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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 46 - 07/16/00

Stereolab
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!

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You may also want to check out our Stereolab articles/reviews: Dots And Loops, an interview with lab-master Tim Gane.

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