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Not Music by Stereolab

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Reviewed on 28th October 2010.


Not Music

By Stereolab

This band has always done things its own way. Stubbornly some might say. Ploughing its own furrow just because it can. The essence of punk rock - retro futurist or if you like future retroist. Either way they do what they want with little label interference. They are the label. As you'd expect then, the LP is full of Stereolab trademarks - nagging riffs, xylophones, glockenspiels, Gallic vocals, a 1960s yet 2060s feel, brass for soul and subtle use of electronics, especially on the 10 minute Emperor Machine Mix of "Silver Sands", which has a feel of the sound that space invader machines *should* have been making when I was a kid. Other interesting points are "So Is Cardboard Clouds" sounding like "Selling England by the Pound" era Genesis, surely a very good thing indeed. "Equivalences" brings back memories of instrumental tracks on "Emperor Tomato Ketchup". Cheeky, retrofuturing your own futureretro. Clever.

Time signatures and instruments wander in and out of phase with each other so smoothly that you have to give up and say "you lot are a bit good", none more so on "Delugeoisie", where the sounds surround you so much that you feel like you're making them. Brain melt. The beginning of "Sun Demon" then cheekily nicks the riff from "Liar Liar" by The Castaways before running off in a totally different upbeat almost Cardiacs-esque fairground ride to the end of time direction. The bloody tinkers. When I started listening to this LP, I wasn't sure what was going on, now I do. Stereolab doing what they do best - confusing everyone by being one step ahead of everyone and simultaneously one step behind. It's wave particle duality all over again.....bugger it.



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