In a five-star review of Stereolab's 1999 album, Cobra And Phases Play Voltage In The Milky Night, Uncut magazine's David Stubbs concluded that, "Stereolab have fashioned yet another perfect, synthetic replica of a pop model that never was but should have been -- and, for those bold enough, is right here right now." That same futuristic pop model provides the blueprint for the latest set of recordings from Stereolab. A full 12-track CD and double-LP entitled Sound-Dust will be released on August 28, 2001.
While it's tempting to say that the new album is "business as usual" for Stereolab, there is nothing that commonplace in Stereolab's world, despite their consistent use of the same collaborators. The recordings have once again been undertaken mostly in Chicago with the team of John McEntire and Jim O'Rourke producing with the group, and with regular cohort Sean O'Hagen (of the High Llamas) also on hand to add to the keyboard and arranging strengths of the ensemble. One change is the absence of long term member Morgane Lhote who left the band prior to these recordings. The sessions for Sound-Dust commenced in the Autumn of 2000.
Otherwise, all compositions are once again written by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, with the exception of "Nothing To Do With Me" (some lyrics were paraphrased from a Chris Morris "Jam" sketch). Sound-Dust has a more approachable and more upbeat sound that shifts back towards the warmer tones and more melodic textures of their earlier albums Dots And Loops and Emperor Tomato Ketchup, although it does demonstrate a darker and more impressionistic side as well. As ever, Stereolab is a group which explores the boundaries of their pop model and manages to move forwards, sideways and harp backwards all at the same time.
Having already played shows in Moscow and Istanbul this year, Stereolab will be touring throughout mainland Europe and Scandinavia through August and September before flying to America for a full tour in mid-October, kicking off with the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, curated by Sonic Youth at UCLA on October 21st. Stereolab will then play their first UK tour of this year at the beginning of December.