The future of Stereolab

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I just listened to Stereolab's Sound Dust and something must have finally clicked after 2 years, as it sounded luvly. There's a new EP coming out apparently:

Mastering of the new EP is complete. On October 7th 2003 Elektra will issue a 5 track CD EP and on October 13th 2003 Duophonic UHF Disks will issue a 5 track CD and a 7" vinyl edition - probably three 7" disks.

They have been one of the shining lights of pop for a decade now, but does the world actually need another Stereolab record? Is there anywhere left to go after the last few meticulously crafted records? Am I alone in entertaining the thought that maybe, just maybe, Mary's passing might have coincided with the end of the 'labs's golden era? Might they be better off focusing on those myriad side-projects, and closing the door on the 'lab's fine body of work? Or am I just insane? Tell us how much you look forward to a new Stereolab record...

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Monday, 4 August 2003 04:59 (sixteen years ago) link

i had assumed they'd finished, after that most recent Monade album was released. short of dropping the guitar OR keyboards entirely, i don't know where else they could go. personally i'd rather they didn't make another record as Stereolab.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 4 August 2003 05:03 (sixteen years ago) link

each record has had its moments, but the last time i was excited about anything they did was Aluminium Tunes.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 4 August 2003 05:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I loved Sound Dust, and will place it among their best work. I'm certainly willing to hear more 'lab, and will surely buy new material.

derrick (derrick), Monday, 4 August 2003 05:21 (sixteen years ago) link

How is that Monade record btw?

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Monday, 4 August 2003 05:27 (sixteen years ago) link

low key. I like it.

nnnh oh oh nnnh nnnh oh (James Blount), Monday, 4 August 2003 05:31 (sixteen years ago) link

They should make the planet-conquering "Sugar Sugar"-y universal pop genius record that they were saying they COULD make back in 1995 and then split in a blaze of glory. They've ploughed increasingly dull furrow for well over a decade now without actually becoming properly shite but I'd rather they did something fantastic and unexpected before they split, instead of just disintegrating into nothingness.

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 08:03 (sixteen years ago) link

They're a great singles band but their albums have been boring for years. More fizzy ribena pop a la wow and flutter please!

flowersdie (flowersdie), Monday, 4 August 2003 11:18 (sixteen years ago) link

"fizzy ribena pop" is an ace description but they can go even more uber-pop than Wow & Flutter when they want and it's about time they DID. They should make their Tubthumping (and attendant album) and then call it a day.

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 11:22 (sixteen years ago) link

They should make the planet-conquering "Sugar Sugar"-y universal pop genius record that they were saying they COULD make back in 1995 and then split in a blaze of glory

This seems to be a popular view of Stereolab and not one I subscribe to at all. Their scamper away from the indie disco dancefloor down ever-narrowing corridors of fussy detail and texture mirrors my own shift in tastes, and as a result I've loved most of their records (especially Sound-Dust and the last quarter of everyone's favourite one to knock, ...Milky Night).

That said, an end to Stereolab now, after Mary's tragic death, would seem appropriate, but there are unpleasantly humdrum things like brand identity and paying the mortgage to think about.

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:19 (sixteen years ago) link

I always wondered how much they actually sold, in the UK they went through a period of having top 30 albums and seemingly doing very respectably. Dot & Loops got to number 19 in 1997 and then unexpectedly everything since has missed the top 75 completely and I was VERY WORRIED for a while about their mortgage-paying capabilities after this, but I got over it. I don't imagine their audience changes dramatically from record to record but either there was a huge drop in sales around 1998 or the charts became a less-Stereolab friendly place, or both.

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:30 (sixteen years ago) link

i've only bought one of their albums and two of their singles since "Dots..."

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:33 (sixteen years ago) link

(and have everything prior)

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I barely bought anything after Dots & Loops and have now sold that although I kept Aluminum Tunes because it is more fun (I realise that Proper People do not buy Stereolab records because they are 'fun')

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:38 (sixteen years ago) link

AT is probably their most fun record. singles is where they have always shone.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:39 (sixteen years ago) link

Emperor is my fave, but recently I've rediscovered Dots and Loops and have been playing it to death. I heart the Lab and am really looking forward to their newie.

j0e (j0e), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:41 (sixteen years ago) link

that Proper People do not buy Stereolab records because they are 'fun'

On the contrary, they aren't fun enough

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:42 (sixteen years ago) link

The only Stereolab that I own and *don't* really love is Dots & Loops. That said, I've never really understood the hate towards their recent stuff -- wasn't it obvious this is where they were headed the whole time? Anyway, Sound Dust, for example, is great -- if they keep making records, I hope they'll build on the escapist prog-lounge of that.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:43 (sixteen years ago) link

On the contrary, they aren't fun enough

Agreed, this is why I sold Dots & Loops which gradually revealed itself to be not much fun at all.

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:47 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm looking forward to new material. Sound-Dust sounded too predictable, like they were treading water, and I'm at least curious to see if they can get out of that rut. As much as Mary's death was very sad, I'm hoping it's encouraged them to look in new directions in her absence.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:22 (sixteen years ago) link

I was hoping Mary's death would lead them to make the radical change they're going to need to make for me to really love them again -- my dream-scenario would have had them changing their name as well as their style. I'm sure Sound-Dust is a fine record, but it's slight switch-ups -- e.g., ooh, lap steel! -- weren't enough to make me want to listen to it very often; I'd like it if Tim could get back in touch with guitar noise, to drop the swing and reconnect with the big fuzzy charge they haven't done in ages. Either that or go dancey for us.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:43 (sixteen years ago) link

For me the drop-off w/ Stereolab isn't about changes in style or arrangment, it's that the melodies just got less interesting. Somehow the tunes ain't what they used to be, & I think this started changing around Dots & Loops (an album I like a lot, I also dig Cobra & Phases). Listen to the recent stuff for a while & then put on material from the 2nd Switched On/Lo-Fi era, & it doesn't sound like the same songwriters. The tunes on the mid-'90s releases are just incredible.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Either that or go dancey for us

This could be cool. I remember an Autechre remix (of a song I can't recall) that was completely out of the ordinary for them, and very good. Maybe they should hook up with Matmos or something.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:57 (sixteen years ago) link

There is an Ae remix on the "Miss Modular" single, although it's more LP5-era fuckery than dancey. Interesting nonetheless.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:05 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, it wasn't dancey at all, but definitely showed possiblities for them in more electronic realms. I guess the MoM tracks on Dots are also good signifiers.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Yeah, it wasn't dancey at all, but definitely showed possiblities for them in more electronic realms. I guess the MoM tracks on Dots are also good signifiers.

Yeah that could have gone further...although like I said I don't think the D&L melodies are quite up to snuff.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:53 (sixteen years ago) link

Sound-Dust is great. One of the prettiest, most sparkly albums I've ever heard. While not all of it is pure genius, I'm excited about any new Stereolab because they will always do at least one or two things that just make you go "What the fuck?!"

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Monday, 4 August 2003 16:56 (sixteen years ago) link

[mccarthy spin off bands c/d]

kieron, Monday, 4 August 2003 20:40 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd pretty much written off post-Dots And Loops Stereolab as they seemed to have transmogrified themselves into a Os Mutantes cover band. However, I did really like the same songs as re-recorded on ABC Music, so I figured that it's less of a problem with them, than in how they're recording their albums.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 4 August 2003 23:34 (sixteen years ago) link

the only non-worthwhile record is peng!, sound dust is a gorgeous and rather simple sounding pop record. i think they are a highly undervalued band, perhaps from making the music seem effortless?

keith (keithmcl), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 00:26 (sixteen years ago) link

the only non-worthwhile record is peng!

Madness! There are some flaccid moments sure, but "Super Falling Star", "Mellotron", "Orgiastic", etc... I ask you?

Am I still the only person who actually thinks Emperor Tomato Ketchup has been the least durable record so far?

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 05:49 (sixteen years ago) link

er, yeah you probably are.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 05:51 (sixteen years ago) link

Thought so.

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 06:10 (sixteen years ago) link

Ever since D&T, I've been hopelessly waiting for the guitar buzz to come back.. I think what made them great was how hypnotic that drone sounded, coupled with the mantra-chanting. When they got rid of that and went lounge the music sounded too 'focused' in a way and didn't allow you to lose yourself in it, as the old stuff did.

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 06:48 (sixteen years ago) link

They need to stop making records with McEntire and O'Rourke, for a start/change. Maybe get Albini involved, or someone totally out of left field.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 14:04 (sixteen years ago) link

I believe the new record is being recorded with Fulton Dingley, who worked on Cobra and Phases Group and First of the Microbe Hunters.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 14:14 (sixteen years ago) link

It's shallow I know, but the more interviews I read with them the less I liked them. Laetitia in particular comes across as a really patronising, borderline-misanthropic left-libertarian masquerading as an 'anything-is-possible/ people-have-the-power' idealist. Well, she was an acolyte of those humourless reactionaries at Living Marxism, so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised.

Mel Starr, Tuesday, 5 August 2003 17:17 (sixteen years ago) link

I knew a girl who was involved with Living Marxism - she ended up working at the Daily Telegraph, figures. See the Hitchens' brothers et al.

Dadaismus (Dada), Saturday, 9 August 2003 11:40 (sixteen years ago) link

i feel sorry for the whole thing -- Mary dies -- that is the worst thing that could have happened

Laetitia may be impatient with fans -- after a hiatus they produce Sound Dust which is such a good record -- so consistent (i love roughly every second song) -- having heard loops and milky i say it is their best album after tomato, perhaps the culmination of that direction in their sound

that tv program Cold Feet had a millenium special episode that reprised cul de sac perfectly, since the drift/ island/ end metaphor worked perfectly for the 'end of time' hoop-la surrounding 0/0/2000 and the possibilities of ths show drifting, out to sea or beached, which it sure ended up doing, even if they didn't think they were drifting then

i liked those promo photos of stereolab, with the power poles vertically alligned with the pictures perspective -- like harry lime as the giant (film) wheel comes to a stop over occupied vienna, a snapshot, on the road to the castle or back ? waiting for the flood ? (i don't stereolab are misanthropic, the fans tiny dots or dust, as if viewed from harry's perspective)

i like this album art, the indication of a peak, however insular, an acknowledgement by the band that they may well be too disconnected from their audience yet wishing to take the chicago computer collaborations to a decent conclusion .. i bet they knew sound dust was make or break time, if not for the group then at least for that sound, which surely they got right on this album tens times more so than on the two albums seemingly leading in that direction, validating for me those experiments along the way -- good on them for acknowledging the alienating potential, yet admitting that this was the peak of that stereolab at least

yes, i think they will go looking for other peaks, somewhere else (Lionel Stander did get to work in hollywood again, after all)

maybe the boo-boos will have to go and a new angle for the lyrics taken with both Marie's terrible departure and the band learning the hard lessons of producing something so good by their own standards even if these didn't meet the demands of their audience -- the artistic journey has been completed -- that concept in light of Marie's death is almost horribly prophetic in a spooky new way, beyond their worst dreams i imagine (is Polanski a real king midas of horror and despair ? dark forces ?) (i do not wish to trivialise _anything_ in saying this)

of course the album + art stands on it's own feet as beautiful music with a variety of sentiment -- most of the band can return to the main land and pursue some other groove -- after a presumably respectful period of meditation and change of trade-name

george gosset (gegoss), Saturday, 9 August 2003 14:09 (sixteen years ago) link

that was terrific, george

zebedee (zebedee), Monday, 11 August 2003 15:52 (sixteen years ago) link

five years pass...


Jeff W, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:12 (ten years ago) link

Perhaps a necessary thing, really.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:21 (ten years ago) link

diminishing returns for a while now

velko, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:22 (ten years ago) link

Question: is the future of Stereolab any different than the past of Stereolab?

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:24 (ten years ago) link

:( At least Chemical Chords 2 will still come out (and I'm glad I saw them this last tour)

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:38 (ten years ago) link

yeah, me too! their show last fall was wonderful. still, if anyone deserves a break, it's probably them. they've never gone more than a year or two without an album over the past 20 years, have they?

tylerw, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:40 (ten years ago) link

they've never gone more than a year or two without an album over the past 20 years, have they?

There were a couple multi-year gaps in between Sound-Dust, Margerine Eclipse, and Chemical Chords though I think the box set comes in there somewhere.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:47 (ten years ago) link

yeah, maybe i'm just thinking that there are always various collections coming out in between records -- never seemed like they disappeared for any significant amount of time.

tylerw, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:49 (ten years ago) link

They were great when I saw them live last year. Like, really great, as much fun as the first time I saw them. If this is one of those permananent breaks then they are going out with a bang, at least as far as live music is concerned. I don't think I have any of their albums from the last ten years, but live performance is at least as important to me.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:52 (ten years ago) link

My thoughts on seeing them in September -- if that's the last time I'll ever see them, then the last song I ever saw them do was a great version of "Jenny Ondioline."

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 April 2009 22:43 (ten years ago) link

That banner image is divine.

Tormund Giantsbabe (Leee), Friday, 24 May 2019 16:19 (three months ago) link

So are the versions of the Switched Ons on the new CD box set remastered, or is it just the vinyl editions? Would Switched On Vol. 1 on CD sound better than the original CD issue on Too Pure/Slumberland?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Friday, 24 May 2019 16:26 (three months ago) link

Well, the lyrics are pretty much textbook Marxism, are they not? Nowt wrong with that but I wouldn't call Marxism hard-left by any stretch.


the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Friday, 24 May 2019 16:26 (three months ago) link

fair, and it also seems they pushed back on that (which I was unaware of):

Band members have resisted attempts to link the group and its music to Marxism.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Friday, 24 May 2019 16:29 (three months ago) link

I'd thought the bass from Metronomic Underground was based on Gil Scott Heron's "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", and the bass on the song Emperor Tomato Ketchup was basically Yoko's "Why"

city worker, Friday, 24 May 2019 16:31 (three months ago) link

Band members have resisted attempts to link the group and its music to Marxism.

This kinda reads like a band like dc Talk asking people not to link their music to god, I admit.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 May 2019 16:40 (three months ago) link

from the horse's mouth:

The first track, 'Metronomic Underground', originally consisted of about about seven riffs that I wanted to lock together like a big band. I was also obsessed with the riffs and rhythms of Sun Ra, Don Cherry and the Plastic Ono Band circa 'Fly'".

The groove and rhythm are clearly from "Mind Train". The bassline's phrasing is similar to the Gil Scot-Heron riff, except "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" riff never modulates, it stays rooted on a single note.

Οὖτις, Friday, 24 May 2019 16:49 (three months ago) link

I agree, but calling Marxism hard-left is still a category error.


the word dog doesn't bark (anagram), Friday, 24 May 2019 16:50 (three months ago) link

xp Thank ya, that is helpful! I may ask for an edit/update!

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 May 2019 17:10 (three months ago) link

panned for being hard-left vs. panned hard-left

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Friday, 24 May 2019 17:13 (three months ago) link

Two bald engineers fighting over vinyl warmth.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 May 2019 17:14 (three months ago) link

On the topic of influences, also posted this on the other Stereolab thread.

I did a big update on my Stereolab Origins playlist. Lots of stuff has been added to spotify since I last updated, so I was able to add about 2 dozen more tracks.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 24 May 2019 20:00 (three months ago) link

just realized I posted this to the wrong thread when it was in response to these discussions.

Stereolab: Classic or Dud

dan selzer, Saturday, 25 May 2019 00:31 (three months ago) link

just realized I posted this to the wrong thread when it was in response to these discussions.

Stereolab: Classic or Dud

dan selzer, Saturday, 25 May 2019 00:31 (three months ago) link

does the bassline in Metronomic Underground ever modulate? it's just that same F octave riff throughout isn't it?

flappy bird, Saturday, 25 May 2019 23:03 (three months ago) link

Social media feed is a constant barrage of merch flogging rn. Not sure what the hard left will think of that.

Position Position, Sunday, 26 May 2019 11:37 (two months ago) link

I dunno, there’s some keen and egalitarian pricing! Sealed originals of ‘Margarine Eclipse’ at a tenner is significantly cheaper than on Discogs, and £15 for t-shirts is alright at that level - Built to Spill were wanting £25 when I saw them recently.

michaellambert, Sunday, 26 May 2019 11:47 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

New radio session airing tomorrow on Marc Riley's show :)

everything, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 01:19 (one month ago) link

oh fuck yeah

flappy bird, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 16:39 (one month ago) link

Brakhage, then a mini gig: French Disko/ Need To Be/ Infinity Girl/ Crest/ Lo Boob. Mainly excellent. I missed some of the chat cos my sis rang me. Will have to listen back on the app

Jeff W, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:22 (one month ago) link

Listening to this now, I dig this upbeat version of Brakhage.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 19:35 (one month ago) link

mmm... might want to check the Stereolab shop, you guys. For some reason..

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:13 (one month ago) link

won't let me add to cart :(

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:17 (one month ago) link

that's a lot of demos!

sleeve, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:30 (one month ago) link

wow, so exciting. The demo versions have been a highlight for me so far.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:35 (one month ago) link

Vinyl, 3×LP, Coloured Vinyl Out of stock
Add to Basket
Handmade obi strip

Wow, that was Quick!

I came straight over, honest. As soon as I'd got one for me...

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:37 (one month ago) link

The ETK & D&L 'obi strip' editions disappeared very quickly, as you'd expect. Grabbed me some CDs instead.

Invisible (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:38 (one month ago) link

Might (and I say, Might) get a clear one, here..

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:42 (one month ago) link

I had ordered Transient via Piccadilly records, and Mars Aud via SDE, but SDE didn't get the clear stock after all, so, y'know..

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:43 (one month ago) link

I just grabbed clear vinyls (sans obi) of ETK and D&L from Bandcamp and an obi stripped Cobra on CD from the ochre store.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 14:46 (one month ago) link

Thanks for the heads up about Piccadilly, I got two of the clear versions from them and a third from Norman Records. No obis this time, but at least I know I won't be getting them as opposed to last time when I thought I had ordered an obi Transient, ended up with black vinyl, and had a protracted exchange with Bleep about how this came about because the order receipt and website didn't show which versions were placed on order. This soured me on the whole enterprise! And so I sourly scrambled to see where I might obtain more scratch cards this morning.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:27 (one month ago) link

I was able to get all 3 with Obi this morning but it took 30mins of trying. Bleep was slow to get their stock up, so after duophonic sold out of ETK and D&L, I manically refreshed Bleep until they showed up. Cost me $15 more in shipping to buy from Duohonic than from Bleep. Got Cobra from duophonic.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:30 (one month ago) link

so the next three albums' deluxe editions are up for sale? (I only want them on CD so I assume I don't have to rush)

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:32 (one month ago) link

"We're a dance band.." oh i liked that very much (on the Riley show).

piscesx, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 15:35 (one month ago) link

There are fewer copies of the deluxe CD's than there are of the vinyl. 250 vs 500.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:02 (one month ago) link

That's the 'obi' editions, yes. Stereolab fans seem to gag for the old vinyls though innit.

Invisible (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:06 (one month ago) link

wow there's a With Friends Like These Pt. 2!!

J. Sam, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:18 (one month ago) link

Still some clear Dots and Loops at Jumbo as far as I can tell:

Tim, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:23 (one month ago) link

huh, the last batch of deluxe CDs were readily available on Amazon... these are more limited?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:27 (one month ago) link

I think people are talking about the obi strip versions?

sleeve, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:28 (one month ago) link

ah, nevermind me then... just need whatever 2CD edition is easy to get, looks like they aren't limited

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 16:33 (one month ago) link

Complaints ahead — — — — — — — — — —

I actually wish they'd tried to make the CD versions a little more desirable. They have all the same content as the vinyl versions, so it's not like they're trying to shortchange you, but the digipacks feel a little insubstantial. Something like a square slipcase with sturdy mini-sleeves would have been nice.

And while I've enjoyed reading Tim Gane's liner notes, they convey the sense that Stereolab was "his" band. One of the interesting things about being a fan was that I hardly knew who was in the band when I was getting into them — like I'd see a photo and I wouldn't know who was Laetitia Sadier and who was Mary Hansen. It was like they were a "lab," a team of scientists making sounds, where papers have group authorship. Of course the songs were credited Gane/Sadier, and if I'd read interviews I'd probably have known more about the internal workings of the group. But the liner notes convey the impression of an ossification around Gane's leadership, even as they also explain how some recording elements were the result of accidents and improvisations. So comments from other members, and maybe some vintage photographs or other documents, would have been welcome.

I'm also just disappointed that there isn't any new material thus far. Complaints about this revival as a touring museum retrospective may be, uh, rockist, but this band was always sort of premised on the tension between its forward- and backward-looking elements — now the tension seems resolved in favor of the latter. Of course there may still be new material, and I look forward to finally being able to see them. But I was listening to the latest Cavern of Anti-Matter on my bike the other day, and it scratched an itch for making the old seem new that reissues don't. I know a lot of people get off the Stereolab bus in the late '90s or early '00s, but I like practically everything. I even think I would prefer embarrassing, legacy-damaging new material to none at all. "Unless we try we won't know, we won't know, we won't know...."

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 17:24 (one month ago) link

Did you listen to the Red Bull? chat with Lateitia? It was Tim's band. She complained of feeling like a factory worker. It was illuminating. Didn't seem like the best atmosphere to be someone other than Tim in. I can detect there's still some simmering resentment in their comments on the BBC session they just did. I'll be surprised if this tour actually finishes.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 17:38 (one month ago) link

Comments from Laetitia would at least be nice, although this Red Bull Music Academy video gives you a bit of her perspective

Clearly they were the two calling the shots all the way through, but I think her contributions to the song writing process gets underplayed. The melodicism of her solo work vs the lack thereof with Cavern of Anti-Matter makes me think she had a much stronger hand in creating those classic Lab melodies than is sometimes portrayed.

I also wish there was some new material, but I kind of doubt that's going to happen.

LOL, brotherlovesdub thinking along the same lines as me

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 17:41 (one month ago) link

I did watch the Red Bull interview a while back and recall the factory worker sentiment. It did give me pause. Still, at one point — I'm not sure if it was in the same interview — she also said that if Tim brought the songs again, she would love to sing them. Gane's "do I have Stereolab ideas" vs. Sadier's "what are the hours" questions (as mentioned in the NYT piece a few weeks back) could be taken together to indicate that if they go in on new material, Gane's working methods require going "all in" in a way that Sadier might (understandably) not have the patience for.

I'd reluctantly have to disagree with Sadier being strong as a composer of melodies. I could see it in the sense that maybe Gane brings the chords, Sadier the melody, if it worked that way. Sadier's idiosyncratic English pronunciations, to which she held firm as indicated in the liner notes, suggest something of this. On the other hand, Sadier's solo and Monade records sound pleasant, but I don't find the songs especially memorable. The CoAM records, while not as consistently vital as most Stereolab, "click" more for me than Sadier's do, retaining some kind of aspirational drive. This is probably as much because of the groove as the melody, but you get the sense of a thing unfolding that eventually pays off. Stereolab only occasionally operated in that mould, of course; there's a divergence in the shape of the music the two have made separately which may contribute to the difficulty with new material.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 18:29 (one month ago) link

Not going to argue much with anything in the last few posts except to say I think Laetitia’s contribution to the songwriting, at least up to and including the Instant 0 / Margerine Eclipse sessions, is underrated even by her. After that, it was I think more obviously a production line job, fitting lyrics to melodies she felt little connection to.

Oh and by the way, according to the blurb on the Duophonic site, Sadier does contribute to the liner notes of this latest set of reissues.

Jeff W, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 18:50 (one month ago) link

Or what Moodles said LOL

Jeff W, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 18:51 (one month ago) link

fuck! I missed out on the obi Cobra. that was the only one I wanted.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 19:48 (one month ago) link

It's notable, I think, that most of the songs retained the music's working title.

Exceptions include "International Colouring Competition", I'm not saying all, obviously.

"Noise of Carpet (Broken Face)" is the only 'pair-off'?

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 20:53 (one month ago) link

I'm assuming most of those demos are culled from that tour only CD from 2007. like the acoustic demo of "Refractions in the Plastic Pulse"

flappy bird, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 20:59 (one month ago) link

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