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February 26, 2006

{     Stereolab "Oscillons from the Anti-Sun"     } How much cool is too much? At what point does a fashionably detached façade turn into an unhealthy surplus of apathy? For the members of Stereolab such questions are passé. First of all, here’s what you get. This box set sports eight, previously import-only EPs spanning the “Groop’s” fifteen year career, plus a DVD packed with rare music videos and live performances from the BBC’s The Word and Later with Jools Holland. To make matters worse, the band has thrown in eight stickers featuring their elegant, modish cover art. The EPs have been deconstructed and sequenced non-chronologically over the course of three disks. This curious move only serves to reinforce Stereolab’s formulaic approach and unflinching sanguinity as the tracks could run together seamlessly in almost any order. Whether it’s the hypnotic drone of their formative years or the boundless genre-blending of their recent work with John McEntire of Tortoise and Jim O’Rourke of Sonic Youth, a bubbling undercurrent of euphoria unites each note the group plays. And yet, they somehow balance this child-like buoyancy with a sophisticated chic that is absolutely timeless. Some of you may be thinking, “How much is all this optimism gonna cost me?” The short answer is a meager twenty-five bucks. The long answer is you’re going to be spending a lot of time sifting through this treasure-trove. By the time you are finished, you may be too cool for your own good. Review by Sean Laishley

     » Stereolab

     » Buy it...



This is one of the best summations I've heard of the Stereolab experience- you nail it perfectly by describing how something utterly mind-numbing can still sound/be so entirely chic. It is Stereolab's special gift, their defining quality, and the secret to what makes them great.

Posted by: Adam at February 27, 2006 10:21 PM

I love it. Usually in a case such as this I would be standing there with my arms crossed, muttering about how you should just "buy all the frickin' records and save yourself the regret later" - but this one time around I do honestly believe that the band/label have actually managed to pull off creating the perfect situation where someone looking to get into the 'Lab could buy a box-set and not regret it later when they want all the full-length records.

That was one hell of a run-on sentence. I'm getting worse.

Back to what I was saying, I've seen this package and it hits the spot perfectly. The DVD and the way the tracks are sequenced - it's perfect, and it's cheap. Just right.

And Sean, again, you nailed it dude.

Posted by: shane at February 28, 2006 4:39 AM
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