an easy decision giving your own songs into the hands of other artists giving them the permission to chunk them into pieces. But MOGWAI did. And it was well worth the risk! It is definitely not a perfect album, yet, one should perceive it as an own set of interpretations (just take the two versions of Rano Pano to see how differently one can interpret the same track). A Wrenched Virile Lore works perfectly as a stand alone album and is for MOGWAI the next step out of the framework of the music scene and into becoming more and more the band that they have been from the first day on – one that constantly reinvents itself.

A Wrenched Virile Lore is the perfect new surprise of the five Glaswegians to guide us safely to the end of the year. So check out the remixed version of How to be a Werewolf by Xander Harris just in case you need another argument.


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postrock / electro / remix
from Glasgow, Scotland


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