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Stereolab finally release a new album

Story: Jack Foley

AFTER two years away, Stereolab will release a new album for Duophonic, on February 2, 2004, entitled Margarine Eclipse.

The release marks the group's first long-player in two years, since the release of Sound Dust, in September 2001.

These are also the first recordings since setting up and building their own studios, Instant 0, in France during 2002.

The new material was entirely recorded at Instant 0, situated just North of Bordeaux, and produced and mixed by the group with Fulton Dingley.

These are also the first recordings since the tragic death, last December, of Mary Hansen, a pivotal and inspirational member of the group from the outset in the early 1990's.

All tracks were recorded through the Spring of 2003 and feature Laetitia Sadier, Tim Gane, Andy Ramsay, Simon Johns, with Dominic Jeffrey (keyboards) and regular associate, Sean O'Hagan.

Margarine Eclipse is said to represent the most self-contained recordings by the group since Emperor Tomato Ketchup, when Stereolab first began recording or mixing, in Chicago, with the team of John McEntire and Jim O'Rourke, neither of whom were involved this time around.

In what is an informal tradition, Stereolab re-introduced themselves by way of a five track mini-LP, entitle Instant 0 In The Universe, which was released last October.

It was welcomed for its 'cleaner, airier sound' and for being Stereolab's most 'approachable' album in some while, notably the unashamed disco of Mass Riff.

"I insisted on having it," commented Laetitia Sadier, "to brighten things up."

This 'brighter' aspect is also prevalent on the full LP, according to Tim, in a recent interview with The Times:

"Building the studio drifted on about six months longer that I thought it would," he explained.

"I was worried about getting into My Bloody Valentine territory - build a studio and never make another record. In the end, I listened to some old tapes and appropriated a lot of little bits we'd never used."

After 13 years, it seems unthinkable that Stereolab would not make another record. They have already amassed a catalogue as vast as it is wide in its catchment area of ideas and influences.

To coincide with the launch of the album, the band will be playing a handful of live dates, in March. They are as follows...

March 1 - Glasgow - QMU
2 - Manchester - Hop and Grape [Academy 3]
3 - London Islington Academy
4 - London show [TBC]

6 - Nottingham - Rescue Rooms
7 - Brighton - Concorde 2

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