Dec 24, 2017

Sundaze 1752

Hello, it's almost Christmas i wonder how those filthy rich spend these festive days surrounded by those happy little people dreaming of a white X'mas will they be jealous

Today's Artists are combining an inclination for melodic '60s pop with an art rock aesthetic borrowed from Krautrock bands like Faust and Neu!, they were one of the most influential alternative bands of the '90s. Led by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, the ensemble either legitimized forms of music that were on the fringe of rock, or brought attention to strands of pop music -- bossa nova, lounge-pop, movie soundtracks -- that were traditionally banished from the rock lineage. The group's trademark sound -- a droning, hypnotic rhythm track overlaid with melodic, mesmerizing singsong vocals, often sung in French and often promoting revolutionary, Marxist politics -- was deceptively simple, providing the basis for a wide array of stylistic experiments over the course of their prolific career. ........N'Joy

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In 1985, Tim Gane formed McCarthy, a band from Essex, England known for their left-wing politics. Gane met the French-born Lætitia Sadier at a McCarthy concert in Paris and the two quickly fell in love. The musically-inclined Sadier was disillusioned with the rock scene in France and soon moved to London to be with Gane and to pursue her career. After three albums, McCarthy broke up in 1990 and Gane immediately formed Stereolab with Sadier (who had also contributed vocals to McCarthy's final album) and ex-Chills bassist Martin Kean. The group's name was taken from a division of Vanguard Records demonstrating hi-fi effects.Gane and Sadier, along with future Stereolab manager Martin Pike, created a record label called Duophonic Super 45s—which, along with later offshoot Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks, would be commonly known as "Duophonic

The band originally comprised songwriting team Tim Gane (guitar/keyboards) and Lætitia Sadier (vocals/keyboards/guitar), both of whom remained at the helm across many lineup changes. Other long-time members include Mary Hansen (backing vocals/keyboards/guitar), who played with the group from 1992 until her accidental death in 2002, and Andy Ramsay (drums), who joined in 1993, and who is still in the official line-up.

In 1992 Stereolab's first full-length album, Peng!, and first compilation, Switched On, were released on independent label Too Pure. Around this time, the lineup coalesced around Gane and Sadier plus vocalist Mary Hansen, drummer Andy Ramsay, bassist Duncan Brown, keyboardist Katharine Gifford, and guitarist Sean O'Hagan of the 1980s famed Microdisney duo. Hansen, an Australian, had been in touch with Gane since his McCarthy days. After joining, she and Sadier developed a style of vocal counterpoint that distinguished Stereolab's sound until Hansen's death ten years later in 2002.

Beginning with their 1993 EP Space Age Batchelor Pad Music, the band began to incorporate easy-listening elements into their sound. This release raised Stereolab's profile and landed them a major-label American record deal with Elektra Records. Their next album, 1993's Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements, was their first American release under Elektra, and became an underground hit in both the U.S. and the U.K. On 8 January 1994, Stereolab achieved their first chart entry when their 1993 EP Jenny Ondioline entered at #75 on the UK Singles Chart.

With their 1994 full-length, Mars Audiac Quintet, Stereolab focused more on pop and less on rock, the album makes heavy use of vintage electronic instruments, and also contains the single "Ping Pong", which gained press coverage for its allegedly explicitly Marxist lyrics. After releasing a 1995 collection of singles and B-sides called Refried Ectoplasm: Switched On, Vol. 2. Stereolab's 1996 album, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, was a critical success and was played heavily on college radio. A record that "captivated alternative rock", it represented Stereolab's "high-water mark". Krautrock techniques were still present, but the band stirred the pot with hip-hop sounds and complex instrumental arrangements. John McEntire (Tortoise) assisted with production and also played on Emperor Tomato Ketchup, while Katharine Gifford was replaced by Morgane Lhote before its recording, and bassist Duncan Brown by Richard Harrison afterward.

Dots and Loops was released in 1997, and was Stereolab's first album to enter the Billboard 200 charts, peaking at #111. Stereolab transformed the harder Velvet Underground-like riffs of previous releases into "softer sounds and noisy playfulness". Contributors to the album once again included John McEntire, along with Sean O'Hagan of The High Llamas and Jan St. Werner of German electropop duo Mouse on Mars. A Nurse With Wound collaboration, Simple Headphone Mind, appeared in 1997, and the third release in the "Switched On" series, Aluminum Tunes, followed in 1998.

The band then took a break from traveling while Gane and Sadier had a child. In 1999, Stereolab's next album appeared, titled Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night. Co-produced by McEntire and American producer Jim O'Rourke, the album earned mixed reviews for its lighter sound, and peaked at #154 on the Billboard 200. The full-length Sound-Dust followed in 2001, and rose to #178 on the Billboard 200. Again featuring producers McEntire and O'Rourke, it was more warmly received than the previous album with the emphasis less on unfocused experimentation and more on melody.

In 2002, Stereolab began to plan their next album, and started building a studio north of Bordeaux, France. In October 2002, the band released ABC Music: The Radio 1 Sessions; a compilation of BBC Radio 1 sessions. The year also saw Gane and Sadier end their romantic relationship. On 9 December 2002, longstanding band member Mary Hansen was killed when struck by a truck while riding her bicycle. Born in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, Hansen earned the most attention for her vocal work with Stereolab, although she also played the guitar and keyboards. For the next few months, Stereolab lay dormant as the members grieved. They eventually decided to continue; as Sadier explained in a 2004 interview: "Losing Mary is still incredibly painful ... But it's also an opportunity to transform and move on. It's a new version. We've always had new versions, people coming in and out. That's life."

The full-length album Margerine Eclipse followed in 2004 to generally positive reviews, and peaked at #174 on the US Billboard 200. The track "Feel and Triple" was written in tribute to Hansen; according to Sadier "I was reflecting on my years with her ... reflecting on how we sometimes found it hard to express the love we had for one another. It was Stereolab's last record on their American label Elektra Records, which closed down in 2004. The album was followed by Oscillons from the Anti-Sun; a 2005 three-CD and one-DVD retrospective of the group's rarer material. In 2005 and 2006, Stereolab released six limited-edition singles which were collected in Fab Four Suture, and contained material which Mark Jenkins thought continued the brisker sound of the band's post-Hansen work.

Serene Velocity, a "best-of" compilation focusing on the band's Elektra years, was released in late 2006. By June 2007, Stereolab's lineup comprised Tim Gane, Lætitia Sadier, Andy Ramsay, Simon Johns, Dominic Jeffrey, Joseph Watson, and Joseph Walters. The band had finished the production of their next album, entitled Chemical Chords, which was released in August 2008 on the 4AD label. The release of the album was followed by an autumn tour of Europe and the United States. In April 2009, manager Martin Pike announced a pause in the band's career together for the time being. After 19 years, he stated they felt it was time to take a rest and move on to new projects.

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On Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Stereolab moved in two directions simultaneously -- it explored funkier dance rhythms while increasing the complexity of its arrangements and compositions. For its follow-up, Dots and Loops, the group scaled back its rhythmic experiments and concentrated on layered compositions. Heavily influenced by bossa nova and swinging '60s pop, Dots and Loops is a deceptively light, breezy album that floats by with effortless grace. Even the segmented, 20-minute "Refractions in the Plastic Pulse" has a sunny, appealing surface -- it's only upon later listens that the interlocking melodies and rhythms reveal their intricate interplay. In many ways, Dots and Loops is Stereolab's greatest musical accomplishment to date, demonstrating remarkable skill -- their interaction is closer to jazz than rock, exploring all of the possibilities of any melodic phrase. Their affection for '60s pop keeps Dots and Loops accessible, even though that doesn't mean it is as immediate as Emperor Tomato Ketchup. In fact, the laid-back stylings of Dots and Loops makes it a little difficult to assimilate upon first listen, but after a few repeated plays, its charms unfold as gracefully as any other Stereolab record.

Stereolab - Dots and Loops (flac 408mb)

01 Brakhage 5:30
02 Miss Modular 4:28
03 The Flower Called Nowhere 4:53
04 Diagonals 5:13
05 Prisoner Of Mars 4:03
06 Rainbo Conversation 4:45
07 Refractions In The Plastic Pulse 17:30
08 Parsec 5:34
09 Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious 4:45
10 Contronatura 9:04

Stereolab - Dots and Loops    (ogg  152mb)

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Stereolab's Switched On series is ingenious, one of the best services a band has performed for its fans. Since their inception, Stereolab have made it a practice to release non-LP singles, tour 7"s, split singles, special-edition EPs -- recordings that were available in small quantities for a limited time. In every case, the limited-edition recordings become very valuable very quickly, often reaching ridiculously exorbitant prices that most fans could never afford. That's where the Switched On series comes in. It's where the group gathers the best of these rarities, leaving a couple of tracks on the original single for the sake of collectibility. Stereolab may do certain projects as a lark, but they rarely throw away tracks, as each EP and most singles have their own identity, offering a new spin on the group's trademark style. Given that Aluminum Tunes: Switched On, Vol. 3 spans two discs, it might seem that the compilation will only be of interest to diehards, but it rivals Refried Ectoplasm: Switched On, Vol. 2 in terms of creativity and consistency. Aluminum Tunes is distinguished by the first wide release of the entire sublime easy listening EP Music for the Amorphous Body Center, which would be enough to make the compilation essential for all fans, but it also has such minor masterpieces as their swinging duet with Herbie Mann on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "One Note Samba," Wagon Christ's remix of "Metronomic Underground," the horn-spiked "Percolations," and "You Used to Call Me Sadness." There may be a couple of tracks that never rise above the level of good but predictable Stereolab, but the best moments rank among their very best work. Quite simply an essential addition to their catalog.

Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes (flac  364mb)

101 Pop Quiz 4:22
102 The Extension Trip 3:43
103 How To Play Your Internal Organs Overnight 3:58
104 The Brush Descends The Length 3:08
105 Melochord Seventy-Five 3:39
106 Space Moment 4:20
107 Iron Man 3:27
108 The Long Hair Of Death 4:48
109 You Used To Call Me Sadness 4:00
110 New Orthophony 6:26
111 Speedy Car 5:00
112 Golden Atoms 5:18
113 Ulan Bator 3:14
114 One Small Step 4:16

Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes    (ogg  134mb)


Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes 2 (flac  321mb)

201 One Note Samba / Surfboard 9:10
202 Cadriopo 3:09
203 Klang Tone 5:36
204 Get Carter 3:23
205 1000 Miles An Hour 4:32
206 Percolations 3:22
207 Seeperbold 5:08
208 Check And Double Check 4:03
209 Munich Madness 3:48
210 Metronomic Underground (Wagon Christ Mix) 7:51
211 The Incredible He Woman 3:31

Stereolab - Aluminum Tunes 2  (ogg  124mb)

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Stereolab took an unprecedented two years between 1997's Dots & Loops and 1999's Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night, as they tended to personal matters. For a band that churned out limited-edition singles and EPs, along with an annual album, between 1992 and 1997, complete silence was a complete change of pace, but they happened to pick a good time to go into seclusion. During those two years, Stereolab's brand of sophisticated, experimental post-rock didn't evolve too much, even as their peers, colleagues, and collaborators tried other things: Tortoise got jazzier with TNT, Jim O'Rourke got irresistibly lush and complex with Bad Timing and Eureka, while the High Llamas fleshed out Sean O'Hagan's Beach Boys fetish with 'Lab highlights on Cold and Bouncy. With the exception of O'Rourke, who abandoned Gastr Del Sol's minimalism for grandiosity, they all offered slight expansions of what they did before instead of making great progress. Since each Stereolab album has offered a significant progression from the next, it would have been fair to assume that when they returned with Cobra, it would have been a leap forward, especially since it was co-produced with Tortoise's John McEntire and O'Rourke. Perhaps that's the reason that the album feels slightly disappointing. The group has absorbed McEntire's jazz-fusion leanings -- "Fuses" kicks off the album in compelling, free-jazz style -- and the music continually bears O'Rourke's attention to detail, but it winds up sounding like O'Hagan's increasing tendency of making music that's simply sound for sound's sake. Cobra may seem that way because its pacing is off, with the first half of the album filled with concise numbers that give way to the lengthy "Blue Milk" and "Caleidoscopic Gaze" toward the end; after those two set pieces, it snaps back into succinct mode for the final three songs. Throughout it all, Stereolab's trademarks remain in place, but they're augmented by rhythms, harmonies, horn arrangements, dissonance, muted trumpets, and electric keyboards all out of jazz from the late '60s, whether it's bossa nova or fusion. All fascinating in theory and often in practice, but Cobra still winds up being less than the sum of its parts. Maybe it's because the longer pieces drift, instead of hypnotize or develop; maybe it's because the songs sound like afterthoughts to the arrangements (a criticism leveled at Stereolab before but never really applicable until now); maybe it's just because of the odd pace of the album. In any case, Cobra never hits its stride, even as it offers a few miniature masterpieces along the way. Perhaps the time off led to the slight lack of focus, since many moments of the album illustrate that Stereolab is as fascinating as ever. But as an album, Cobra is their first record since Transient Random Noise Bursts to not be fully realized.

Stereolab - Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night (flac  470mb)

01 Fuses 3:40
02 People Do It All The Time 3:42
03 The Free Design 3:47
04 Blips Drips And Strips 4:28
05 Italian Shoes Continuum 4:36
06 Infinity Girl 3:56
07 The Spiracles 3:40
08 Op Hop Detonation 3:32
09 Puncture In The Radax Permutation 5:48
10 Velvet Water 4:24
11 Blue Milk 11:29
12 Caleidoscopic Gaze 8:09
13 Strobo Acceleration 3:55
14 The Emergency Kisses 5:53
15 Come And Play In The Milky Night 4:42

Stereolab - Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night  (ogg  181mb)

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The First of the Microbe Hunters (2000) is a "mini-album, the title makes reference to the book Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif, in which the first chapter is dedicated to Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek, "the first of the microbe hunters". Microbe Hunters is both compact and expansive: only seven cuts but taken over 40 minutes. It begins with the lengthy Can-inspired instrumental "Outer Bongolia," which uses a circular rhythm and hook to layer the special effects. "Intervals" is the ballad form delivered in icy female tones to rob it of all sentiment. "Retrograde Mirror Form" ends things with a trippy tape loop.). The record plays like classicist Stereolab, filled with all of the trademarks - pleasant drones, reverb-drenched guitars, cheap organs, effervescent, hypnotic vocals - but it's all been done before. One notable exception: "I Can Feel the Air (of Another Planet)" is an epic track located in the center of the EP. This track was recorded by John McEntire in 1997 and definitely stands out among the other tracks due to its combination of catchy vocals, treatments and more melancholy atmosphere

Stereolab - The First of the Microbe Hunters  (flac  338mb)

01 Outer Bongolia 9:29
02 Intervals 4:38
03 Barock - Plastik 3:00
04 Nomus Et Phusis 4:23
05 I Feel The Air (Of Another Planet) 8:13
06 Household Names 3:42
07 Retrograde Mirror Form 6:22
Stereolab - The Underground Is Coming
08 The Super-It
09 Fried Monkey Eggs (Inst.)
10 Fried Monkey Eggs (Vocal)
11 Monkey Jelly

  Stereolab - The First of the Microbe Hunters   (ogg  122mb)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting so much Stereolab stuff! I had all their Elektra albums (easier to find in my small town) but some of the material from the smaller labels is totally new to me. Definitely glad to hear Switched On and Aluminum Tunes since they're full of rare singles and things. I was curious, do you have Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume Two) and, if so, would you be able to post that one as well? That seems to be the missing link with the rest of their 90s singles oriented stuff. Thanks for the awesome blog!