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37
4.4 out of 5 stars
Rave Tapes
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2014
This is Their best album for a long time, no question. We aren't expecting Like Herod part 2, but what we get is a dreamy, electro guitar slow burner that affects in the same way as the quadruple guitars of old. I have been listening through my iPad sat in a hotel room in Philadelphia watching the snowpocalypse that cancelled my flight home. It is the perfect soundtrack. I appreciate the review of all the tracks someone posted, but this album can't be broken apart - it isn't a Now compilation, it is a whole.
I have the vinyl waiting for me when I get home, and I am sure that will only add to the pleasure of this release.
All the songs a beautiful builders, with an element of menace, just buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 April 2014
A bias review from a Mogwai fan. I think taking time out to record the excellent sound track to the Returned has seemingly inspired them. Although I don't believe they have recorded a bad Album, Hardcore will never die but you will, was certainly not their best. There are instant classics like Re murdered and slow burners like No medicine for regret on this outing, that signal a real return to form. If this is your first Mogwai Album its not a bad place to start. If you want a comparison if un familiar with their music, just think Sigur Ros with a set of balls.

Vic P.
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'Rave Tapes' is the eighth studio album from the post-rock aficionados Mogwai (not including their soundtrack albums...)

It now seems a long time since the band burst onto the scene with their seminal debut Young Team; an all encompassing and post-modern approach for the OK Computer generation. In credit to their creativity the Glaswegian juggernaut continues unabated despite the sound falling slightly out of favour to more electronically infused offerings in the noughties.

Perhaps it is apt then that their sound take on an electronic guise? To die hard fans maybe not. In fact the vintage analogue synths that appear to be the backbone of some of the tracks on this album are overcome in the most part by their original sounds of evocative and elaborate soaring guitar work. A leopard never changes its spots.

Indeed, this album is one of the best in recent memory to approach their previous more sinister and apocalyptic sounds. Disappointingly none of the tracks seemed to appeal to me as much as the opener but the penultimate track (which would discretely slip into any of their original albums) soars above the rest of the album too. It is in truth a formula that the band find very difficult to move away from; but who cares if they do it so well!

Listen to: 'Heard About You Last Night', 'No Medicine for Regret'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2014
It's been a while since I've really been interested by a Mogwai album, not really been that excited by a release since Happy Songs for Happy People or Mr Beast but saw a poster for it and thought I'd give it a whirl.

Oh. My. Gosh. It is awesome. Out of this world.

Standout tracks are Remurdered, Hexon Bogon, Repelish and No Medicine for Regret, but to be honest, the whole album is fabulous and has been played on repeat since I bought it.
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on 19 February 2014
This takes Mogwai in a slightly different direction from their previous work but once again does not fail to deliver.
For me personally I found this album had more instant appeal where previous works took a few listens before you finally appreciated the absolute genius of this band.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mogwai aren’t a band you associate with the word ‘rave’, at least in the traditional sense. Unless the venue is a bunker in the Highlands, with attendees dancing at a greater level of tonal Zen than you or I, they have always been a band to make most sense on stage. Yet Rave Tapes is hardly a hindrance of a title for the eighth album by this please-don’t-label-them-a post-rock Glaswegian five piece, who all rise beyond their cap like an eternally maturing wine, pouring out new flights of fancy rich in experimentation.

Like the best from these guys, the opening track of Rave Tapes - “Heard about You Last Night” - recreates the elusive vibe of a musical jam, upon which everyone has decided to roll onto. Even though it’s played with the same raw, on the spot pace of a demo, the finalized work of The Delgados drummer and mighty Scottish producer Paul Savage means it sounds like nothing less than a master.

It’s interesting that even though the band were on their own leash for last year’s highly lauded Les Revenants soundtrack, the change in reins hasn’t meant that all that newfound love for slowly creeping, brooding noise has been dashed away from Rave Tapes. “Deesh”, “Remurdered” and “Simon Ferocious” - the latter of which even shares the name of one of the characters from the French TV drama - rely more on the tense sound of alien electronics than the inevitable loud noise, and provide a dosage of the different.

Ramping the volume of Rave Tapes up is highly advised for “Hexon Bogon” and “The Lord Is out of Control”, which smash symbol and synth respectively in the band’s signature, chaotic formula. It’s the sound we’ve been hearing for years, sure, but it’s like a signature scratched into the track, just for you. Speaking of the subliminal, the usual void vacant of lyricism is filled in “Repelish” by the mad theories of a conspiracy theorist, out to save us from the satanic danger of “Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven”. One would assume this is archive audio, but it appears to have been narrated specifically for Rave Tapes, which, with such sombre guitar, imply many layers of meaning (remember “Mogwai Fear Satan” according to their 1997 album Young Team? Read the signs people!).

Near the record’s end, “Blues Hour” grants the rare Mogwai joy of both piano by Barry Burns and clean vocals by Stuart Braithwaite. Whilst the band’s near exclusive instrumentals have shown us how to elevate rock music by taking out the assumed essential of singing, the reintroduction of such tender notes and words make this number the finest in the setlist. Wait until you can piece it with last track “The Lord Is Out of Control”’s ill-communicated vocoder, and recall an admiration for these musicians, who even after 19 years can still supersede their own lack of high expectation.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 January 2014
I thought this album was okay at first.

But then I forgot I had the same reaction with every single Mogwai album (except YT, which I thought was brilliant on the 1st listen). But this has grown on me very quickly, and it is indeed brilliant. They manage to create sounds which no other band is capable of at the moment, stirring emotions woven through thick noise, and messages that are too deep to convert in to normal language; the message itself is the music (and always has been for Mogwai).

It still has that care-free attitude that was born in Young Team. And it still sounds so fresh.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Oh, how good would this be if it was actually a 90 minute handwritten TDK of Mogwai doing a cover of Altern 8's “Full On Mask Hysteria” with some random remixes on the flip side?

(OK, maybe not)

How what was a fixture of culture barely 20 years ago is now an ancient museum piece? A dead format. The home made cassette of rave 12”s designed for consumption in your kitchen tape deck? This is by no means a conservative, nostalgic look back. Building on last years “Les Revenants” soundtrack, here we have Mogwai's latest, and one that is for my ears, the most immediate and best thing they have done in a very long time.

How “Rave Tapes” is Mogwai's best record since 1999?. How I had no expectations (but a hope that it might be good), is smashed out of the water by the fact that this is a solid, powerful record, made of 49 minutes of largely instrumental mood pieces. It may be made of largely instrumental material, but each one has a sense of tension, conviction, commitment within, a sense that this is intended, and to an extent the holding back of sound is a demonstration of power in itself. The tru test of strength is knowing when not to use it. “Simon Ferecious” is the best thing the band have put their name to since “Batcat”, but here, unlike previously, Mogwai seem to nail the moment of creating a spellbinding mood that flows effortlessly from one to another, alongside a boatload of instrumental motifs, in the case of “Remurdered” resemble the soundtrack to an imaginary crime thriller that only exists in my head. Before “Remurdered” has time to breathe, the album leaps into the next song, a rolling wave of sound, where even though it is, on the surface at least, moddy instrumental pieces, the band generate a form of intensity and spellweaving that creates a combined, towered effect, where each pieces builds on the back of the other. “Repelish” offers a bare break, by interweaving a sampled lecture around the Satanic possibilities of Led Zeppelin against a intricate texture of riffarama. There's no real relaxation as such, as “Mastercard” is another wall-of-noise style instrumental where guitars and rhythms build to a cacophony that is gloriously wrong and yet righteously satisfying. By the time we get to the end with “Lord Is Out of Control”, the modest song resembles a post rock cover of something nestling at the end of side 2 of The Cure's masterful “Disintegration”.

“Rave Tapes” is Mogwai's finest record in years, and my ears are richer for it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2014
Mogwai again prove how great they are with this new album. 10 fantastic tracks and a slightly electronic sound but still with the same energy and emotion packed into every bar. Love it!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 April 2015
I think I chose the wrong Mogwai album to start with.

I briefly heard them playing in a vinyl store and was intrigued by their dark music. But I admit to being a little disappointed when I purchased it. A couple of the songs I simply didn't get; such as the middle of one track where a voice discusses the satanic messages found in Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven when played backwards. Why? I can see what you were trying to do... but it just didn't really work.

However I think I will try another Mogwai album because some parts were nice and I can see they could definitely make some great music. I like their style, this particular set just wasn't for me.
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