We all have some fond memories, some teenage dreams. Mine were partly Scottish : something about the monster of the Loch Ness mixed with heavy malted odors of brewery and distillery during school trips when we were only allowed to drink glasses of concentrated orange juice that would feel as bad in my stomach as drinking a bottle of whisky all at once. Of course we were constantly under water, traveling in hostile and foggy landscapes with midgeeeeees trying to indirectly scalp us by forcing us to scratch/tear our hair. Later on the meaning of these trips was literally unveiled by a label of, let’s call it, Indie Po(o)p, Chemikal Records. I must admit I was more on the electronic side of music by this time than loud guitars playing slow core music at very high volume. And that is why I was an instantaneous fan of Arab Strap.
The music they played was heavily loaded with drum machines on the merge of being broken, great melodic lines, dirty, filthy and crude lyrics and it sounded real (and loud in me). For some the content of these songs were a pure prank of two (ugly Scottish unfucked) wankers, for others a testimony of the sexual and above all human misery of two guys living in the 30k peolple Flakirk city of Scotland burning out there time in alcohol/pub, dope and parties from which they left with either a black out and/or with an unknown and preferably ugly partenaire lying by there side in there bedroom by mama’s home when they emerged from heavy loaded nights…
But where were we ? Ah yes… Come On Die Young or CODY as this album is named by the Mogwai lambda fanatic. Mogwai first album Young Team has been reedited a few years a go. Nice boxset with extras but the vinyls where quite noisy and it left me a bit disappointed. Meanwhile there was also a deluxe boxset produced to re-edit the first two albums of Arab Strap. This was de-facto something else. Sound quality was awesome and there were some covers for every album and even the bonuses records (mainly singles + John Peel sessions) + Aidan and Malcolm words soothing the forever aching soul of the abandoned fanatic fans by a forever splitted Arab Strap group.
Young Team has never been my favorite Mogwai album. It sounded (too) rough and had just an inch of the false ataraxia which would become the signature of the group with the CODY album. One other thing you should know is that… I hate football. And well you do have to realize that Mogwai’s main focus is football. Of course I bought Young Team deluxe boxset when it came out and I kind of got to more appreciate this LP but still CODY was my favorite album with Happy Songs for Happy People (and made me forget a bit there football thing), but who would have guessed CODY would pop out in a Deluxe edition… six years after the Young Team deluxe edition ?
Well it is there and readily available. Packaging is as usual awesome and content superb. One gatefold album for Cody, another gatefold album for the appendix of CODY and a DVD that contains every songs from the boxset in different digital formats if you do not want to wear the groove of these fabulous tracks. CODY is now 16 years old and it has not aged. In fact it sounds even better than what I remembered. I played the original vinyl against the new test pressings and noticed that the new one sounded better. This feeling was confirmed by Andrew Savage who told me that “it is because it was cut by engineer Noel Sommerville who used to work at Metropolis. http://www.discogs.com/artist/335173-Noel-Summerville. He actually cut the test pressings back in 2010 but the release has been put back until now as the band have been so busy with other projects. The vinyl for the ‘Appendix’ was cut by GZ Media from the Czech Republic.”
Even if you are not a hardcore fan of Mogwai these records will help you to to taste the lower octave, the dynamic and the definition of the treble on the hi-hat on your system. It is always a great pleasure to have both great musical content with great sounding records and this boxset is clearly one of the best sounding records I have played this year. Go and grab a copy before it’s too late !
Playback was achieved via a Uwe green malachite stone-body prototype with a Denon DL-103 retipped by Thomas Schick with boron cantilever and Line Contact III tip (more infos here) and of course a 12″ Schick tonearm !