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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

"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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Audrey, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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

gareth, Wednesday, 22 August 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (twenty years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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!

http://www.stereolab.co.uk/discography/?no=140

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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

xpost

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:48 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

Actually there's a thread on it...

Stereolab- Oscillons from the Anti-Sun

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 27 June 2005 20:08 (seventeen years ago) link

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 (seventeen years ago) link

Even I like ETK!

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

Pre-ordered!

Nice to see a couple of unreleased tunes on there as well as previously unavailable alternate versions. Wasn’t expecting that.

Also good to see a few format options. But if you want the multicoloured vinyl edition (which does look amazing) with your name on it, it’s via the Duophonic ochre store only I think.

Jeff W, Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:07 (one year ago) link

Also good to see a few format options. But if you want the multicoloured vinyl edition (which does look amazing) with your name on it, it’s via the Duophonic ochre store only I think.

Already sold out when I opened the email, natch. Since I'm assuming the Mirri board version (that means it's shiny, right?) will end up in brick and mortar indie retailers, I think I'll skip the preorder this time around.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:45 (one year ago) link

WHERE IS "LO FI" GOD DAMN IT

I gotta wonder. Supposedly there was a vol. 5 in the works as well. Maybe one last everything-and-the-kitchen-sink comp to go?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 January 2021 17:47 (one year ago) link

Still quite a bit missing from the Switched On series across all eras, so hopefully Volume 5!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 14 January 2021 18:06 (one year ago) link

Yeah I think Simple Headphone Mind / Trippin With the Birds remain uncompiled too. Is it sad that I kind of regret unsealing my CD?

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 January 2021 18:44 (one year ago) link

oh also this is the Lab's worst cover art by a *huge* margin

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 January 2021 18:44 (one year ago) link

Since I'm assuming the Mirri board version (that means it's shiny, right?) will end up in brick and mortar indie retailers, I think I'll skip the preorder this time around.

PRE-ORDER: Stereolab - Electrically Possessed (Switched On Volume 4)
LOCAL & REGULAR CUSTOMERS - there is a very ltd ed of this with "mirrorboard sleeve". If you order this, we'll put names in a hat and a few lucky ones will get the ltd ed upgrade

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 January 2021 19:11 (one year ago) link

Oscillons from the Anti-Sun still has a lot of stuff that's not collected here? Or does this round up all of that?

Cow_Art, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:22 (one year ago) link

Yes I thought Oscillions was basically the stand in for SO volume 4

Michael F Gill, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:51 (one year ago) link

Duophonic don't own Low Fi so they aren't in control of remastering/rereleasing/compiling it. Too Pure still owns it, and they did put remastered versions of Peng! and Space Age Batchelor Pad Music in the last few years so hopefully they'll put Low Fi out again. And Duophonic was somehow able to license the Super-Electric EP from Too Pure so they could put Switched On out again (at least on vinyl), so maybe they'll work together on something.

I love Low Fi and wish they'd actually put out that entire session as an LP. As best I can tell these were all recorded in one June 1992 session:
Low Fi
(Varoom!)
Laisser-Faire
Elektro
Mountain
Revox
John Cage Bubblegum
Sadistic

city worker, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:59 (one year ago) link

I went to duophonic pretty much as soon as this was announced and the colored vinyl was already sold out.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Thursday, 14 January 2021 22:38 (one year ago) link

xps amazing and very helpful info, yeah that might be my fave Lab session ever!

kind of a bummer about the Too Pure rights, though

Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 (one year ago) link

My sense was that the colored vinyl was super-limited (and only available from Duophonic) while the Mirri board version was less limited and available from indie retailers (similar proportions to the clear vinyl with tape obi vs. without tape obi last time).

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Friday, 15 January 2021 02:58 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Stereolab - Series en Direct (Live 1993-2019)

mookieproof, Thursday, 24 February 2022 20:05 (four months ago) link

Pretty great. Happily downloading the FLACs as I type...

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 February 2022 20:44 (four months ago) link

insane, really looking forward to blasting that 2002-era 12+ minute version of John Cage Bubblegum as soon as I can

bad milk blood robot (sleeve), Thursday, 24 February 2022 21:22 (four months ago) link

this is gonna make my weekend

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 24 February 2022 21:26 (four months ago) link

this is exciting!

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Thursday, 24 February 2022 21:30 (four months ago) link

there are also more collections at the bottom of that archive dot org page (!)

mookieproof, Thursday, 24 February 2022 21:45 (four months ago) link

September/October tour dates for US and Canada announced

willem, Tuesday, 1 March 2022 17:14 (four months ago) link

three months pass...

I've had the "Dots and Loops" CD in my car for three months straight, AMA.

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 00:02 (two weeks ago) link

do you prefer the cover with the green background and the blue foreground or vice versa

although i guess there are other choices now

mookieproof, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 00:05 (two weeks ago) link

Blue? I see it as two different shades of green (or maybe blue-green and yellow-green)

J. Sam, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 00:13 (two weeks ago) link

maybe their most sparkly album

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 00:56 (two weeks ago) link

My favorite album of theirs along with Transient Random…

Antifa Sandwich Artist (Boring, Maryland), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 01:15 (two weeks ago) link

do you prefer the cover with the green background and the blue foreground or vice versa

although i guess there are other choices now

― mookieproof

i have no idea what color the cover of my copy of "dots and loops" is, the cd is in the car, not the cover. i guess in my mind it's green as the background and blue as the foreground but god knows if i'm remembering that right.

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 04:41 (two weeks ago) link

Peng! and Dots and Loops are constantly being played around here.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 12:51 (two weeks ago) link

Ok ask a question, then… mm rate the songs from best to worst:

✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 12:53 (two weeks ago) link

I find the original Swtiched On Stereolab to be one of the most perfect collections I know.

Michael F Gill, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:17 (two weeks ago) link

I keep seeing the vinyl reissues at the local shop and I'm considering getting them. the material they're made out of is pretty neat at least

frogbs, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:38 (two weeks ago) link

they are very well done reissues, fwiw

thinkmanship (sleeve), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:39 (two weeks ago) link

agreed, worth it for the demos alone

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 14:50 (two weeks ago) link

yes, the reissues are very worth it, nice extras, they sound great, all have full lyrics and song-by-song liner notes

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 16:45 (two weeks ago) link

Ok ask a question, then… mm rate the songs on 'Tadpoles' by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band from best to worst:

― ✖✖✖ (Moka), Wednesday, June 15, 2022 8:53 AM (four hours ago)

fixed

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 17:14 (two weeks ago) link

I guess my question would be, do you still refer to Laetitia Sadier as 'Ms. Sadier' or do you call her 'Tish' now?

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 17:24 (two weeks ago) link

Tish, that's French

Shirt
Canyons of Your Mind
Tubas in the Moonlight
Mr. Apollo
I'm the Urban Spaceman
Ali-Baba's Camel
Laughing Blues
Hunting Tigers Out in 'Indiah'
By A Waterfall
Monster Mash
Dr. Jazz

Portrait Of A Dissolvi Ng Drea M (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 17:26 (two weeks ago) link

Laughing Blues
By A Waterfall
Tubas in the Moonlight
I'm the Urban Spaceman
Mr. Apollo
Shirt
Canyons of Your Mind
Hunting Tigers Out in'Indiah'
Ali-Baba's Camel
Monster Mash
Dr. Jazz

everything, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 18:03 (two weeks ago) link

I keep seeing the vinyl reissues at the local shop and I'm considering getting them. the material they're made out of is pretty neat at least

― frogbs

vinyl? aren't most records made out of that?

so here are the answers i have to the questions that have been asked

Ok ask a question, then… mm rate the songs from best to worst:

― ✖✖✖ (Moka)

i hate to give a non-answer but i kind of like all the songs in different ways! i just have a hard time rating one song as being "better" than another, the reason it's been in my car for three months is because all the songs are good. if there was a song i didn't like i'd wind up skipping it, and i don't ever skip any songs.

Ok ask a question, then… mm rate the songs on 'Tadpoles' by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band from best to worst:

― The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse)

you know, i respect the bonzo dog doo dah band and all but i'm not sure i've listened to any of their records straight through, including _tadpoles_. i guess maybe i'll try to do that after meditation, but if i get distracted or bored i'll probably turn it off. i know i've heard a lot of the songs, like their version of "monster mash", "mr apollo", "canyons of your mind", "i'm the urban spacemen", probably "readymades", but i can't remember what any of them _sound_ like. i like "eleven mustachioed daughters" and "cyborg signal" by vivian stanshall's big grunt. i don't like "the strain". i'm not generally interested in songs about constipation, and if i were, screamin' jay hawkins' "constipation blues" is better, especially given how much he sounds like david lee roth. i also like "unfinished words" by the rutles.

I guess my question would be, do you still refer to Laetitia Sadier as 'Ms. Sadier' or do you call her 'Tish' now?

― The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse)

i don't call anybody "tish". "tish" to me is short for "tishoumaren", not that tishoumaren comes up in conversation, but it's not a word i can particularly spell or pronounce so "tish" seems like a good way of referring to it. hopefully that's not offensive.

"laetitia" in a word mostly makes me think of the obscure but very good actually weirdo black metal band "laetitia in holocaust", which probably is _not_ a reference to laetitia sadier. also, i have a hard time spelling and pronouncing ms. sadier's (well i guess there's your answer) first _and_ last names - in my mind she is some disowned relative of sgt. barry sadler of "ballad of the green berets" fame.

i would also like to give a shout-out to Laetitia Tamko of Vagabon. i've barely heard the album but what i heard i liked.

Kate (rushomancy), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 18:49 (two weeks ago) link

she was listed as Seaya on their earlier records, so I assume that's her actual nickname

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 20:25 (two weeks ago) link

Great answers, Kate! "Tish" to me is reminiscent of 'Tisch School of the Arts' I guess, but that's because I live in New York. Does Tim Gane smell European?

The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Wednesday, 15 June 2022 20:43 (two weeks ago) link

lottery emails going out

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 23 June 2022 09:41 (one week ago) link

For Switched on Vol 5? How does one get in on this, if one is not already on their mailing list?

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:33 (one week ago) link

you needed to be on their mailing list and opted in to the lottery
this is just for the limited edition though

tracklist

Simple Headphone Mind’ b/w ‘Trippin’ With The Birds’ was the second collaboration between Nurse With Wound and Stereolab. A 12” disk released on yellow vinyl [1000 copies] and black vinyl [4996 copies] The sleeve was made from a 'Mylar style’, aluminium coloured, material that was glued and sealed – each purchaser had to open the sleeve to discover which colour vinyl they had bought. The CDs were also released in a sealed sleeve. Originally released 28th April 1997 via Duophonic Super 45s. Catalogue numbers DS33-11 / DS45CD-11.

The ‘Low Fi’ EP - ‘Low Fi’, ‘[Varoom!]’, ‘Laisser-Faire’ and ‘Elektro [he held the world in his iron grip]’ was originally released as a limited edition clear vinyl 10” [approx 500 copies], black vinyl 10” and CD. Released 28th September 1992 by Too Pure. Catalogue numbers Pure 14 / Pure CD14.

‘Robot Riot’ and ‘Unity Purity Occasional’ were both written for sculptures made by Charles Long - an artist that we had previously collaborated with on the ‘Music For The Amorphous Body Study Center’ project. ‘Unity Purity Occasional’ was used in 2000 for Charles' sculpture of the same name - "Unity Purity Occasional is a sculpture with six hand-blown, tear-shaped glass cups filled with antibacterial hand gel that the visitor can pump out and disinfect their hands with. The song is channeled through three tubes that simultaneously blow the visitors’ hands dry with warm jets of air." [Text by Niki Kralli Anell]. ‘Robot Riot’ is previously unreleased.

‘Spool of Collusion’ and ‘Forensic Itch’ were originally released on August 18th 2008 as a black vinyl 7” that was given away with the initial pressing [5000 copies] of the ‘Chemical Chords’ LP. Released via Duophonic UHF Disks / 4AD. Catalogue number AD2820. ‘Spool of Collusion’ was also added, as a bonus track, to the Japanese CD release of ‘Chemical Chords’.

‘Symbolic Logic Of Now!’ was one side of a split 7” with Soi-Disant. 100 copies on blue vinyl and 2000 copies on black vinyl. Originally released in 1998 by Luke Warm Music. Catalogue number LWM001.

‘Ronco Symphony’ demo – a demo version of the track from 1993’s 'The Groop Played "Space Age Batchelor Pad Music"’ album. Previously unreleased.

A cover of the track ‘ABC’ by The Multitude from The Godz album ‘The Third Testament’. The track was originally recorded for a Godz tribute album called ‘Godz Is Not A Put On’ and released in an edition of 500 copies by Lissy’s Records in 1996. The track was later released as one side of a yellow glitter 7” that was part of an exclusive Japanese box set edition of ‘Aluminum Tunes [Switched On Volume 3]’. Yellow glitter 7” – approximately 3000 copies. Catalogue number D-UHF-D21.

‘Magne-Music’ and ‘The Nth Degrees’ were added as bonus tracks to the UK limited edition CD of ‘Chemical Chords’ released 18th August 2008 via Duophonic UHF Disks / 4AD. Catalogue number CADD2815CD. Both tracks also appear on the Japanese edition of ‘Chemical Chords’.

‘Blaue Milch’ was recorded for a Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra compilation album – each artist on the album was sent a Peter Thomas audio track and was asked to build it into a new track. Originally released in 1998 by the Bungalow record label. Catalogue number Bung 048.2.

The original recording of ‘Plastic Mile’. The re-recording was released as a 7” b/w ‘I Was A Sunny Rainphase’ and subsequently compiled onto Stereolab’s ‘Fab Four Suture’ album. Previously unreleased.

‘Yes Sir! I Can Moogie’ was originally released in 1995 as part of a single sided 3 track 7” flexi-disk via Wurlitzer Jukebox. Catalogue number WJ03 - 1000 copies were pressed.

‘Refractions In The Plastic Pulse’, a track from the ‘Dots And Loops’ album remixed by Autechre. A 12” disk released on 20th April 1998 via Duophonic UHF Disks. Catalogue number D-UHF-D19. 500 copies pressed on translucent yellow vinyl and 2972 copies on black vinyl.

‘XXXOOO’ was originally released in 1992 as part of a single sided 3 track 7” flexi-disk via the Encore! label. The flexi-disk was given away with edition #6 of the 'Tea Time' fanzine. Catalogue number Encore 001.

A live version of the ‘Emperor Tomato Ketchup’ album track ‘Cybele's Reverie’. Recorded 26th September 2004 when Stereolab supported Air at The Hollywood Bowl, CA. USA. Previously unreleased.

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Thursday, 23 June 2022 11:37 (one week ago) link

This is likely the last Switched On, isn’t it?

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 23 June 2022 13:15 (one week ago) link

Probably? Apparently due to licensing issues the Low-Fi EP tracks on Vol. 5 are not on the digital release, just on the CD and Vinyl versions.

J. Sam, Thursday, 23 June 2022 15:10 (one week ago) link

After five volumes, Switched On series to be Switched Off, and here’s why/that’s ok.

Michael F Gill, Thursday, 23 June 2022 15:13 (one week ago) link

Not true that Ronco Symphony Demo had never been released! I got this flexi somewhere: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/single/stereolab-submariner/space-watch/

dan selzer, Thursday, 23 June 2022 15:50 (one week ago) link

nice to see Low-Fi get a high quality vinyl re-release

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Thursday, 23 June 2022 15:51 (one week ago) link

lol that was my reaction, I have that 5” flexi with the Ronco Symphony demo on it

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Thursday, 23 June 2022 15:51 (one week ago) link

Just listened to Robot Riot - would fit right in on MAQ so I'm a bit surprised that it was actually planned for one of the Charles Long collabs (or, to put it another way, it makes sense that it wasn't used for such in the end).

Really pleased that Unity Purity Occasional is going to be on this comp; that's the one ultra rare Lab "release" I've never heard. This is what the sculpture looks like:
https://www.magasin3.com/en/artwork/unity-purity-occasional-2/

Jeff W, Thursday, 23 June 2022 16:45 (one week ago) link


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