Mogwai has been around for well over a decade now and in that time, they’ve created some very memorable instrumental rock. They’ve followed a relatively similar formula for all of their existence, and while their music is certainly anything but tired, it is nice to hear it from a different angle. Enter A Wrenched Virile Lore the bands second remix album and first since 1998’s Kicking A Dead Pig.
A Wrenched Virile Lore pulls its inspiration from 2011’s Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Tracks from that record are given to the likes of Justin Broadrick of Jesu, Zombi, Tim Hecker and The Soft Moon, and those artists then have their way with the original source material.
In name only is this a Mogwai record, because the producers enlisted here have done such an excellent job of shedding new light on these tracks. Opening track ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’, as redone by Justin Broadrick, is a bleary shoegaze/dream rock tune that soars even higher than the original song, while Zombi’s ‘Letters to the Metro’ is a Kraftwerk indebted bit of electronica. The other highlights include Time Hecker’s droning makeover of ‘Rano Pano’ and Robert Hampson’s combination of ‘White Noise’ and ‘Death Rays’ into 13-minute closer ‘La Morte Blanche’.
The transformation that the original material undergoes on this record is pretty impressive. And, if the purpose of a remix is to reimagine something then the producers enlisted by Mogwai have done a bang up job. Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will was a solid album to begin with, and on A Wrenched Virile Lore things have only gotten better,