Friday, November 19, 2010

Review :: Armchair Telepathy :: Stereolab

Not Music
Drag City

Stereolab are on a planet of their own. Some call it future-retroactive, some call it retro-futuristic... the point is that they fall squarely within modern-times more than any band I can think of. In their universe, songwriting is "a state of mind," as Stereolab mastermind Tim Gane is quoted as saying... "not a length of time." The longevity of this band doesn't prove his statement, but makes it clear that he knows Stereolab exist on a different plane than any of their peers.

As of today, my iTunes machine calculates that I have 286 songs by the group. That is a fucking mind-blowing, shit-load amount by a band that pays so much goddamn attention to every detail in every song.
Not Music - Stereolab's "hiatus" record from the same sessions that produced 2008s Chemical Chords - only serves to compound my bewilderment. How is it possible to gather so many musicians in one room to follow such strange chord structures?? And with such precision? This is a real record played by real people, no mistake about it.

The initial result sounds like a snot-nosed toddler poking me in the side every 3 seconds; annoying at first, but after some time, I realize that the punk isn't gonna leave my side anytime soon, and before I know it, he's all I have. He walks with me, poking my belly at every intersection until I'm giggling at every odd chord change. And then, I'm convulsing in the crosswalk during rush-hour just because a vibraphone attack upsets my motorik gait. This is not music; this is a series of blind-sided sucker-punches that have been deliberately dropped onto Planet Earth by one of the most concise Martian bands of the past two decades. And somehow, the entire ensemble is in place to create a lush environment for the in-joke to sound sincere. As a fan, I'm in on it... and I want to share in the laughter.

Stereolab :: Super Jaianto

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