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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

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

Audrey, Monday, 5 February 2001 01:00 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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!

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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

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

xpost

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Tuesday, 15 February 2005 00:48 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 want to link this essential thread here as well:

List The Direct References of Stereolab

sleeve, Thursday, 1 March 2018 04:57 (one month ago) Permalink

this is the playlist i compiled from that thread -- i think it is also largely moodles' work

The 5th Dimension - Up, Up and Away (2:45)
ABBA - Dancing Queen (3:50)
Alain Goraguer - Déshominisation (I) (3:50)
Erik Satie - Six gnossiennes - 1. Lent (3:02)
Alessandro Alessandroni - Una storia (3:08)
Olivier Messiaen - Chant d'amour 1 (8:00)
Olivier Messiaen - Turangalîla 1 (5:05)
Andrew Rudin - Hybris (7:27)
Archie Shepp - Bakai (9:59)
The Archies - Sugar, Sugar (2:47)
B.J. Thomas - Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head (3:02)
Brigitte Fontaine - Une fois mais pas deux (2:47)
Can - Father Cannot Yell (7:03)
Canned Heat - On the Road Again (4:56)
The Castaways - Liar, Liar (1:52)
The Casualeers - Dance, Dance, Dance (2:40)
The Cinderellas - Baby Baby (I Still Love You) (2:37)
Cluster - Caramel (3:09)
Don Cherry - Brown Rice (5:15)
Donna Summer - Down, Deep Inside (6:06)
Eden Ahbez - Myna Bird (2:19)
Emil Richards - Garnet (January) (2:28)
The Fall - Slates, Slags, Etc. (6:34)
Faust - It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl (7:32)
Francis Hime - Passaredo (3:06)
Frank Zappa - Peaches en Regalia (3:38)
Gal Costa - Divino, maravilhoso (4:20)
Gustav Holst - Neptune, the Mystic (7:58)
John Barry - 007 and Counting (3:31)
Kraftwerk - Autobahn (22:43)
Krzysztof Komeda - Pushing the Car (1:49)
Krzysztof Komeda - Main Title (2:16)
Laurie Anderson - O Superman (For Massenet) (8:27)
Marcus Belgrave - Space Odyssey (12:34)
Neu! - Hallogallo (10:07)
Neu! - Für Immer (11:17)
New Birth - Got to Get a Knutt (7:37)
Perrey & Kingsley - One Note Samba/Spanish Flea (2:07)
Peter Thomas - Angel of Promise (1:08)
Piero Piccioni - Blue Rhythm Festival (3:45)
Sérgio Mendes - Primitivo (3:57)
Silver Apples - Ruby (2:32)
Steve Reich - Four Organs (15:38)
Steve Reich - Section VIII (3:28)
Suicide - Cheree (3:42)
Suicide - Frankie Teardrop (10:26)
Sun Ra - Angels and Demons at Play (2:54)
Sun Ra - Love in Outer Space (3:53)
The Velvet Underground - European Son (7:52)
The Velvet Underground - What Goes On (4:55)
The Velvet Underground - Sister Ray (17:27)
Yes - Starship Trooper (9:28)
Yoko Ono - Mindtrain (16:52)

mookieproof, Thursday, 1 March 2018 05:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Here's the spotify list I made based off of those origins youtubes

https://open.spotify.com/user/olken2000/playlist/06G3CvbMmQ90bj0KOPWM0b?si=cBq4uZvhS8Kp3nf6T87kfQ

Moodles, Thursday, 1 March 2018 05:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I could theoretically rip the CDs into a different format, but I have no idea what format the original files were. Quite possibly they were already sub-FLAC to start with. The CDs date back to around 2001.

i'll tell "my friend" not to look a gift horse in the mouth. thanks for the link

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Thursday, 1 March 2018 15:27 (one month ago) Permalink

Great post from the Doc!

--

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, January 31, 2001

the pinefox, Thursday, 1 March 2018 15:33 (one month ago) Permalink

yes we are familiar with the laughable wrongness of early British posters on ILX

sleeve, Thursday, 1 March 2018 15:35 (one month ago) Permalink

Seems the opposite of great to me, but I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Moodles, Thursday, 1 March 2018 17:50 (one month ago) Permalink

All good Albert!

kolakube (Ross), Thursday, 1 March 2018 23:58 (one month ago) Permalink

I went on a trail run a few weeks ago to the first disc of ABC Music -- such perfect music

Granny Dainger shitposting (map), Friday, 2 March 2018 04:01 (one month ago) Permalink

some kind of conceptual exercise in passionless irony

lol what a bad take.

there's so much heart in the music and it extends to the rigor, the references and the hopeful lyrics.

Granny Dainger shitposting (map), Friday, 2 March 2018 04:05 (one month ago) Permalink

sleeve otm!

the late great, Friday, 2 March 2018 04:08 (one month ago) Permalink

2001 was a long time ago

flappy bird, Friday, 2 March 2018 05:00 (one month ago) Permalink

Smug comment ahead: the opinion of people around my generation gap (born between 1983-1990) regarding Stereolab - if they do know them - invariably affects how much I’ll consider their views and recommendations on music. If they don’t know them at all I immediatly assume the high ground.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 2 March 2018 06:24 (one month ago) Permalink

That last sentence is not serious.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 2 March 2018 06:25 (one month ago) Permalink

Half serious: I’ve found that people who find Stereolab boring are very boring themselves.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 2 March 2018 06:27 (one month ago) Permalink

Dead serious: marimbas should be a required instrument when starting a band.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 2 March 2018 06:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Stereolab were more into vibraphones and farfisa organs than marimbas though...

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 2 March 2018 06:34 (one month ago) Permalink

you had me at vibraphones/farfisa

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 2 March 2018 13:12 (one month ago) Permalink

i kind of get it, a lot of the vocals are sigh-ey, etc. the first time i saw them live it kind of blew my mind how physical they were, how funky they were. personally i would never say they were boring (in fact the opposite) but im sure there are folks that hear Neu! 2 and think it's a snoozefest.

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 2 March 2018 13:13 (one month ago) Permalink

i saw pram, in London in 2002...I think I have a soundboard recording of that as well. I'll look for it.

akm, Friday, 2 March 2018 13:34 (one month ago) Permalink

i saw Soop (= stereolab improvising around soop groove) supporting pram supporting EAR (with sonic boom) just to tie a few things together. the garage, 1996-05-30

each band had *their own* theremin on stage, couldn't share one, had to use their own...

koogs, Friday, 2 March 2018 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

Different tunings, probably.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 2 March 2018 14:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Also, bass theremin, alto theremin, etc.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 2 March 2018 14:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Koogs, I put a copy of that show up on Dime last summer. Looks like it is still up there now. They played Cadriopo at that show, which I don't know that they ever played before or since.

city worker, Friday, 2 March 2018 15:44 (one month ago) Permalink

(when EAR started they set one of those wind-up eggtimers on top of one of the speakers and played until it was about to go off. only when it did it was a lot quieter than everything else, you could barely hear it)

koogs, Friday, 2 March 2018 16:38 (one month ago) Permalink

put on first of the microbe hunters (EP) for the first time in ages. doesn't kill my buzz as much as it used to, felt like the band was stretching their ideas thin but "outer bongolia" sounds better than I recalled. the groop were great when they treated a melody like a jazz improvisation, circling around a repetitive motif with bursts of sound. EP even has a little more guitar, which seemed to be pretty much reduced to subtle fragments at this period in their career

kolakube (Ross), Friday, 16 March 2018 01:58 (one month ago) Permalink

I Feel The Air (Of Another Planet) was one of their finest moments. Shame the EP (which is actually a LP) was marketed at full price, 16.99 when I bought it. Good marketers these blokes

kolakube (Ross), Friday, 16 March 2018 01:59 (one month ago) Permalink

i saw Soop (= stereolab improvising around soop groove) supporting pram supporting EAR (with sonic boom) just to tie a few things together. the garage, 1996-05-30

each band had *their own* theremin on stage, couldn't share one, had to use their own...

― koogs

kind of funny, i saw cornelius yesterday and they had three theremins up there (the drummer didn't have one i don't think). they played them all together, sounded lovely

never saw stereolab live, haven't been impressed by any of the live recordings i've heard but tapes can lie of course

opening for cornelius were a band called rocketship. apparently they were around in the '90s but they never showed up on my radar back then. they were okay but they seemed to start with their most boring material and gradually got more interesting. also since they were an opener the mix was shit and it was impossible to hear anything. the main thing i took away was being not impressed at all by their drummer, who i'm not sure was able to play in waltz time?

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Friday, 16 March 2018 02:13 (one month ago) Permalink

that came out as an aimless ramble, what i meant to say is that rocketship sort of reminded me of stereolab.

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Friday, 16 March 2018 02:25 (one month ago) Permalink

hey I really enjoyed listening to the first disc of that live compilation tonight, thanks ILX

sleeve, Friday, 16 March 2018 03:32 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm trying to find the name of a Lab song I heard once, hopefully you guys can help me out.
Chords: C# E B, time signature 3/2
Guitar bass line: C#-G#C#D#G#-G# C#-G#C#D#G#-G# C#-G#C#D#G#-G# E-G#C#D#G# E-G#C#D#G# E-G#C#D#G# B-F#BC#B-F# B-F#BC#B-F# B-F#BC#B-F# (repeat)
Vocal riff: D#-G#----- F#-D#----- F#-C#-------
Thanks if you find anything!

alexsuponya, Friday, 16 March 2018 13:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Not "Pop Quiz" ?

Mark G, Friday, 16 March 2018 13:52 (one month ago) Permalink

nope, sorry

alexsuponya, Friday, 16 March 2018 14:25 (one month ago) Permalink

if it helps, the bass line is more stretched out. in pop quiz, the rhythm is different. It's more like:
C# G#C#^D#^C#^ G#C# G#C#^D#^C#^ G#C# G#C#^D#^C#^ G#|| E G#C#^D#^C#^ G#E G#C#^D#^C#^ G#E G#C#^D#^C#^ G#|| B F#B^C#^B^ F#B F#B^C#^B^ F#B F#B^C#^B^ F#

alexsuponya, Friday, 16 March 2018 14:34 (one month ago) Permalink

agh the spaces got deleted! so more like
C# ----- G#C#^D#^C#^ -- G#C# ---- G#C#^D#^C#^ --G#C# -----G#C#^D#^C#^-- G#|| E ----G#C#^D#^C#^ --G#E -----G#C#^D#^C#^ --G#E -----G#C#^D#^C#^ --G#|| B----- F#B^C#^B^-- F#B -----F#B^C#^B^ --F#B -----F#B^C#^B^ --F#

alexsuponya, Friday, 16 March 2018 14:36 (one month ago) Permalink

super jealous of rush getting to see Rocketship and Cornelius! i used to have a Rocketship CDR and recall it being cool 90s shoegaze

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 16 March 2018 15:03 (one month ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/HllqYsggN_A

Max Florian, Friday, 16 March 2018 16:41 (one month ago) Permalink

(for alex xpost - that’s da one)

Max Florian, Friday, 16 March 2018 16:47 (one month ago) Permalink

(no YouTube link for the studio version, which is the last track on the Cobra and Phases Group etc album from 1999.)

Max Florian, Friday, 16 March 2018 17:02 (one month ago) Permalink

New Cavern of Anti-Matter is streaming on NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/03/15/593428620/first-listen-cavern-of-anti-matter-hormone-lemonade

Seems decent.

New Little Tornados, a band that's got Laetitia in the roster, came out the other day. It's terrible. Their first wasn't good either.

https://irascible.ch/de/releases/little-tornados/apocalypse/

Little Tornados is the European psychedelic country project of David Thayer, featuring bass lines and backing vocals of Laetitia Sadier (Stereolab), drumming by Emmanuel Mario (Holden, Astrobal), John Herndon (Tortoise), Hans Hansen, bass by Amin Khatir, guitar by Joel Raif, and some vocal work by Caroline Sallee (Caroline Says), Giorgio Tuma and others. The second album, Apocalypse! uses instrumentation such as tube synthesizers and discarded home organs found on the streets and thrift stores of Switzerland.

It's on Spotify if you're interested. Vocals and lyrics are just really, really bad.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 19 March 2018 16:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Man, I'm really digging Cavern's new one.

afriendlypioneer, Monday, 19 March 2018 17:58 (one month ago) Permalink

I had no idea they had another album prior to void beats until just now.

Blood Drums:
https://open.spotify.com/album/1mLFEzALzHJrGQEqwP53Bf?si=thcvUeYXRvWJuHfbqpB3WQ

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 20 March 2018 00:05 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's a good one. Limited release. Didn't know it was on Spotify, but that's good news.

afriendlypioneer, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 13:44 (one month ago) Permalink

It got reissued last year I think.

brotherlovesdub, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 14:07 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I was considering making a blog combining all Lab lyrics and tabs in one place, what do you guys think?

alexsuponya, Sunday, 22 April 2018 16:39 (two days ago) Permalink

I support this idea. This site still exists, but don't think it's been updated in a while:

http://www.koly.com/stereolab/

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Sunday, 22 April 2018 16:45 (two days ago) Permalink

I was just playing ETK for the first time in a while, timely bump. and YES! that would be amazing

flappy bird, Sunday, 22 April 2018 17:02 (two days ago) Permalink

Oh no, Koly doesn't work!
Where am I going to get all of the photos?

alexsuponya, Sunday, 22 April 2018 23:20 (two days ago) Permalink

Wait, nevermind, just the lyrics part has gone haywire for some reason

alexsuponya, Sunday, 22 April 2018 23:26 (two days ago) Permalink

Also, I just discovered Cliff!

alexsuponya, Sunday, 22 April 2018 23:32 (two days ago) Permalink


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