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Thread: Stereolab

  1. #1

    Stereolab

    I discovered Stereolab last year after some recommendations on here (Scrote deserves particular mention I recall). I started with Sound Dust, which I think is a brilliant pop album and followed up with Dots and Loops and Emperor Tomato Ketchup. I understand that the latter in particular is generally considered to be one of their best but Sound Dust remains my favourite, even though critical opinion on it appears to be divided.

    Anyway, I had a bit of an itch I needed to scratch and thought I'd explore the catalogue a bit more, so I bought Mars Audiac Quintet and Cobra and Phases. The former has a strong 'motorik' Krautrock sound which I have enjoyed but Cobra and Phases is really blowing me away. Again, this one wasn't particularly well received as far as I can gather - is there a pattern here perhaps? I wondered if anyone else here knows and enjoys this album. I have seen the 'boring long track', Blue Milk, singled out for particular criticism but I love it - I'm a massive Magma fan so a bit of repetition doesn't scare me! Also, is it just me or is there a hint of Starship Trooper in the following track, Caleidoscopic Gaze?

    I have probably reached the point where I'm going to end up getting everything I can get my hands on now, but I'll be all ears if anyone can suggest what to get next.

  2. #2
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
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    Just repeat "There is nothing wrong with being a completist" as you order Everything.
    Anyhow
    I like all that you have mentioned, got them in different order.
    In addition I like:
    Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements
    Oscillons from the Anti-Sun - compilation of singles, rarities, and EP tracks

    I have not gotten any of the newer discs, Sound Dust onward. I suppose I should jump back in.
    I just loved the harmony between Mary Hansen and Lætitia Sadier and Sound Dust was the last one.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by cannygoodlike View Post
    I discovered Stereolab last year after some recommendations on here (Scrote deserves particular mention I recall). I started with Sound Dust, which I think is a brilliant pop album and followed up with Dots and Loops and Emperor Tomato Ketchup. I understand that the latter in particular is generally considered to be one of their best but Sound Dust remains my favourite, even though critical opinion on it appears to be divided.
    I agree with your first 3. I ended up getting almost all of them after seeing them on the Sound Dust Tour in NYC. To me Dots & Loops approaches being "proggy" almost with lots of odd time signatures and synths, etc. Cool stuff!

  4. #4
    I was following them before even making an album, as they were constant residents on the college live circuit where I lived at the times. Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night is in my opinion the last very good Stereolab album; they lost it after that one.

    My top 3:
    Mars Audiac Quintet
    Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements
    Crumb Duck (with Nurse With Wound)
    Macht das ohr auf!

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  5. #5
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    Big Sterolab fan here. I own pretty much (or nearly) everything they released. I consider everything beteeen Tomato and Sound Dust essential, eps included. I think Margerine Eclipse has its moments, but from Fab Four Suture on they really ran out of steam. I'm afraid the passing of Mary Hansen has a lot to do with that.

    My faves are Dots and Loops, Cobra and Phases, Sound Dust and First of Microbe Hunters. I'd strongly recommend the compilations Oscillons from the Anti-Sun and Aluminum Tunes. Lots of great stuff there.
    Last edited by Conti; 07-11-2016 at 02:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Conti View Post
    I'm afraid the passing of Mary Hansen has a lot to do with that.
    I think it did. She was an amazingly effective and tasteful as well as versatile rhythm guitarist who dedicated herself totally to the commitments of that role - rather than its imagined limitations.

    I still find myself listening to Dots and Loops the most. It remains one of the most uplifting, intelligent and sophisticated slices of summer avant-pop I ever heard, stenching of sweaty bikinis and wet Martinis for us sporting fatty weenies during holiday season.

    Be sure to check out Aquaserge and their collab with singstress April March too, Canny.
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  7. #7
    Pikachupacabra spellbound's Avatar
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    Stereolab are fantastic. I have and enjoy the following albums:

    Peng!
    Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements
    Mars Audiac Quintet
    Emperor Tomato Ketchup
    Dot And Loops
    Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
    Refried Ectoplasm [Switched On Volume 2]
    Aluminum Tunes
    ABC Music

    I have heard nothing about any of these being poorly received by fans. Doesn't really matter. Play what you like. I do not consider myself done collecting Stereolab recordings, by any means.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Be sure to check out Aquaserge and their collab with singstress April March too, Canny.
    I second this recommendation. There is a lot to like in this collaboration for a Stereolab fan.

    One of the greatest regrets of my entire life is missing Stereolab playing in my hometown in Brazil in 1999-2000. I was aware of the concert but didn't know them at the time. A few months later I bought First of Microbe Hunters. To my despair for having missed their concert, I became an instant fan.

  9. #9
    Thanks to all for the suggestions. I haven't known where to start with the various compilations so thanks for those, Conti.

    SS, I quite liked last year's (?) Aquaserge album so I'll look out for the collaboration. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Be sure to get the first Neu! album, maybe some Can as well.

    Great band, I had the pleasure of seeing them a few times in the 90s. I've got a lot of their CDs but haven't played them in sometime.
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  11. #11
    I agree with most of the opinions posted here -- Mars thru Dots is their peak IMO. Get both compilations. Stereolab is arguably the best B-sides band in history.

    Check out Tim Gane's Cavern of Anti-Matter whose debut album from earlier this year provides a new take on their electronika style. Laetitia's solo albums and her Monade project are also worth a listen.

    Mary, RIP.
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  12. #12
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    I missed this thread because I rarely read the O/T section. I Can't figure out why this isn't on the main board either?

    In any event, how did I miss this band, and why do I love them after only hearing 4 tunes? This is so up my alley. I get a tad of an Aquaserge vibe, but in a more pop way, and maybe even some Gainsbourg, but that's not really close I guess. I've just heard the first half or so of Sound-Dust and I am absolutely smitten. I already love everything about this band, especially the vocals and overall production. I've seen this band mentioned in Krautrock lists, but I just assumed....I don't know what I assumed to be honest. Beautiful stuff.

    Where do I go from here - just buy the entire catalog?

    Duncan, Sean, or Cozy - can we get this moved to the main board perhaps?
    Last edited by chalkpie; 09-08-2017 at 04:37 PM.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  13. #13
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    I missed this thread because I rarely read the O/T section. I Can't figure out why this isn't on the main board either?

    In any event, how did I miss this band, and why do I love them after hearing 4 tunes? This is so up my alley. I get a tad of an Aquaserge vibe, but in a more pop way, but that's not really close I guess. I've just heard the first half or so of Sound-Dust and I am absolutely smitten. I already love everything about this band, especially the vocals and overall production. I've seen this band mentioned in Krautrock lists, but I just assumed....I don't know what I assumed to be honest. Beautiful stuff.

    Where do I go from here - just buy the entire catalog?

    Duncan, Sean, or Cozy - can we get this moved to the main board perhaps?
    PS - Does this band have a "family tree" of bands that branch off and create a whole miniature Stereolab universe?
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  14. #14
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Short answer, there is Monade which is stylistically similar.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monade


    Stereolab gets a bit samey over time, but they have a vibe that can't be beat when you're in the mood.
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  15. #15
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    What albums are 'yer favorites Cozy?
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  16. #16
    Try Dots And Loops, and Cobra And Phases Group. Two more of my faves are Emperor Tomato Ketchup and The First of the Microbe Hunters - try those after the other two. Then go wild. Have fun :-)

  17. #17
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Oh good, they get "The Official Keneally Endorsement Scambot Stampbot of approvalbot"....that's good enough for me
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  18. #18
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    ^These are exactly the ones I would recommend, in that exact order. I also have a soft spot for Sound Dust, Oscillons of the Anti-Sun, and Alluminum Tunes.

    Big Stereolab fan here, good to know there are other fans around.
    Last edited by Conti; 09-11-2017 at 11:19 AM.

  19. #19
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    What albums are 'yer favorites Cozy?
    For me Dots and Loops, ETK, and Margerine Eclipse are the ones I go back to frequently. Even the worst album I've heard is still decent.

    And agreed about Microbe Hunters which would probably make my 4th.
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  20. #20
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Great, great band. Dots and Loops is my all-time favorite of theirs, and "Miss Modular" my single favorite song. I'm probably the only one in the world to make this association, but I get a strong Zappa/Uncle Meat vibe from this, mainly from the brass arrangement.

    (And "The Flower Called Nowhere" happened to shuffle up on my iPod on the way home tonight.)

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by chalkpie View Post
    What albums are 'yer favorites
    In this order:

    Mars Audiac Quintet
    Transient Random Noise Bursts With Announcements
    Crumb Duck (Stereolab / Nurse With Wound) 12"
    Simple Headphone Mind (Stereolab / Nurse With Wound) 10"
    The Groop Played "Space Age Batchelor Pad Music"
    Emperor Tomato Ketchup
    Peng!
    Dots And Loops
    Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  22. #22
    This is a band I feel excited about exploring !
    I assume their charm will work on me a bit like Broadcast
    Frankie Cannygoolike Spyros Richard Mr.Triscuits you guys dig Broadcast ?

  23. #23
    One of my favorite 90's band. Surprisingly people who are absolutely clueless about or hostile towards prog-rock were big fans. And I kept telling to myself "but this is 70's prog rock fellows". Of course they did it their own way. But they were lucky not to be associated with the "disease" of prog-rock in the collective opinion. This is what labels do to you.

  24. #24
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendations guys. The Stereolab fans come out of the woodwork. Its a band where I've seen the name but just never heard anything until yesterday. Gonna be fun.

    PS - On another Stereolab thread on RYM, this band was stylistically heavily linked with NEU! 75, which of course can't be a bad thing even if its only a little bit true.
    Last edited by chalkpie; 09-09-2017 at 07:21 AM.
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

  25. #25
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udi Koomran View Post
    This is a band I feel excited about exploring !
    I assume their charm will work on me a bit like Broadcast
    Frankie Cannygoolike Spyros Richard Mr.Triscuits you guys dig Broadcast ?
    Udester - I am Broadcastless too. Whaddya got mate?
    If it isn't Krautrock, it's krap.

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