With more than a decade making music and over 380,000 scanned, Mogwai have solidified their place in rock history with albums including Come On Die Young, Rock Action, Happy Songs For Happy People and the critically acclaimed Mr. Beast. Continuing where Mr.Beast left off comes, Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait - the soundtrack to the critically acclaimed documentary about the controversial soccer (football) player which features 10 new tracks specifically written and recorded for the film.
Mogwai's slow-shifting, meteoric post-rock might have never earnt them a place on the back-of-the-nets montage on Match of the Day
, but their soundtrack to Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
suggests that for this band, football boasts a deeper emotional palette than the Lightning Seeds could ever hope to evoke. Truthfully, it beggars belief it's taken Mogwai so long to reach the rarefied sphere of movie soundtracker; their gleaming, glittering instrumentals are big and beautiful, like a glacier or a blue whale. But supplying the score to Turner Prize artist Douglas Gordon's match-long portrait of French footballer Zinédine Zidane is probably a subject somewhat closer to their hearts. Lilting and ponderous, it boasts little of the fireworks that this band have been known for: far from the anger its name suggests, "Wake Up and Go Berserk" is a neat excursion into serene ambience, all finger-picked semi-acoustic guitars and padded sticks, while "It Would Have Happened Anyway" adds that crucial tension, perhaps a product of the pre-penalty kick. Mogwai's spirit has soften in recent years, but with Zidane
, the boys done good: call it a "Nessun Dorma" for the experimental rock set. --Louis Pattison