Mogwai live team member Alex Mackay comes charging out of the gate on his debut solo album with a fierce new work that will appeal to fans of dark dense electronics. From the frenzied blast beats of the album opener God Monitor/Screen Burn to the intense sludgy heaviness of Hex Negative, Targazer chews its way through its evolving environs.
The final four pieces originated in sessions between tours with Mogwai in late 2018/early 2019, in which Alex's onstage setup of electric guitars, synthesizers, effects pedals and amplifiers was augmented with experimental computer processing, sampling techniques and manipulated string textures. Rigorous harmonic and structural processes were then applied to these raw sessions of live instrumentation, sculpting them into these four pieces that make up this debut solo release. The resulting work brings the high volume intensity of Alex's performance work into the realm of highly detailed contemporary composition, creating a record that marks the convergence of the multiple creative paths he has been treading in recent years.
The album art and video are the second strand to Targazer’s double helix; Alex and artist Matt Zurowski's vision of the creation of a bio-digital domain. In this new ecology, biological and digital realities overlap and interfere with one another, a visual parallel to the collision of digital and organic musical processes within the music. Moss breaks through cracks in stone and cracks in data, negotiating new forms of being as a part-digital organism. Unlikely, uncanny and amorphous objects populate this territory between territories.
The video accompanying the album’s opening track ‘God Monitor/Screen Burn' is a study of textures and surfaces. It interprets the fabric of organic and computational domains as entangled and fragile realities. Differences in movement, image quality, texture and shape all contribute to the conjuring of an interconnected bio-digital consciousness which navigates through the similarities and disparities of these subjects.
Whether taken as pure concept or a visceral pummel through the morphing cosmic soup, Targazer happily embraces the teeming possibilities of moving environments but probably won’t be playing in any elevators anytime soon.
FWD30 will be available as a limited edition Digipak and in all digital formats.
released October 1, 2020
Written and Produced by Alex Mackay
Mastered by Simon Scott
Artwork by Matt Zurowski
Design by Hannes Jentsch
Was into Mogwai from the beginning with the pivotal Ten Rapid and 4 Satin, but the last Mogwai LP I bought was Mr Beast in 2006, so plenty new to me here, and lots of catching up to do! On 2018 Live, the last 4 tracks are where I'm at, I just love all of that feedback and distortion. From my collection of their first decade, the epic 20 minute My Father My King is my all time favourite - I have no idea if their releases after 2006 have yielded anything comparable... only one way to find out!... Master of Alchemy
Labels like Posh Isolation, Janushoved and No Rent Records ought to keep an eye for emerging experimental talent from Africa. There is some seriously imaginative and unfamiliar sounds on offer in this. From track fourteen onwards it starts entering into all kinds of decrepitly strange Throbbing Gristle-esque territory too. Well worth your groats! Ben Harris