Thursday, 18 November 2010

Stereolab – Not Music

Out Now

Duophonic UHF Disks

When Stereolab convened at their studio, Instant Zero, in the summer of 2007 there were very few people who could have predicted it would potentially be the last time they would do so.

Not Music is the second part of what was recorded in Bordeaux that summer, the first going on 2008’s Chemical Chords before they announced their indefinite hiatus in 2009, after releasing eleven albums since their formation in 1990.

This is Stereolab’s twelfth album, a feat in itself, and while the band are no longer moving on, there’s still an ever present fresh feeling to their music. To say the band’s sound has his hit something of a plateau is probably fair but listening to them is still a rejuvenating experience.

Decadent harmonies are allied with poky synths and keys for opener ‘Everybody’s Weird Except Me’ before ‘Supah Jaianto’ continues the trend with jazz rhythms and horn breakdowns that are sucked into the Stereolab way of thinking.

The Emperor Machine remix of ‘Silver Sands’ is Not Music’s showpiece that stands at over ten minutes and in that time leaves behind the xylophone and horns of the Chemical Chords original to create synth heavy soundscapes that suit Laetitia Sadier's whispered croon down to the ground.

The melodic funk exotica that comes with “Two Fingered Symphony” is easy on the ears and as they push on towards the finish it makes you realise it would be a sad thing if this band were to never reform, they’re quite a lot of fun.

It comes to a fitting end with a remix courtesy of Atlas Sounds and ‘Neon Beanbag’ could well be the last of the bright lights you see from Stereolab for quite some time.

It’s a crying bloody shame.

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