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Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait by Mogwai

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Reviewed on 7th November 2006.


Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait

By Mogwai

Mogwai have always been seen as one of the rightful heirs to the upper echelons of the post-rock pantheon, their 1997 debut Young Team proving to be both a boisterous statement of intent and the warning shot that was fired across the bows of the bloated sub-Oasis-junk that was cluttering the mainstream hinterland of the time. Equal parts Slint and Metallica, Young Team proved to be a catalyst for the unlikely (but fiercely coveted) pairings of commercial success and underground credibility for the Scottish quintet.

Ten years on from their debut though, and Mogwai are not ones to rest on their laurels as the elder statesmen of the none-more vague genre of post-rock. 2006 has already witnessed the release of their fifth studio album Mr Beast, and their latest opus is the soundtrack to the film "Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait", chronicling the exploits of the mercurial French football legend Zinedine Zidane.

Mogwai have always had a vast, glacial sound that serves to embolden the imagination (as all good instrumental music should); Zidane follows in this trend but bucks the bands tendency to use rock dynamics and structure in favour of more expansive, ethereal pieces. As may have been expected of a soundtrack composition, many of the songs here have restrained qualities, the majority of which are based around repeating guitar lines, haunting piano passages and slow, stumbling tempos. Don't be afraid though: songs such as "7.25" and "I Do have Weapons" have a beautiful, chiming elegance that you can loose yourself in for days.

No ifs or (head) buts; Zidane is a worthy soundtrack to the talents of a modern-day icon fittingly forged from the loins of the contemporary masters of aural Armageddon. At the end of the day, it's a game of two halves.



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