Mogwai Ten Rapid

Rock Action
17th November 2023

Format Info

LP - Red Vinyl
Exclusive Red Vinyl Flexi Disc Repro Tour Lanyard Signed A4 Print Repro Ticket Stamped Folder

The Glasgow School No.3:

Glasgow in the mid-nineties hummed with possibility. Already firmly on the map thanks to almost two decades of musical and social activism by Postcard, The Pastels and their satellite groups to explicitly left-wing organisations like the 13th Note and Glasgow Music Collective, Glasgow was having one of its many moments. The musical youth at that time consisted largely of kids from surrounding, suburban towns who gravitated to the city and formed bands. Cutting their teeth in dive venues, figuring out how to record, how to send 7”s to John Peel, like every generation must do, they discovered for themselves.

Enamoured of the deconstructed rock music drifting across the Atlantic from North America’s Mid-West conurbations, a late-90s Glasgow sound emerged with the likes of Chemikal Underground’s stable of artists (you could argue it was but one strand of the late-90s Glasgow sound, of course). Chief among them, for our purposes here, were Mogwai. If you’re even a casual shopper here at Monorail you probably already know about our long friendship with Mogwai and their peers and while the group have gone on to conquer hearts, minds and the charts over a long career, nothing quite sounds like the group in their infancy.

Initially self-released on their then-nascent label Rock Action, Ten Rapid collects the group’s early recordings and even seen against the backdrop of the open-minded, experimenting indie scene of the late 90s they still sound like a revolution. Perhaps no other band of their or any generation has taken the obscure and sometimes difficult sounds of the underground and transmogrified them into something as intense but somehow more accessible. The influences on this era are fairly easy to discern (not least with the help of guitarist Stuart Braightwaite’s memoir about the time): Slint, Labradford, Low, Spacemen 3, The Cure’s Disintegration era, the list goes on. What’s most striking is even then they sound like no-one else. The Mogwai waxed in 1996 is easily related to the Mogwai of Number 1 album As The Love Continues.

Accessible this music may be, on some level, but there’s no let up in intensity, mood and execution. Summer audaciously fades in while the group are in mid-flow before fading out into the bass thrum atmospherics decorated by glockenspiel, it’s a simple melody and dynamic that still sends ice down the spine. Early calling card Helicons 1&2 have everything, tremolo guitars decaying into reverb and delay-walls that threaten to consume, while early song Tuner burns quietly, a rare Braithwaite vocal duetting with Dominic Aitchinson’s bass playing recalling Slint’s invocation of Kentucky on Spiderland. The roughness round the edges, the playfulness of some of the ideas, the aliveness of the John Cummings and Braithwaite’s guitars criss-crossing through space, the sparkle of drummer Martin Bulloch’s spartan, emotive playing, it all feels incredibly present and vibrant. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s just the punk-as-you-like attitude on every strum and thrum on Ten Rapid’s collection of first utterances but the energy, openness and, whether they’d use this language at the time or not, love rings out through the almost 3 decades since this music was first recorded.

We’re really proud to continue our long friendship with Mogwai and present this collection of seminal early recordings in an expanded, deluxe package. Each copy of The Glasgow School edition comes on Exclusive Red Vinyl with:

7” Flexi disc of Summer (Demo) with Picture Sleeve.

Repro Tour Lanyard

Numbered A4 Print of early T-shirt design, signed by the band under their original pseudonyms.

Repro Gig Ticket from the same tour.

Housed in a Stamped Kraft folder.

Edition of 500 only.

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