Stereolab: Classic or Dud

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So the 'Lab: Sexy Marxist Eazy Motorik With Flashes Of Brilliance or Boring Shite?

Omar, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

They used to be a band who wore me out at full-length but would sound nice on compilation tapes. Whether it's me who's changed or them I couldn't say but I come close now to not being able to stand them - the involvement of the Tortoise guy, and the gradual narrowing of range of Sean O'Hagan, are probably the key reasons.

The best thing I know by them is Simple Headphone Mind - again my suspicion is that its the choice of collaborator (NWW) who makes that good and the other recent stuff I've heard by them bad. (I did hear the very long piece from their last album in a record shop, though, and liked it a lot - I'd buy an album of static, minimal music by them before I'd buy yet another album of ba-ba-bas and mimsy motorik woodblock beats)

That said not entirely dud, because they opened a lot of doors for coverage of interesting music in the mainstream press, doors promptly shut again post-Britpop but every little helps.

Tom, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Virtually infallible up to dots & loops, maybe subsequent decline could be ascribed to their rigourous work ethic. Also maybe victims of their own legacy. Its hard to credit now but in the early nineties that lefty-kraut-easy paradox was incredibly beguiling pop fun. Although i personally never encounterd any problems with their elpees, their mini-albums are perhaps their strongest & most digestable- music for the amorphous body centre in particular. At their best brilliantly distant & exotic, cerebral & trashy & special. mccarthy, however are an entirely different story....

cw, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

For me, a little Stereolab goes a long way. I liked (but never loved, note)their earlier Kraut-rockin stuff. I guess the 'Refried Ectoplasm' singles/rarities compilation is all I need. The vocals work OK, until you realize that's all they can do - in other words "Ba, Ba, Ba" all the time. It's just dull. The fact that the whole 'Lab thing is a some kind of conceptual exercise in passionless irony gets in the way, and means that it is impossible for me to do more than just admire the good bits. (Rather as you could admire a well designed piece of furniture). They could never move me. The increasing involvement of O'Hagan and especially, that wretch from Tortoise, from Dots and Loops onwards has mainly killed my interest. It's also ensured that I don't need to hear another Marimba for the rest of my natural life. While I'm on a roll - I hate the way that they record brass. It's so thin and wimpy, it's like "hey we're using brass - but don't worry, you can still hear the marimbas, and the glockenspiel and the shitty vocals. So don't worry punters, even though we're using brass on this track, you won't notice and it'll still sound like all the rest"

They release too much stuff - how much could you need another Stereolab album when there's so many other bands to buy. The whole thing seems like a lifelong project to ensure that a special edition of record collector is devoted wholly to them, perhaps in 2010. (Rarest item, the 9-inch, single-sided vinyl, limited edition of 54 'Wooly Mammoth Situation' EP. Released only in Czechoslovakia in 2005)

What's the brown coloured album called? The one after Dots and Loops? Anyway I have it and whilst I don't like it much for all the above reasons, I have to come clean and say that short bursts are OK. I couldn't get through the whole thing without a gun to my head.

What's the conclusion? Dud.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

My take on the band is similar to cw's. Untouchable till 'Dots & Loops', esp. during the period between 'Transient Radom Noise' and 'Music for the Amorphous Body Center'. What I've heard from the last record sounded shit as if the band was forcing itself into something different, maybe I ran out of steam in trying to follow their work-ethic. When they're good they gently float to heaven (I'm thinking of my favorite track 'Jenny Ondioline'). I'm not sure if the band are really that ironic and pasionless as suggested, maybe a bit brainy (but a like that in music once in a while). So answering my own question: in the end a classic band of the 90s.

btw: Tanya's diss of the band is brilliant.

Omar, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

"Transient Random..." is an all-time classic, perhaps because it's their least representative? "Refried Ectoplasm" and "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" are close behind. I've never bothered with any of their recent stuff, but what I heard didn't inspire me.

Tim, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I too agree Tortoise-man's involvement was a near-crippling blow -- but! having been a fan since 1993 or so, I can say that live they can still turn it the fuck up and blow it out the amps. And they even do songs from _Transient_, also my fave album by them. They also have a knack for brilliant out-of-the-way tracks scattered all over the place, necessitating various comps, homemade and not. Put it this way -- I'd rather them as the UK indie group to pointlessly obsess over than Belle and Sebastian.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'll lean toward Sexy Marxist Eazy Motorik With Flashes Of Brilliance. And I like Dots and Loops, too.

Josh, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

That reminds me - 'Transient Random Sound Burst With Announcements' is one of those albums I (nearly) bought just for its title.

I agree with Tom's early opinion that they are great as a mine of compilation tape tracks, but not the kind of thing you'd want to listen to for 45 minutes, which is why that Amorphous Body Center mini-LP thing is the longest release I own of theirs.

Having said that, they were really excellent live at Camber Sands last year. Good sense of show dynamics, lots of nice flashing lights and they still looked cool.

Nick, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I've got most of their cds although I can't listen to them all the way through. However, there's at least 2 tracks on each that are just splendid (and 'Emporer Tomato Ketchup' is just about all terrific - even with the new Chicago Godfather at the helm half the time). But the latest stuff is SO dry and laid back that it doesn't connect with me much at all. The same thing has happened to The High Llamas as well - their latest, 'Buzzle Bee', is quite hard to love.

philT, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, classic, classic. One band that always appears on my compilations, especially Ping Pong. Okay, they can be self-indulgent, as the latest will tell (Blue Milk!). But I always think of the grand trio Mars Audiac Quintet, Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Dots & Loops. All three just brilliant.

Um, did you guys mean they lost ground with Dots & Loops or after that? Because Dots & Loops is one of their best. As I just stated.

Audrey, Wednesday, 31 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

They release too much, definitely, but you total it all up and it equals a lot of great tracks. The last two singles comps (Aluminum Tunes and Refried Ecto.) probably had 10 or 12 really good songs between them. The last record and the EP I'd have to score as duds, though parts of Cobra and Phases can sound OK when I'm in the mood (I also like "Blue Milk") Emperor Tomato Ketchup is an excellent album overall, and _Transient_ has some powerful moments (though I actually thought it overrated after listening to it recently for the first time in almost a year.) Overall, though an easy classic in my book.

Mark Richardson, Thursday, 1 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'll go with 'Dots & Loops' as great. I love 'Miss Modular' on that album. What I find so strange about 'Dots & Loops' is that sometimes you just can't get into it, it just slides past you.

I always think 'Mars Audiac Quintet' is a bit underrated ("Etoilles Electroniques" is soooo beautiful). What I heard of that last mini- album was pretty good, but hey I have so many Stereolab records, why bother with another one? Good live band as stated before, very generous and adventurous.

Omar, Thursday, 1 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Audrey, I reckon they lost it WITH Dots and Loops. For me that's when the McEntire/O'Hagan thing got in the way.

Dr. C, Thursday, 1 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

i would say absolutely brilliant, sit one day and make a stereolab compilation tape, it is incredibly easy because they have loads of brilliant songs. my only problem is with album length, i'd prefer them releasing two 35 minute records each year. i think the fact that stylistically they have not wavered much, though the snapper errr...suicide influence of early records is comletely gone now, makes people feel as if they are standing in place but the vocal harmonies and the arrangements get better and more dynamic with each album. john mcentire is a dork but i think his influence is mutable, i would like it if they explored my efforts with mouse on mars though cause their tracks on dots and loops were some of my favourites. they release a lot of records but at least they have the sense to release a singles compilation every few years to make it easy for shlubs like myself to pick up all the rarities in one fell swoop.

also they played denver and boulder on their last tour and seeing as how most other bands simply pass us by they have to be classic.

keith, Friday, 2 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

On the point of touring, they've toured Australia twice (at least?) and each time it's been dirt cheap, say AUS$22. Which is just incredible considering the last three international acts I've seen have been between $50 and $70. Looking after the proletariat?

The only other band that has been that cheap was Bentley Rhythm Ace.

Dr C, Miss Modular is one of the best dancing songs ever. It may be a more subtle album but I don't think it lost anything in its mellowness. It only increased their appeal.

Audrey, Sunday, 4 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

But then I don't know what the McEntire/O'Hagan thing is...

Audrey, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Funny that Tom should mention "Simple Headphone Mind", and others should bring up "Dots & Loops" as the end of the 'fun' Stereolab. I've recently been corresponding with a World Serpent devotee and he reckons the original version of "D&L" was a Nurse With Wound co- production; so unpalatable was it to their US label and UK distributor, that Tim'n'Laetitia were sent scurrying off to their chums in Chicago and Cologne to re-work the material. Sounds rather unlikely (though the 'lab can only really do whatever they like within the confines of Duophonic), but there you go. "Dots & Loops" as you hear it now is the more 'commercial' version. NWW and the 'lab are no longer on speaking terms.

My favourite band of the 90s. I get a bit tired of defending them to be honest (I've been hearing "they've lost it" comments since '94 - often from people who were bemoaning their 'lack of development' in '93); they seem to be a band who're continually and obsessively refining their approach, to the inevitable result that there are few jarringly obvious stylistic leaps in their sound thesedays, just many gradations of shade. The last quarter of "Cobra and Phases..." is as delicious as anything they've ever put their name to.

Having said that, "The First Of The Microbe Hunters" was a bit of a mis-fire. The first Stereolab release to genuinely feel like it could've been culled from all the others, rather than adding something fresh to the canon. Tape comp fodder only. The looped brass stabs of "Outer Bongolia" are worth a giggle.

Michael Jones, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Nail hit firmly on the head, Tom. The more Sean O'Hagan drowns in his personal litany of synths / quiet melodies / whimsy, the harder his music is to love. What I've heard of "Buzzle Bee" just drifts in one ear and out the other; it's as though he's so obsessed with following his vision homeward, he's forgotten how to make memorable music ("Get Into The Galley Shop" is OK, but even that is just a wistful reminder of the Hawaii days).

Why did he think he had to "go further" (and end up standing still)? I'd far rather hear O'Hagan doing sumptuous Wilson / Webb baroque concept pieces than armchair electronica.

As for Stereolab, oooh, pretty classic but losing it now. In retrospect "Dots And Loops" is the turning point; the last mini-album just drifted past without making a moment's impact. But I would still say that pretty much everything on "Switched On", "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" and "Aluminium Tunes" is marvellous. Most of the "Metronomic Underground" era just gets better (and funkier!) with repeated listenings, not least because they keep the ba-ba-bas down. I'd prefer to remember them that way.

Oh, and Tanya on the 'Lab is lazy comedy slaggery even Stuart Maconie would flinch from. So there.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I never disagree with Steady Mike so shall refrain from doing so here.

I do disagree with Nick Dastoor, though. They were waff at Camber Sands. I told you so at the time, so you have no excuse for peddling these myths now.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I'll peddle the myth as well, perhaps if only to annoy Pinefox further. I think they were the best band I saw at Camber Sands (with the possible exception of Gorky's). But then, I only saw about 7 in total, and the standard wasn't exceedingly high. They've done some excellent stuff over the years, anyway. Classic.

Ally C, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one of my favourite bands of the nineties, so i would have to say classic, but "transient random noise..." was their last truly great album - nothing since then has had that richness of sound.

dots and loops onwards they just seem to be a pursuing smug cleverness at the expense of a decent tune. that said, they *were* great at camber sands last year, and they reminded me of just why i'd loved them in the first place.

what puzzles me most is how such a great band could have been formed by members of mccarthy.

kevan cooke, Tuesday, 13 March 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Dots & Loops = ace, it's now official. The evidence you ask?

Recent i-D issue, question put to The Neptunes.

Q: what do you listen to in your bedroom A (Pharell): when I'm with girls I put Stereolab on, the Dots and Loops album on repeat, It makes them get naked.

Omar, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I can't comment on anything like that. I wish I could.

The more I think about thebestbandofthe90s, the less I like them.

Have been going through old MMs and they used to gig / release records every week! Or so it seems.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Dots and Loops is pish, it's official! I wonder if my old copy found a good home eventually. Mind you, I might have kept it if I'd have known about it's magical properties "with the girls".

Dr. C, Tuesday, 21 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

yes, i might have to blow the dust off my copy

gareth, Wednesday, 22 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

By any chance, did he mention what he played to get these girls to appear in his bedroom?

Curt, Wednesday, 22 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Well no. But I'm guessing 'Lapdance'? Maybe DJ Assault's 'Ho's get naked', although that's a bit of a long-shot.

Omar, Thursday, 23 August 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
The great thing about Stereolab is that they are total musical hunters and collectors and wear their inspirations/referances on their sleeves. They are turning so many people on to Francoise Hardy, The Free Design, the Association, Ennio Morricone, Esquivel, etc. These are the reasons THEY make music so it seems worth while to check their musical insirations out. As for listening to Stereolab, sometimes it's like listening to White Snake when you really should be listening to Led Zeppelin (or Leadbelly, for that m

Mark, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Opinions on the new Stereolab? This is the first new one I'm sitting out since I became interested. From what I've read, it just doesn't sound that intresting. Am I wrong?

Mark, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Opinions on the new Stereolab?

I like it. It reminds me a little of Dots & Loops, but they've substituted some of the jazziness for straight pop influences. I also like John McEntire's tracks more than O'Rourke's. O'Rourke's seem to me to be too dry and straightforward, and IMO straightforward isn't Stereolab's best thing.

dleone, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Don't care for the voices, but - in fariness, Ron - there's a piano motif that could be a Paul McCartney solo record. So it's not all bad.

the pinefox, Thursday, 27 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The new one? Only have heard 'Captain Easychord' and I swear it is Stereolab doing 'Let it Bleed'-era Stones! Yep, swinging piano, horn stabs and handclaps. A good thing it is too.

Omar, Friday, 28 September 2001 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
have been listening to the first disc of the double cd ABC radio 1 sessions compilation, and loving it. always thought they were a bit bleh/meh until now. what is/are the album /s /years that the early disc 1 stuff covers? there's a real change of direction over on disc 2, but that might just be me.

what else might i fancy if i like the quite hard noisy drone-y but pop stuff, when they get better at actual song writing it goes a bit more rubbish.

you're dealing with a virtual novice here (although, growing up in the indie disco years 1991/92/93/94 means i'm familliar with 'the hits'. i think maybe their 'typical fan' has put me off liking them. hey no offence actual fans!

piscesboy, Monday, 14 February 2005 15:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Dude, do yourself a favor and get Transient Random-Noise Burst with Announcements. "Jenny Ondioline" is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo great.

Golden Ball, Monday, 14 February 2005 15:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm pretty sure the early Disc One covers their first singles, collected as Switched On Stereolab, which was sort of their first album. But the production is much better on the Peel Sessions/ABC versions. Stereolab beg for a boxed set, and it looks like they're finally putting one out!

Besides their latest album, Margarine Eclipse, and "Mass Riff" from 2003's Instant O in the Universe EP, these are my favorites songs:

(a suggested compilation for one side of a 110-minute tape)

Super-Electric (1)
K-Stars (2)
Les Yper-Sound (6)
Captain Easychord (10)
Our Trinitone Blast (3)
Brakhage (8)
Wow and Flutter (4)
Orgiastic (2)
Fuses (9)
French Disko (5)
OLV 26 (6)
Super Falling Star (2)
Emperor Tomato Ketchup (6)
Les Yper Yper Sound (7)

1. Too Pure: The Peel Sessions
2. Peng!
3. Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
4. Mars Audiac Quintet
5. Refried Ectoplasm: Music for the Amorphous Body Study Center
6. Emperor Tomato Ketchup
7. Noise of Carpet promotional single
8. Dots and Loops
9. Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night
10. Sound-Dust

Didn't use these releases:
Switched On Stereolab
Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
Fluorescences single
Aluminum Tunes: Stereolab Sampler
The First of the Microbe Hunters

Pete Scholtes, Monday, 14 February 2005 17:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

my heirarchy is opposite of Pete's(viva la McEntire!) but yeah, CLASSIC

1. Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night
2. Sound-Dust
3. Emperor Tomato Ketchup
4. Dots and Loops
5. Mars Audiac Quintet
6. Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements
7. Peng!
8. The Groop Played Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
9. First of the Microbe Hunters
10. Refried Ectoplasm: Music for the Amorphous Body Study Center
11. Margerine Eclipse(it's official:yuck)
12. ABC Music

best EP: Instant '0' in the Universe
worst endeavor: that Uilab thing

tremendoid (tremendoid), Monday, 14 February 2005 18:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Just so's you know, my 1-10 was a chronology, not a hierarchy. My favorite album is Peng!.

Pete Scholtes, Monday, 14 February 2005 18:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oops duh
So many Stereolab fan lists look like that I didn't even bat an eye.

tremendoid (tremendoid), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Piscesboy, you're going to want Transient Random-Noise Bursts for sure (one of the peak musical experiences of my life was hearing the full-length "Jenny Ondioline" played at maximum volume through enormous club speakers). Also Refried Ectoplasm, a comp of some of the awesome early singles from around that time.

Douglas (Douglas), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

12. ABC Music

Are you crazy? Do you just not like live Stereolab as opposed to studio Stereolab?

I think "ABC Music" contains the definitive versions of "Wow and Flutter" (the second one, the one that boogies more), "Contact", "Les Yper Sound", all of the "Sound Dust" tracks, and possibly "Changer" and "Anamorphose".

Piscesboy, Disc 1 + first two tracks of Disc 2 cover the early singles through to "MAQ". The rest of Disc 2 covers "ETK" and "Sound Dust" (nothing from the years between those albums is covered).

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

worst endeavor: that Uilab thing

Wha'?! Their "St. Elmo's Fire" gives the original a run for the money (and that's saying a lot)...

Ernest P. (ernestp), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(hence the drastic change of direction, as you noted)


MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

re: ABC
I do prefer studio 'Lab, no question. Moogin', marimb-ey, funky loungey 'Lab at that. Honestly, that was my point of entry and if I'd heard the guitar-heavy stuff first they'd have had slim chance to hook me. ABC definitely has some great versions(Les Yper Sound was a standout) but too much early period material makes it sloggy and samey after awhile. I'd probably enjoy it more on random shuffle, that's about the only bone I can throw you. Anyway, I only dislike it in context of their other work, and probably dislike Margerine Eclipse even more cos in my mind it represents them turning their back on their most gorgeous, fruitful work because it proved unpopular.

tremendoid (tremendoid), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 01:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
Stereolab are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. So all of ABC is live versions? - I recognize almost all of the songs (and own the albums) but this is still worth purchasing? Hmm...

Christian, Monday, 27 June 2005 19:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

V. much so, it's an excellent collection. Grab Oscillons... as well if you've not already.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 27 June 2005 20:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I do have Oscillons, and it's really excellent. I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk about it, but I guess it's just because it's all older material.

Christian, Monday, 27 June 2005 20:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Actually there's a thread on it...

Stereolab- Oscillons from the Anti-Sun

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 27 June 2005 20:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Always rated Emperor Tomato Ketchup as their best, and might stand by that -- but these days I'm back to being most taken with Mars Audiac Quintet. Maybe it's that it's the end-point of their drone, and makes a good contrast to where they've been lately; maybe it's that the EP material from that era just leaped out of Oscillons as something remarkable. It's sounding terrific lately. This and the earliest stuff -- Peng, Switched On -- have been in my CD player a lot lately.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 27 June 2005 20:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Even I like ETK!

I'm bad and dirty and going to hell (nordicskilla), Monday, 27 June 2005 20:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i dunno, i think Cobra and Phases is pretty good

flappy bird, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:55 (one year ago) Permalink

It's just really long.

Austin, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:24 (one year ago) Permalink

It's their best..:after Sound Dust, of course.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:24 (one year ago) Permalink

It's just really long.

― Austin, Monday, May 16, 2016 9:24 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah it really is

flappy bird, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:28 (one year ago) Permalink

the production feels thin, like the harpsichord is too high in the mix and the midrange is boosted or something, but it's atmospheric as fuck, especially italian shoes continuum and puncture in the radak permutation. sean o'hagan's blippy period is all over this.

Autumn Almanac, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:47 (one year ago) Permalink

I do love the string arrangements on it.

Austin, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:48 (one year ago) Permalink

in fact dots & loops/cobra & phases/cold & bouncy/snowbug is probably my favourite album grouping of the '90s xp

Autumn Almanac, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:51 (one year ago) Permalink

The flutes on "Hallucinex" are my favorite lil' flourish

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 02:07 (one year ago) Permalink


global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 17 May 2016 02:37 (one year ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

I stumbled across this in spotify the other day:

I don't usually go for tribute albums, but this is really good! Interesting group of performers and a song selection that dips into a bunch of deep cuts.

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Saturday, 25 February 2017 18:47 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

is there a treasure trove of Stereolab tabs (specifically bass tabs) that's on a fan site or forum? there's very little on ultimate guitar etc.

flappy bird, Friday, 21 April 2017 16:46 (five months ago) Permalink

ha if you find anything let me know cuz I went through a big period a few years ago where I was trying to find guitar tabs/tuning guides/transcriptions for Stereolab stuff and for the most part couldn't find a fucking thing and just ended up trying to figure stuff out by ear. For a band that sounds like they use a lot of odd tuning and unusual chord voicings that I would think guitar/tech dorks would be into, there was shockingly little out there.

Οὖτις, Friday, 21 April 2017 16:52 (five months ago) Permalink

Yes that was "Crest" by Stereolab being played just now at the Grizzlies/ Spurs game

mookieproof, Friday, 21 April 2017 17:00 (five months ago) Permalink

wow, hope they played the whole thing, would that be sufficient to clear out the arena during the offs?

Moodles, Friday, 21 April 2017 17:02 (five months ago) Permalink

I posted this on the JO thread:

Jenny Ondioline - POO minute

Tim is in an Asus2 modal tuning for Jenny Ondioline.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 21 April 2017 17:03 (five months ago) Permalink

xp yeah Shakey it's maddening - the chords for 'Cybele's Reverie' are pretty good, and that Cmaj7 chord sounds especially Stereolab-y, so I've been messing around with maj7 chords with other songs and trying to figure stuff out by ear. Metronomic Underground and Outer Bongolia were really easy to figure out on bass, gonna figure out Come and Play in the Milky Night later today. i've never made any tabs ever, i feel like i should start giving back and contributing to a site like ultimate guitar that has given me so much.

flappy bird, Friday, 21 April 2017 17:13 (five months ago) Permalink

tons of maj7ths and sus chords, yeah

Οὖτις, Friday, 21 April 2017 17:14 (five months ago) Permalink

the chords for "Fuses" remain a mystery - that's the one I really want to figure out.

flappy bird, Friday, 21 April 2017 17:15 (five months ago) Permalink

Chords? You can't even find proper lyrics.

everything, Friday, 21 April 2017 18:06 (five months ago) Permalink

There used to be loads of guitar tabs on Web 1.0 fan sites but those geocities have all gradually been eroded by the sands of time. Found this on the groop official forum though, in case any use to you. Mostly the older, funny ones.

Stereolab Tabs
Special note : I’ve written these tabs on the english way. Some tabs can be modified, this is just the way I’ve interpreted the songs. I presume you do know the rhythm of these songs, so just follow the music! Finally, I’m a French guy, so be nice at my English :D

- Super-Electric
Verse : A – D
Chorus : A – C – D – C

- Changer
Verse : Alternate “C-G” and “G-C”. main : “C-G”
Chorus : C-G ( -D or D7 ) – G  play twice

- Golden Ball
All song : Ex3-D

- The way will be opening
Verse : D ( -A ) – G ( -A )
Chorus : F-C-G-D, end on D-G
Last chorus : end on D-G-D

- Doubt
Main : G-F#m
“Chorus” : A-G-G-F#m
End of the song : ( G-D ) x 4 , G

- The light that will cease to fail
Main : A-D-A
“Chorus” : F#m – A – D – A

- Contact
Intro : A – D
Main : D – C ( - D ) – C ( or G ) – D, A ( - G# ) - A

- High Expectation
Repeat and alternate : D – C
Sometimes, “G – D – C “ pops up
End : ( F – C – D ) x2, F – C – G – D – F – C - D

- John Cage Bubblegum
All song : D – F – C – G

- Eloge d’Eros
Verse : A – G – A (or Ax3 – G – A )
Chorus : D – G – A
End : A – G – A (end on A)

- Mellotron/Harmonium
Main : D
Chorus : Em

- Farfisa
Main : A
Chorus : D

- Lo Boob Oscilator
Main 1st Part : E –A – B
Main 2nd Part : E

- Pack Yr Romantic Mind
Main 1 (intro) : C – F#m – D – G
Main 2 (Before the “chorus”) : C – F#m – D
“Chorus” : B – C – B – Em

- Brittle
Verse : B – E
Chorus : B – E – A - E

- French Disko
Verse : Cm – Bb – G#
Chorus : Cm – Bb (repeat as necessary)

- Tone Burst
Verse : G –F
“Chorus” : Eb – D

- Tone Burst (Country)
Verse : A – G
Chorus : F – E

- The Seeming and The Meaning
I use Capo fret 4
Verse : E – A
Chorus : E – G – A – G

- The Groop Played Chord X
Capo fret 2
All song : ( D – E – G ) x3 – E – G – A

- I’m Going Out of My Way
Main : C – G
Verse : Am – Bm

- Peng 33
Intro & Chorus : F# - B – G#m –B
Verse : F# - G#m – Bbm – B

- Jenny Ondioline

Part1 : Capo fret 1
Intro : C – Bb – G – Am – G – F
Verse : F x2 – G – F
Before chorus : ( C – Bb )
Chorus : F – Bb

Part 2 : ( Without Capo )
Intro & “Chorus” : E – F#m – D – Bm
Verse : E x2 – F#m – E – D – Bm

- The brush descends the length
All song : Ex2-C-F

- Spark Plug
Verse : Am – D
Chorus : D – E – C – G

- Pinball
Verse : A – C#m – D – F
“Chorus” : A-D-C#m-F

- Allures
Classic : E-C-D-F
My version : E-C-D-C#m

- Freestyle Dumpling
Verse : G – A
Chorus : Bb – C
Note : The chorus appears at the end of the verse and before it begins (the chorus)

- Escape Pod ( From The World of Medical Observations )
All song : C – Bb

- Baby Lulu
Capo fret 3
Intro : ( Em – F ) x2 – G – Am  three times
Chorus : Em – F – G – F or Am – Em – F – G – Em
Verse : Em x3 – F – G – F – Em - ( Bb – G ) x2 – F
Bridge : Dm – G – Dm –A – C – A – C – C – Bb – G# - G  twice
End of the song : Bb – G – Bb – G – Bb – F – G

- Margerine Rock
Verse : B – A – B
Chorus : D –G – A – B – F# - E – A – B

- Neon Beanbag
Intro : ( Bb – G# - Gm – Fm ) x2 , ( Fm – Bb – Gm – G# ) play this twice
Verse : ( G# - Gm – G# - Bb ) x2
“Chorus” : ( Fm – G# - G# - Gm ) x2
Bridge : ( Fm – Bb – Gm – G# ) x2
Final : G# - Cm – Gm – Cm

Jeff W, Monday, 24 April 2017 17:36 (five months ago) Permalink

sweet, thanks so much! i figured there were some hiding out on dead webpages.

flappy bird, Monday, 24 April 2017 17:44 (five months ago) Permalink


Οὖτις, Monday, 24 April 2017 18:03 (five months ago) Permalink

nice, thanks

sleeve, Monday, 24 April 2017 18:17 (five months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

this is pretty cool, Stereolab covers comp from Argentina

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 June 2017 05:32 (three months ago) Permalink

Is Stereolab the band ILM most agrees on as classic rather than dud? I think it is.

dance cum rituals (Moka), Saturday, 10 June 2017 08:07 (three months ago) Permalink

Top Ilx bands : mbv, stereolab

calstars, Saturday, 10 June 2017 10:55 (three months ago) Permalink

may i point out the absolutely insane moment at 2:35 in this performance of Ping Pong

did any of y'all ever see them do this live?? first video I've ever seen where I can feel how loud everyone says they were


and that hard panning? holy shit

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 June 2017 20:19 (three months ago) Permalink

They could definitely crank it out at times

Moodles, Saturday, 10 June 2017 21:09 (three months ago) Permalink

just noticed Laetitia has her fingers in her ears when they launch off

flappy bird, Saturday, 10 June 2017 21:12 (three months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

not music has disappeared off apple music. so fucking sick of this happening.

Autumn Almanac, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 03:46 (two months ago) Permalink

yes flappy i've seen them do ping pong live - and they indeed can rock the shit out of a venue.

They played Jenny Ondioline (full) which was money

Unchanging Window (Ross), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 20:50 (two months ago) Permalink

That rules! Bummed I'll never get to see them, though they made so much music, it'll take me years to absorb it all. Cobra is the only LP I know by heart.

flappy bird, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Monade opened for them lol

Never say never, my friend.

Unchanging Window (Ross), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:01 (two months ago) Permalink

they were a surprisingly great live band

Οὖτις, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:04 (two months ago) Permalink

I saw them a bunch through the 90s and they were loud as shit. Sometimes those synths and organs were ear-piercingly loud, and Andy hit the drums super hard.

city worker, Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:05 (two months ago) Permalink

^ Yeah!

Stereolab and Spiritualized were two bands that blew me away live. I think what made Stereolab impressive live is the switch from their space age bachelor pad shtick to the mono rock heaviness. Clearly they could dip in and out of any era with a startling command. One of those shows where you can close your eyes and be transported

Unchanging Window (Ross), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:12 (two months ago) Permalink

It did seriously bum me hearing Mary replaced with a horn, but it was a tribute to her in an affectionate way

Unchanging Window (Ross), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 21:14 (two months ago) Permalink

city worker, Sunday, 9 July 2017 21:13 (two months ago) Permalink

Got to see one of the later live shows, but would have loved to have seen that Sonic Youth/Stereolab tour in 2000.

campreverb, Sunday, 9 July 2017 21:33 (two months ago) Permalink

First time I ever saw 'em -- and so very glad somebody recorded this:

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 9 July 2017 22:32 (two months ago) Permalink

i only recently got into stereolab in the past year but fell for them hard. when i told my friend i was totally into them he said "well i bet you wish you'd gone with me to that stereolab/espers show, eh?"


just another (diamonddave85), Monday, 10 July 2017 14:58 (two months ago) Permalink

lol they are so young in that UCI clip. And Tim actually hops up and down

Οὖτις, Monday, 10 July 2017 15:22 (two months ago) Permalink

i think this is the oldest video of them out there, before Mary joined. whoever was filming zooms in on the bulletin board behind them, where there's a "FEMALE SINGER WANTED" sign :)

flappy bird, Monday, 10 July 2017 16:35 (two months ago) Permalink

There are a few other videos from right around that time (if not slightly earlier), based on the line-up. The clips of Changer/Orgiastic/Contact at the top of this playlist:

city worker, Monday, 10 July 2017 17:53 (two months ago) Permalink

so did anyone buy one of the 100 copies of "Eaten Horizons Or The Electrocution Of Rock"?

― zappi, Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:50 AM (nine years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i love youtube so much

0:00 Crest
2:10 John Cage Bubblegum
3:46 Mountain Instrumental
5:12 Reich Song
8:11 Cybele's Reverie Pt. 1
9:33 Cybele's Reverie Pt. 2
11:04 French Disko
13:44 Happy Pop Song
15:37 Jenny Ondioline
19:28 Lucia Pamela (ICC)
23:04 NWW Drone Instrumental
25:08 Plastic Pulse One
26:48 Plastic Pulse Two
27:35 Plastic Pulse Three
28:32 Plastic Pulse Four
29:43 Sad Chicago Organ
32:27 Brigitte Pt. 1
34:21 Brigitte Pt. 2
35:35 Infinity Girl Pt. 1
36:32 Infinity Girl Pt. 2
38:13 Cobra Tune
39:30 Heavy Munich
41:07 ZigZag Song
44:38 Monday Song

flappy bird, Sunday, 16 July 2017 04:16 (two months ago) Permalink

ha, "Cobra Tune" has the exact same guitar line as "Sweet Adeline" by Elliott Smith, the only unintentional musical quote i can think of by Stereolab

flappy bird, Sunday, 16 July 2017 04:19 (two months ago) Permalink


sleeve, Sunday, 16 July 2017 04:27 (two months ago) Permalink

That's a fine album.

Mark G, Tuesday, 18 July 2017 14:57 (two months ago) Permalink

I saw them quite early on at places like the White Horse in Hampstead and they sure were loud then, but it's hard not to be in a tiny basement with a very low ceiling.

It's surprising Joe Dilworth's drumming doesn't get acknowledged so much, especially as he's back playing with Gane, but he was obviously an important contributor the early 'lab groove. Not showy but a lightness and bounce to the motorik. I adored Th' Faith Healers groove as well.

Noel Emits, Monday, 24 July 2017 12:35 (two months ago) Permalink

Yeah Dilworth is very good

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 24 July 2017 22:47 (two months ago) Permalink

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