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Go to the Mogwai website  Mogwai - EP+6 [Chemikal Underground - 2001]

Buy this CD now!
First of all, the material on this disc is not new. It is a recollection from various Eps that have been previously released, and actually this whole "album" with the six bonustracks was released already a year ago in Japan. It has finally given a world-wide release by Chemikal Underground, and I think it's well worth reviewing, since I think not everyone has heard this material yet.

The "EP+6" release starts with four tracks from, surprisingly, their mini-album "EP" (1999). The unimaginative title is in complete contrast with the music featured. For a closer description of the music I refer to the "Rock Action" review that can be read here, but for this review the term "post-rock" will do fine. The opener "Stanley Kubrick" is a beautiful song on which the organ plays a major role. The following "Christmas Song" is piano-based, but violins are also present. Again a very meditative track, the shortest on the album. "Burn Girl Prom Queen" is a very special, dramatic song. This is mostly because of the use of a brass band throughout the 8 ½ minutes the crescendo goes on, and diminish again at the end. "Rage:Man" is the last track from the "EP" mini-album. It seems to be one of the most quiet songs until halfway the track, when the guitars burst out in a wall of noise, something that Mogwai has done on their earlier albums. It works out in a way that give me goose bumps.

Then follow the songs from their 3-track Ep "No Education=No Future [Fuck The Curfew]". The first track "X-mas Steps" is close to be THE Mogwai song: a 11 minute long crescendo that has everything the band has ever done in their career. From soft, calm acoustic tones to parts of distorted noise and guitars, touching violins... After the quiet "Rollerball", named after the band members' favourite movie, another great track is presented: "Small Children In The Background". It is great because of its harsh middle part, before again going towards a peaceful end.

The last three works you will hear on this disc are from "4 Satin", another 3 track EP released back in 1997. He can hear they have improved a lot since then, because the quality might be not up to standard for Mogwai with the first track "Superheroes of BMX". But only because of the production, the composition itself is great as ever. The sound is a bit thin and that doesn't work out with so many different sounds melted together. "Now You're Taken" and the finalizing "Stereodee" have somewhat the same problem, but not as bad as the first track, because they are a lot mellower. After the album has ended you will come to the conclusion that all the tracks are instrumental, but that they aren't needed to create an amazing emotional feeling.

Is there anything on this disc that the Mogwai collectors don't have? Yes, indeed. Two video clips to be exact, "X-mas Steps" and "Stanley Kubrik", and both are quite cool, but you don't have to buy "EP+6" for that, the music is what counts. And this release proves again that Mogwai is one of the best rock bands nowadays. The band's older work on this collection can easily measure up to the full-length "Rock Action" and maybe even surpasses the sheer brilliance of Godspeed You Black Emperor! The production of the tracks might not be as good, but if you weren't familiar with this material yet, like me, than this release is definitely worth 5 kudos. If you knew some of it, it's still worth 5 kudos...

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Justin Faase
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