Mogwai today announce the release of their new album Atomic on 1 April via Rock Action in CD, double gatefold LP and digital formats.
Temporary Residence will release the album in North America. The album is composed of reworked versions of the music recorded for the soundtrack to director Mark Cousin’s acclaimed documentary Atomic: Living In Dread and Promise, which first aired on BBC Four last summer. The band today premiere U-235, a new track lifted from the album. Live shows will be announced shortly.
Constructed entirely of archive film, Atomic is an impressionistic kaleidoscope of the horrors of our nuclear times - protest marches, Cold War sabre-rattling, Chernobyl and Fukishima - but also the sublime beauty of the atomic world, and how x-rays and MRI scans have improved human lives. Mogwai’s soundtrack encapsulates the nightmare of the nuclear age, but its dreamlike qualities too. It is the latest in the band’s series of impressive soundtracks and scores, following acclaimed albums Les Revenants (The Returned) and Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.
Cousins says of Atomic, the film: “I’m a child of the nuclear age, and in my teens I had nightmares about the bomb. But physics was my favourite subject in school, and I nearly studied it at university. Learning about the atomic world excited me. It was like abstract Star Wars.”
Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite says: “The Atomic soundtrack is one of the most intense and fulfilling projects we've taken on as a band. Ever since we went to Hiroshima to play and visited the peace park this has been a subject very close to us. The end results, both the film score and the record are pieces I'm extremely proud of.”
Mogwai - Atomic tracklisting 1. Ether 2. SCRAM 3. Bitterness Centrifuge 4. U-235 5. Pripyat 6. Weak Force 7. Little Boy 8. Are You A Dancer? 9. Tzar 10. Fat Man
Mogwai are Dominic Aitchison (bass), Stuart Braithwaite (guitar, vocals), Martin Bulloch (drums) and Barry Burns (keyboard, computer, guitar). The album is Mogwai’s first release since reverting to a quartet following the departure of John Cummings late last year, and features performances from Robin Proper-Sheppard, Robert Newth and long time collaborator Luke Sutherland.
Formed in Glasgow in 1995, the band last year celebrated their 20th anniversary with the release of a 3xCD / 6xLP box set Central Belters and a run of acclaimed sell-out shows at Glasgow Barrowlands and London’s Roundhouse last June. The latter formed part of an ATP season of Mogwai-curated shows at the iconic London venue, for which they hand-picked a line-up of seminal artists that have challenged, intrigued and inspired over the past two decades, including Public Enemy, GZA, Godspeed You! Black Emperor & The Jesus & Mary Chain. Further 20th anniversary celebrations include a collaboration with Focus Scotland on a series of limited edition skateboard decks and t-shirts.