England - Full Moon 46 - 07/16/00
The First Of The Microbe Hunters
Duophonic UHF/Elektra (US,JP)
There sure has been a long line of recordings coming from Stereolab over the years, and
the groop have grown to minor/major stars. I haven't really cared about their last albums,
such as Dots and Loops,
and Cobra and Phases..., so maybe it's time for checking out what's going on inside the
lab again. The First of ... is a mini album at the length of a full length album. Oh,
yeah!? Seems like someone's been working overtime all the time.
Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier have written all tracks except one, the opening instrumental
Outer Bongolia, written by Gane, Andy Ramsey, and Lab-associate Sean O'Hagan.
The First of... was recorded in January, except the 3 year old Household Names,
recorded in Chicago by John McEntire. And the music, well, as always Stereolab tumble on with
their blips and bleeps. Now and then sounding like a boring fusion band, within their looping
monotony (such as the first track, lasting over nine minutes! Bah...) for sometimes to raise
the temperature to a more pleasant level. Laetitia's voice is indeed sounding cold and icy,
as a contrast to the warmth they're at least trying to create within the music. I Feel
The Air (Of Another Planet) is, with its spooky sci-fi themes and constant ba-ba-ba-ba
chorus, one of the few highlights I'm able to find on this record. Well, also Household
Names has got a certain chilling cool.
Are Stereolab really as good as people say? Maybe I'm on the wrong wave-length? Or
wrong planet? On the other hand; micro-biology was never my favorite subject.
Distribution in Norway: Tuba!
Copyright © 2000 Håvard Oppøyen