Pop: Dotty and loopy - that's Stereolab

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Indy Lifestyle Online
For a band seen more on bill posters and stickers in telephone boxes than in the charts, Stereolab are surprisingly prolific. They have just released their ninth album - `Dots And Loops' - since forming in 1992. Their tour of England kicks-off today.

Stereolab are one half East-Ender Tim Grane, the other his Parisian girlfriend, Laetitia Sadier. Their multi-instrumental production is harder to define. Dots And Loops has been announced as their most developed album, skillfully blending percussion loops, rare instruments (like the theremin), DJ samples and synthesizers to sound like a French Orbital.

Previous album titles hint at Stereolab's unique sound - such as Emperor Tomato Ketchup and Mars Audiac Quintet.

"People always think we're retro-futuristic. On this album we've had a more `record from the present' feedback. Now we're situated in the present," says Laetitia.

Or it could just be that now is the perfect situation for Stereolab. Their unorthodox and distorted sound blends with a burgeoning lo-fi scene of bands like Babybird, The Pastels and even the big beat thumping of The Lo-Fi Allstars. It is about time Stereolab got credit for something other than weird plundering of a bizarre range of literary and musical sources from Kraftwerk to Faust to Velvet Underground. "Our music isn't made for dance. I like music that doesn't have a specific purpose, but has its own reasons for existing," says Tim.

So get out the red wine, delve into the Boursin and take it easy - French style.

On tour from Sept 25 to Oct 4. Tickets, from pounds 7, available from Ticketmaster (call 0990 344444 for bookings and information