Not Music

Studio Album by released in 2010
Not Music's tracklist:
Everybody's Weird Except Me
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Supah Jaianto
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So Is Cardboard Clouds
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Equivalences
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Leleklato Sugar
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Silver Sands (Emperor Machine mix)
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Two Finger Symphony
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Delugeoisie
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Laserblast
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Sun Demon
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Aelita
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Pop Molecules (Molecular Pop 2)
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Neon Beanbag (Atlas Sound mix)
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Not Music review

Stereolab have finally rested

Recently, Stereolab have done something that had been discussed and expected for quite a while. The outfit made an official announcement of temporal suspension of their music activity without naming even approximate date of their return. Although Stereolab fans could not be happy about news like that, even the most loyal of them should have admitted that this was a move the band had to make. Stereolab turned into those performers who made alternative rock truly alternative. As genuine independent musicians, they played whatever they pleased without looking back at their colleagues and competitors, and without listening to criticisms and praises. Yet in the new age, the flow of their music-related process revealed some minor errors. No, we did not see the band release a complete flop – Stereolab are too great a band to afford such a thing. However, there was a greater urge for new ideas and reconsideration of methods. The ensemble made a decision to take a break, have some good rest, and forget music, studio visits and everything else connected with work in order to come back fresher, stronger and hotter. They did come back in a year and a half with a CD bearing not a very optimistic title Not Music, which, in fact, does not reflect the content, but only serves to draw attention.

Not Music is a new album… with old music

We, the big audience who has no access to confidential files of Stereolab, will never know for sure how the musicians spent their free time during this break. What we do know is that the material of Not Music was not prepared in the course of their vacation. These 13 compositions were created during the same session when the previous album, Chemical Chords, was made. But do not grimace with disappointment and put the record aside now! Not Music is not a collection of cutoffs thrown away while doing Chemical Chords (2008). Stereolab’s old fans know that the band has released a few albums packing them with songs from different sessions and adding separate singles and bonuses to them, which later brought exciting results. Although Not Music was prepared simultaneously with Chemical Chords, it is a completely different record with more diverse material. In order to prove it, the musicians offered new versions of two tracks released two years ago, Neon Beanbang, and Silver Sands. The latter, located right in the center of the album and lasting over ten minutes, appears to show everything Stereolab look to do as of now. In the thick fiber of electronic music, amongst futuristic beats, a fragile and sweet nostalgia dwells. Letitia’s voice soars above the instruments without actually merging with the music. This is how they used to record songs in the far sixties and seventies

Stereolab’s well-planned and steady development continues on Not Music

Not Music is an album by a band that never stops, that changes all the time and, yet again, cherishes its past. This record features the demanded development of music ideas together with preservation of what is most valuable on Stereolab’s old efforts. The former is revealed through an even greater selection of instruments and leaning to jazz, like in So Is Cardboard Clouds, Sun Demon or Two Finger Symphony. The latter is demonstrated through Stereolab traditional tempo shifting within one and the same song (Leleklato Sugar) and some weird affection or obsession for everything French. Apart from Letitia’s accent, we also can find a respective title Delugeoisie. Thus, we can not speak about huge changes in the Stereolab music. The band walks a different path. The musicians alter their style very smoothly as they seem to offer what we have already heard, but at the same time they bring in something new in very limited amounts. As a result, Stereolab, to the great surprise of their fans, said farwell to the purely rock-music pattern, and now they combine pop, funk, electronica and jazz. Not Music has it all and, moreover, sounds as if such synthesis is not a big deal, something anyone manages effortlessly, which, of course, is far from truth. No doubt, this is a good album, which, however, does not entitle us to proclaim the band’s return on their best shape, because they, in effect, have never left it.