Mogwai – Atomic
Upon motive alone, this is a poignant release – a reworked version of the original soundtrack created for Belfast-born director Mark Cousins’ docufilm Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise. Released to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the movie makes for stunning, and certainly at times harrowing, viewing – and the group reflect the filmmaker's vision with selfsame precision.
Infusing the tracks, as Mogwai's Barry Burns noted in a recent Q&A fundraiser, with "tonnes of vintage synth" was a creative lightbulb moment, or a stroke of pure happenstance (you sense that Burns might frame it either way) – but in any case, it's a decision which evokes precisely the right dose of reverie.
From the buoyant heralding of Ether, to the majestic, ominous sway of Pripyat, and the chilling, hypnotic beat of synth-heavy U-235, Atomic picks up where the krauty electronic wash that coloured Rave Tapes left off, and sees the band brandishing some of their most compelling work to date. [Claire