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.
Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite says: “Mark’s film captures both the horror and beauty of the atomic age. Ever since we went to Hiroshima this has been a subject very close to us. Ether is the first song on the album and soundtracks the opening and most optimistic part of the film. We tried to mirror that with the music. The soundtrack is one of the most intense and fulfilling projects we’ve taken on as a band, and one that i’m extremely proud of.”
Constructed entirely of archive film, Atomic is an impressionistic kaleidoscope of our nuclear times, from protest marches, Cold War sabre-rattling, Chernobyl and Fukishima to x-rays and MRI scans. Mogwai’s soundtrack encapsulates the nightmare of the nuclear age, but its dreamlike qualities too, and features performances from Robin Proper-Sheppard, long time collaborator Luke Sutherland and Robert Newth, who plays French horn on Ether. 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. Atomic will be available digitally via Temporary Residence in North America on 1 April; details of physical formats to follow.
Mogwai will perform Atomic live at Donaufestival, Krems, Austria on 1 May, with more live shows to be announced shortly.
Mogwai – Atomic tracklisting
3. Bitterness Centrifuge
4. U-235 –
6. Weak Force
7. Little Boy
8. Are You A Dancer?
10. Fat Man