Stereolab: Not Music |CD review

(Duophonic)

It is music, of course, but not new music – Stereolab are on hiatus, after all. So here are another 11 tracks from the sessions that produced their 2008 album Chemical Chords, plus a couple of remixes. The niggling sensation that Stereolab work in a hall of mirrors, creating music that endlessly reflects upon itself, is stronger than ever here, especially when faced with Two Finger Symphony and Pop Molecules (Molecular Pop 2), both variations on themes released on Chemical Chords, both repetitive, insistent and faintly irritating. There's much to appreciate here, be it the joyful sparkle of Everybody's Weird But Me, or the mathematical precision with which Supah Jaianto and Leleklato Sugar fracture and rebuild themselves. But it's telling that the most urgent and muscular music here is in the remix of Silver Sands: Emperor Machine transforms the kitsch original into an intergalactic trip that, for several minutes, sounds like a glorious mash-up of Kraftwerk and the Human League.

Contributor

Maddy Costa

The GuardianTramp

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