Stereolab, "Not Music"

When Stereolab announced an indefinite hiatus in 2009 (which is still in effect), the British act's members also promised to release outtakes from the recording session that yielded its last full album, 2008's "Chemical Chords." True to their word, "Not Music" collects 13 tracks from that fruitful session, which found the dream pop/indie lounge warriors communicating in mostly under-four-minute form-notable for a band whose magnum opus might be the 18-minute "Jenny Ondioline." But the short bursts serve the act's fuzzy soundscapes well, imbuing them with more energy and the occasional horn section. The track "Supah Jaianto" sounds like Combustible Edison meets the Supremes; even the organ-laden baroque pop of "Delugeoisie" twirls with an urgent kind of drunkenness, peaking in a blitz of tribal drums. This is Stereolab for the age of the short attention span; but if it's a swan song, it's just as representative of the band's body of work as anything in its 20-year catalog.


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