The future of Stereolab

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Emperor is my fave, but recently I've rediscovered Dots and Loops and have been playing it to death. I heart the Lab and am really looking forward to their newie.

j0e (j0e), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:41 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that Proper People do not buy Stereolab records because they are 'fun'

On the contrary, they aren't fun enough

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The only Stereolab that I own and *don't* really love is Dots & Loops. That said, I've never really understood the hate towards their recent stuff -- wasn't it obvious this is where they were headed the whole time? Anyway, Sound Dust, for example, is great -- if they keep making records, I hope they'll build on the escapist prog-lounge of that.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

On the contrary, they aren't fun enough

Agreed, this is why I sold Dots & Loops which gradually revealed itself to be not much fun at all.

Alex in Rotherham (Alex in Doncaster), Monday, 4 August 2003 12:47 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm looking forward to new material. Sound-Dust sounded too predictable, like they were treading water, and I'm at least curious to see if they can get out of that rut. As much as Mary's death was very sad, I'm hoping it's encouraged them to look in new directions in her absence.

jaymc (jaymc), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:22 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I was hoping Mary's death would lead them to make the radical change they're going to need to make for me to really love them again -- my dream-scenario would have had them changing their name as well as their style. I'm sure Sound-Dust is a fine record, but it's slight switch-ups -- e.g., ooh, lap steel! -- weren't enough to make me want to listen to it very often; I'd like it if Tim could get back in touch with guitar noise, to drop the swing and reconnect with the big fuzzy charge they haven't done in ages. Either that or go dancey for us.

nabisco (nabisco), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

For me the drop-off w/ Stereolab isn't about changes in style or arrangment, it's that the melodies just got less interesting. Somehow the tunes ain't what they used to be, & I think this started changing around Dots & Loops (an album I like a lot, I also dig Cobra & Phases). Listen to the recent stuff for a while & then put on material from the 2nd Switched On/Lo-Fi era, & it doesn't sound like the same songwriters. The tunes on the mid-'90s releases are just incredible.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Either that or go dancey for us

This could be cool. I remember an Autechre remix (of a song I can't recall) that was completely out of the ordinary for them, and very good. Maybe they should hook up with Matmos or something.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 14:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

There is an Ae remix on the "Miss Modular" single, although it's more LP5-era fuckery than dancey. Interesting nonetheless.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:05 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it wasn't dancey at all, but definitely showed possiblities for them in more electronic realms. I guess the MoM tracks on Dots are also good signifiers.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it wasn't dancey at all, but definitely showed possiblities for them in more electronic realms. I guess the MoM tracks on Dots are also good signifiers.

Yeah that could have gone further...although like I said I don't think the D&L melodies are quite up to snuff.

Mark (MarkR), Monday, 4 August 2003 15:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Sound-Dust is great. One of the prettiest, most sparkly albums I've ever heard. While not all of it is pure genius, I'm excited about any new Stereolab because they will always do at least one or two things that just make you go "What the fuck?!"

Johnny Badlees (crispssssss), Monday, 4 August 2003 16:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

[mccarthy spin off bands c/d]

kieron, Monday, 4 August 2003 20:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'd pretty much written off post-Dots And Loops Stereolab as they seemed to have transmogrified themselves into a Os Mutantes cover band. However, I did really like the same songs as re-recorded on ABC Music, so I figured that it's less of a problem with them, than in how they're recording their albums.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Monday, 4 August 2003 23:34 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the only non-worthwhile record is peng!, sound dust is a gorgeous and rather simple sounding pop record. i think they are a highly undervalued band, perhaps from making the music seem effortless?

keith (keithmcl), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 00:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the only non-worthwhile record is peng!

Madness! There are some flaccid moments sure, but "Super Falling Star", "Mellotron", "Orgiastic", etc... I ask you?

Am I still the only person who actually thinks Emperor Tomato Ketchup has been the least durable record so far?

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 05:49 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

er, yeah you probably are.

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 05:51 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Thought so.

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 06:10 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Ever since D&T, I've been hopelessly waiting for the guitar buzz to come back.. I think what made them great was how hypnotic that drone sounded, coupled with the mantra-chanting. When they got rid of that and went lounge the music sounded too 'focused' in a way and didn't allow you to lose yourself in it, as the old stuff did.

Fabrice (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 06:48 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

They need to stop making records with McEntire and O'Rourke, for a start/change. Maybe get Albini involved, or someone totally out of left field.

Raymond Cummings (Raymond Cummings), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 14:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I believe the new record is being recorded with Fulton Dingley, who worked on Cobra and Phases Group and First of the Microbe Hunters.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 5 August 2003 14:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's shallow I know, but the more interviews I read with them the less I liked them. Laetitia in particular comes across as a really patronising, borderline-misanthropic left-libertarian masquerading as an 'anything-is-possible/ people-have-the-power' idealist. Well, she was an acolyte of those humourless reactionaries at Living Marxism, so perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised.

Mel Starr, Tuesday, 5 August 2003 17:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I knew a girl who was involved with Living Marxism - she ended up working at the Daily Telegraph, figures. See the Hitchens' brothers et al.

Dadaismus (Dada), Saturday, 9 August 2003 11:40 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i feel sorry for the whole thing -- Mary dies -- that is the worst thing that could have happened

Laetitia may be impatient with fans -- after a hiatus they produce Sound Dust which is such a good record -- so consistent (i love roughly every second song) -- having heard loops and milky i say it is their best album after tomato, perhaps the culmination of that direction in their sound

that tv program Cold Feet had a millenium special episode that reprised cul de sac perfectly, since the drift/ island/ end metaphor worked perfectly for the 'end of time' hoop-la surrounding 0/0/2000 and the possibilities of ths show drifting, out to sea or beached, which it sure ended up doing, even if they didn't think they were drifting then

i liked those promo photos of stereolab, with the power poles vertically alligned with the pictures perspective -- like harry lime as the giant (film) wheel comes to a stop over occupied vienna, a snapshot, on the road to the castle or back ? waiting for the flood ? (i don't stereolab are misanthropic, the fans tiny dots or dust, as if viewed from harry's perspective)

i like this album art, the indication of a peak, however insular, an acknowledgement by the band that they may well be too disconnected from their audience yet wishing to take the chicago computer collaborations to a decent conclusion .. i bet they knew sound dust was make or break time, if not for the group then at least for that sound, which surely they got right on this album tens times more so than on the two albums seemingly leading in that direction, validating for me those experiments along the way -- good on them for acknowledging the alienating potential, yet admitting that this was the peak of that stereolab at least

yes, i think they will go looking for other peaks, somewhere else (Lionel Stander did get to work in hollywood again, after all)

maybe the boo-boos will have to go and a new angle for the lyrics taken with both Marie's terrible departure and the band learning the hard lessons of producing something so good by their own standards even if these didn't meet the demands of their audience -- the artistic journey has been completed -- that concept in light of Marie's death is almost horribly prophetic in a spooky new way, beyond their worst dreams i imagine (is Polanski a real king midas of horror and despair ? dark forces ?) (i do not wish to trivialise _anything_ in saying this)

of course the album + art stands on it's own feet as beautiful music with a variety of sentiment -- most of the band can return to the main land and pursue some other groove -- after a presumably respectful period of meditation and change of trade-name

george gosset (gegoss), Saturday, 9 August 2003 14:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

that was terrific, george

zebedee (zebedee), Monday, 11 August 2003 15:52 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

five years pass...


Jeff W, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

Perhaps a necessary thing, really.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

diminishing returns for a while now

velko, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

Question: is the future of Stereolab any different than the past of Stereolab?

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 2 April 2009 20:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

:( At least Chemical Chords 2 will still come out (and I'm glad I saw them this last tour)

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, me too! their show last fall was wonderful. still, if anyone deserves a break, it's probably them. they've never gone more than a year or two without an album over the past 20 years, have they?

tylerw, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

they've never gone more than a year or two without an album over the past 20 years, have they?

There were a couple multi-year gaps in between Sound-Dust, Margerine Eclipse, and Chemical Chords though I think the box set comes in there somewhere.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, maybe i'm just thinking that there are always various collections coming out in between records -- never seemed like they disappeared for any significant amount of time.

tylerw, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

They were great when I saw them live last year. Like, really great, as much fun as the first time I saw them. If this is one of those permananent breaks then they are going out with a bang, at least as far as live music is concerned. I don't think I have any of their albums from the last ten years, but live performance is at least as important to me.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Thursday, 2 April 2009 21:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

My thoughts on seeing them in September -- if that's the last time I'll ever see them, then the last song I ever saw them do was a great version of "Jenny Ondioline."

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 April 2009 22:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

I guess one too many people made fun of their last album cover. It was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I f'd up the word rear (Z S), Thursday, 2 April 2009 23:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Link to video of Sydney show with additional laundry bag:

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 3 April 2009 00:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

Seriously, this is the greatest mersh idea ever. I only wish I had one of the old Peng beach towels from way back

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 3 April 2009 00:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

so is Chemical Chords 2 still gonna happen? wikipedia has nothing on it that i can find...

LAMBDA LAMBDA LANDA (Beatrix Kiddo), Monday, 23 November 2009 14:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Hmm...received in a Drag City promo e-mail just now, word of this forthcoming release:

Not Music

Nothing listed on the official band website about this.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 23:51 (eight years ago) Permalink

There was talk about releasing the other tracks from the Chemical Chords it could be that. Last official word I heard from Stereolab was that 'no new recordings were planned', which basically means a hiatus/break-up; vague isn't it? Maybe 'Not Music' refers to some kind of DVD or any non-studio albums release like rarities for example. Also interesting how it's from Drag City, they did CC on 4AD because of the whole Beggars restructure.

Any new Stereolab product is welcomed for me.

David (davek_00), Thursday, 29 April 2010 00:01 (eight years ago) Permalink

There's tons of non-lp material yet to be collected, including numerous collaborations - plenty of gems left uncovered. I've compiled 39 tracks totaling 3 hours, would love to see it all officially released!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 29 April 2010 00:11 (eight years ago) Permalink

xp stuff that isn't on the stray tracks catch-up compilations like the Switched Ons and Oscillons. Where did you get hold of these tunes?

David (davek_00), Thursday, 29 April 2010 00:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

I hope they are finally getting around to releasing Chemical Chords 2 and the b-sides collection they promised a couple years ago. Though wouldn't these come out on 4AD?

Looks like Laetitia has been doing some solo dates in South America lately.

Moodles, Thursday, 29 April 2010 00:28 (eight years ago) Permalink

Where did you get hold of these tunes?

Isn't that a silly question in 2010? ;-)

Here's what I've put together. I skipped some demos, remixes, radio sessions and live versions and stopped at the end of 2001:
1. Super Falling Star (Moog mix) - from Volume 4 compilation
2. Low-Fi
3. (Varoom!)
4. Laisser-Faire
5. Elektro (He Held The World In His Iron Grip) - these 4 from "Low-Fi" EP
6. Ronco Symphony (demo)
7. The Seeming And The Meaning (demo) - these 2 from the Spacewatch flexi
8. I'm Going Out Of My Way (WHFS session) - from "Inside Dave's Garage" split single
9. The Eclipse
10. Yes Sir! I Can Moogie - these 2 from "The Cat's Miaow" split single
11. ABC (The Multitude) - from "Godz Is Not A Put On" compilation
12. Simple Headphone Mind
13. Trippin' With The Birds - from "Simple Headphone Mind" collaboration with Nurse With Wound
14. Endless Summer (as Microlab) - from "Microstonia - Reprovisers" compilation
15. St. Elmo's Fire (radio)
16. Less Time
17. St. Elmo's Fire (Red Corona)
18. St. Elmo's Fire (Spatio-Dynamic)
19. Impulse Rah!
20. St. Elmo's Fire (Snow) - these 6 as Uilab from "St. Elmo's Fire" collaboration with Ui
21. Miss Modular (Automator mix)
22. Refractions In The Plastic Pulse (Feebate mix by Autechre)
23. Contranatura (Prelude To The Autumn Of A Faun mix by Kid Loco) - these 3 from "Miss Modular Remixes" EP
24. Freestyle Dumping - from JP release of Aluminum Tunes
25. Symbolic Logic Of Now! - from "Soi-Distant" split single
26. Chinese Whispers (Stereolab mix) - from "Chinese Whispers" compilation
27. Untitled / 008 - from Thurston Moore's "Root" compilation
28. Blaue Milch - from Peter-Thomas-Sound-Orchester's "Warp Back To Earth 66/99" compilation
29. Galaxidion - from "Social (Bodies)" compilation
30. Caliméro
31. Cache Cache - from collaboration with Brigitte Fontaine
32. Ticker Tape Of The Unconscious (Thievery Corporation remix) - from Thievery Corporation's "Abductions & Reconstructions" compilation
33. The Super-It
34. Fried Monkey Eggs (vocal)
35. Monkey Jelly - these 3 from "The Underground Is Coming" EP
36. Brain Drain - from "Collaborations 2: Constant Friction" compilation
37. Négatités - from "Yeti 1" compilation
38. Free Witch And No-Bra Queen
39. Speck-Voice - these 2 from "Free Witch And No-Bra Queen" EP

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 29 April 2010 01:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

xp Songs on eps and singles already count as officially released though.

Moka, Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

But all the same I'm sure there is a mine of unreleased material in the stereolab vault.

Moka, Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:06 (eight years ago) Permalink

cannot believe the Low-Fi EP has not been compiled on a CD collection yet, a real high point for the band imo.

bug holocaust (sleeve), Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yes the Low-Fi Ep is amazing, blows my mind it was recorded in 1992... mmm need to submit to the ep thread...

Moka, Thursday, 29 April 2010 02:50 (eight years ago) Permalink

Due to popular demand:

Oddities part 1 -
Oddities part 2 -

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Just got the clear vinyl version of Peng! Really hoping it sounds better than the last reissue, although I'm not feeling very optimistic.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 21:37 (three months ago) Permalink

"track goes by" is one of the best stuck-on-a-riff songs ever

― tylerw, Wednesday, December 5, 2018 7:24 PM (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Track Goes By was one of the highlights when I saw them play a couple of years ago, although they didn't stretch it out for fifteen minutes, sadly.

The catchily-titled Retrospective Rarities And Instrumentals compilation is a pretty good overview of their albums up to Snowbug, it's up on Spotify along with pretty much everything else.

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Wednesday, 12 December 2018 22:08 (three months ago) Permalink

Similar to the Peng! reissue, Space Age Bachelor Pad Music comes with nice liner notes by Tim describing how they wrote and recorded all the tracks.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 26 December 2018 19:46 (two months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

It's happening:

Stereolab Set To Perform at Desert Daze 2019,
First Announced North American Appearance In Over A Decade

Festival Returns October 10th - 13th to Moreno Beach in Lake Perris, CA; Limited Early Bird Tickets Available Now via

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 18:28 (one month ago) Permalink

Moreno Beach in Lake Perris, CA

a literal shit hole, yikes.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 18:34 (one month ago) Permalink

can only hope this means a bay area stop

akm, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 20:34 (one month ago) Permalink

have they announced anything except festival dates so far?

tylerw, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 20:36 (one month ago) Permalink

The Paris date, while technically part of a festival, is at least indoors *checks Eurostar timetable*

Jeff W, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 20:40 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm very strongly considering going to this with my son. Death Grips, King Gizzard, and My Bloody Valentine are like his dream lineup.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 21:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Those were last year's performers, FYI

DT, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 21:24 (one month ago) Permalink

Uh oh. Well that changes things...

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 12 February 2019 21:26 (one month ago) Permalink

i saw their second-to-last U.S. show in 2008, i guess. Richard Swift opened. : /

omar little, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 21:29 (one month ago) Permalink

Please god let there be a full U.S. tour. I never got to see Stereolab and never thought I would.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 12 February 2019 22:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I did not attend the 2018 Desert Daze since I really haven't gone to a major music fest since Lollapalooza was a touring entity. But the lineup looked really good and a friend of mine performed in the area where they were doing ambient sets. I might actually go to this one.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I was there, and despite some bad calls on logistics and an electrical storm that ended Tame Impala after less than 15 minutes, the Lake Perris site was actually a good one (seeing that big storm come across the lake at us was wild) and the lineup was great. (They did put Ty Segall and White Fence on for the last set of the festival at around 2:30 Monday morning, so also not ideal)

by the light of the burning Citroën, Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:14 (one month ago) Permalink

Not to throw cold water on this reunion, I'm eager to see them too, but their last tour was easily the weakest of many that I saw. They got out of sync on a couple songs,which was a bit of a trainwreck, and they seemed to lack passion overall.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 13 February 2019 02:38 (one month ago) Permalink

I enjoyed that last tour! (Which was more than 10 years ago.) Amazing great career-spanning setlist.

everything, Thursday, 14 February 2019 19:50 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah, the 2008 show i saw was fantastic

tylerw, Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:19 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah the last time I saw them, I felt that the band had adjusted to the inevitable loss of Mary and had found a good new approach, whereas the tour before that -- the one that was the first after her death -- you could tell that her absence still hung heavy.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2019 20:59 (one month ago) Permalink

I think I didn't like how male-centric the later versions of the band got. I loved Mary and was devastated when she died, but I think they should've tried to replace her. Maybe they weren't interested or just felt like she was irreplaceable, but that dynamic was very important to who they were as a band, especially in a live setting.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Thursday, 14 February 2019 21:38 (one month ago) Permalink

assuming they'll form a similar lineup this time, but if they were to look for another female vocalist, does anyone come to mind we may already know?

flappy bird, Thursday, 14 February 2019 22:49 (one month ago) Permalink

Margaret Fiedler?

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Thursday, 14 February 2019 23:23 (one month ago) Permalink

Mary Hampton, who sang on the 2nd Imitation Electric Piano album would be good, or maybe Rosie from Pram?

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 15 February 2019 00:09 (one month ago) Permalink

Morgane Lhote is still making music

dan selzer, Friday, 15 February 2019 00:57 (one month ago) Permalink

Her absence from Stereolab was also significant, she was their best keyboard player.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 15 February 2019 02:29 (one month ago) Permalink

while we're here, never seen this!

flappy bird, Friday, 15 February 2019 05:31 (one month ago) Permalink

Very nice, don't think I've ever seen any of that either.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 15 February 2019 05:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I have an old VHS comptape bought at a record fair, lots of live bits, vids and interviews. This looks much like it came from that, quality wise.

Mark G, Friday, 15 February 2019 09:03 (one month ago) Permalink

"Yeah the last time I saw them, I felt that the band had adjusted to the inevitable loss of Mary and had found a good new approach, whereas the tour before that -- the one that was the first after her death -- you could tell that her absence still hung heavy."

I miss her voice

| (Latham Green), Friday, 15 February 2019 18:48 (one month ago) Permalink

from all the live recordings I've heard, she had remarkably good pitch/voice control

flappy bird, Friday, 15 February 2019 18:56 (one month ago) Permalink

I recently learned that Gina Morris (Stereolab's original co-singer from 1990-1992, NME writer) is now in Australia (where Mary, her replacement, was from).

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 15 February 2019 18:58 (one month ago) Permalink

Interesting. In Melbourne rather than Queensland, I see. Married the dude from the Paradise Model, who toured with Stereolab in 1998! (Though she wouldn't have been in the entourage on that tour, presumably.)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Saturday, 16 February 2019 03:52 (one month ago) Permalink

Far out, the Paradise Motel guys were all friends of mine when the band started out. And I was a Stereolab obsessive.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 16 February 2019 05:08 (one month ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Stereolab are confirmed to play the Pitchfork Festival on July 20th 2019.

mookieproof, Wednesday, 6 March 2019 16:23 (one week ago) Permalink


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:13 (one week ago) Permalink

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