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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 years ago) link

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

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

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

gareth, Wednesday, 22 August 2001 00:00 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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!

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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) link

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


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

Even I like ETK!

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

Watching this concert from 1994, when they were at the peak of their rock phase, and thinking about how cool Mary Hansen was and how much I miss her. Remarkably good video quality for such an early show.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 02:14 (one year ago) link

Take 2

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 1 April 2020 02:15 (one year ago) link

Gah! It sucks that I'm getting so paranoid that when a band I love gets bumped up on ILX I fear that it's because a member has fallen ill.

Cow_Art, Wednesday, 1 April 2020 03:15 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Just a heads-up, I know we love our physical media but in the current Bleep sale, the Stereolab expanded editions are included in their very cheap digital deal. If you buy 10 albums (mp3, lossless, 24 bit even for some) you get them for £30 / €35 / $US35, I picked up all 7 EEs and some Broadcast / LoneLady (OK I did two ten-fer deals and got a bunch of other stuff too).
But for me, who bought all the OG releases and was unsure if the extras on the new versions were worth it, it's the right price to satisfy my curiosity without piracy.

assert (MatthewK), Friday, 26 June 2020 05:26 (eleven months ago) link

imo the sound alone on the new ones is worth it, but yeah I get the rebuying reluctance

in other news, the bonus 7" of demos is fantastic, lots of Mary vocals

sleeve, Friday, 26 June 2020 13:59 (eleven months ago) link

i read that david pajo was briefly in stereolab, got me very curious. anyone know further details or know of video? guessing he wasn't on any studio material

global tetrahedron, Friday, 26 June 2020 14:02 (eleven months ago) link

apparently it was for a few months in 1996 between eTK and fluorescences, from after duncan brown left until richard harrison joined

ufo, Friday, 26 June 2020 14:14 (eleven months ago) link

I recently saw a classic group pic of the 'Lab circa Pajo's tenure (1995):

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:51 (eleven months ago) link

Must have been very brief because Richard Harrison was with them on the ETK tour.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 26 June 2020 15:54 (eleven months ago) link

Full show video with Pajo on bass here:

Position Position, Friday, 26 June 2020 16:35 (eleven months ago) link

oh hey i was at that show, pretty amazing setlist

( X '____' )/ (zappi), Friday, 26 June 2020 16:46 (eleven months ago) link

Martin’s posted an image of a new Duophonic Super 45s release on Instagram - he’s such a tease

Jeff W, Friday, 26 June 2020 17:07 (eleven months ago) link

That must've been an epic tour, they didn't make it to Boston until 8 months later. Can't find any info about exactly how long Pajo played with them.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:13 (eleven months ago) link

usenet groups probably had all the info on this (times like this is where i miss the old internet).

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:34 (eleven months ago) link

I thought maybe koly would, but no dice.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:38 (eleven months ago) link

i am aghast that you didn't know just off the top of your head

mookieproof, Friday, 26 June 2020 18:40 (eleven months ago) link

(this was not a zing; i feel like you are our stereolab subject matter expert)

mookieproof, Friday, 26 June 2020 18:44 (eleven months ago) link

I didn't even know he played with them at all until just recently

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:50 (eleven months ago) link

sorry man, I'm gonna have to ask you to hand in your Clif badge until we review this incident

sleeve, Friday, 26 June 2020 18:59 (eleven months ago) link

I had a good run

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 26 June 2020 19:13 (eleven months ago) link

I would venture to say after looking at Koly and David's credits on discogs that Duncan Brown left Stereolab after ETK recording sessions and that David replaced him for the European tour that took place in the second half of 1995. There are 2 live performances on youtube from this tour as well as a radio session that show Dave in the band during this stretch.

But he was super busy in the first half of 1995, he performed on both The For Carnation & King Kong records as well as launched his solo career (as "M"). His 2nd release in early 1996 was a split with Monade (Laetitia's solo project) and he also played on her side of the split.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 26 June 2020 19:39 (eleven months ago) link

Give Al the badge, sleeve

Jeff W, Friday, 26 June 2020 19:43 (eleven months ago) link

Meantime I'm just waiting on those two new Switched On volumes...

Ned Raggett, Friday, 26 June 2020 20:02 (eleven months ago) link

Pretty sure Duncan was kicked out because he couldn't play the more fiddly ETK stuff.

Position Position, Friday, 26 June 2020 20:04 (eleven months ago) link

xxp sorry, not my call, it has to go to ILX committee decision

sleeve, Friday, 26 June 2020 20:06 (eleven months ago) link

one month passes...

I sometimes think 'Three Dee Melodie' is my favorite opening song to any album. It's got Mary singing, Laetitia singing, Tim's incredible guitar sound, a fantastic organ drone. It sets up the world of MAQ so perfectly.

Position Position, Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:04 (ten months ago) link


sleeve, Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:38 (ten months ago) link

And yet Tone Burst, Metronomic Underground, and Brakhage are also amazing opening songs in their own ways.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:41 (ten months ago) link

Yep. They do good openings. Super Falling Star, too.

Position Position, Saturday, 15 August 2020 10:44 (ten months ago) link

bursting through our buh-rears

mookieproof, Wednesday, 19 August 2020 23:27 (ten months ago) link

vonal declosion, esp on headphones

global tetrahedron, Thursday, 20 August 2020 00:53 (ten months ago) link

Fuses, Harmonium and Outer Bongolia are also brilliant openers.

everything, Thursday, 20 August 2020 02:34 (ten months ago) link

four months pass...

@stereolabgroop release Electrically Possessed - Switched On Vol. 4 on February 26th 2021 via Duophonic UHF Disks and Warp. Pre-order now and also take a look out our new items of merchandise.

— Stereolab (@stereolabgroop) January 14, 2021

Looks like it is First of the Microbe Hunters plus tour singles and various odds and ends.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:16 (five months ago) link

Great news, finally!

J. Sam, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:24 (five months ago) link

Ooh, nice. First of the Microbe Hunters disappeared from Spotify a couple of years ago--I wonder if this had anything to do with it.

jaymc, Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:40 (five months ago) link


Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:47 (five months ago) link

(great news, obv)

Überschadenfreude (sleeve), Thursday, 14 January 2021 15:47 (five months ago) link


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 (five months 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 (five months ago) link


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 (five months 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 (five months 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 (five months ago) link

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

assert (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 January 2021 18:44 (five months 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 (five months 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 (five months ago) link

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

Michael F Gill, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:51 (five months 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
John Cage Bubblegum

city worker, Thursday, 14 January 2021 21:59 (five months 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 (five months 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 (five months 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 (five months ago) link

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