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
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