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  Stereolab - Oscillons from the Anti-Sun  
White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

In the year of Stereolab releases, the groop have given us Oscillons From the Anti-Sun, a 3 CD and 1 DVD release. It features music from throughout the band's history, and feels more like a boxed set compilation than a greatest hits set.

These aren't the tracks from the albums, they're from the band's singles and E.P.'s. This makes it worthwhile for anyone who likes the band, even if you have the albums. You get a lot of alternate versions of songs. Only a retro-futurist band like Stereolab could come up with a groovy idea like a compilation of great tracks from the past and release it in a format that's ahead of it's time.

It include some of their best songs though, like Jenny Ondioline, Wow and Flutter, Cybele's Reverie, Captain Easychord, and The Free Design. It covers the gamut of the Stereolab existence, from the earlier Moog experiments that gave us trippy keyboard explosions to the later tight constructions that moved into a more conservative, jazz-influenced format.

I think it's very interesting that the band has chosen not to put the tracks in chronological order. The compilation plays more like a Stereolab playlist on shuffle, going backward and forward in their timeline. It seems more interesting that way, as you are never too mired in the past and never too close to a block of their most recent work.

It was also great to hear some of the older tracks. It took me back to a time when their live shows featured a build up of droning keyboards that exploded into a frenetic chaos of noise and energy. The very first time I saw them play was one of those rare live experiences that stayed burned in my mind forever. They just simply played such a good show on multiple levels that putting it into words would only come across limited in words. Suffice it to say that after the show people were kind of dizzy, amazed, walking into walls, and genuinely blown away.

The DVD is also interesting, but kind of moderate from my point of view. It features mostly U.K. promo stuff, but also one U.S. promo video; there are also a series of U.K. live for TV performances. It's fun to see the band in their own self-styled art woeld in these videos. Take Ping Pong - the band is set themselves among a world of retro-futristic furniture, architecture, and lifestyles. They look like a band that is having creative fun before the music industry takes over and boils out the good stuff. Wow and Flutter - these guys are still in their own world, creating something untried with the steadfast assurance and confidence that it will all fit together in the end - true creative genious. They choose from options on a toch screen that includes buttons that read options like "The Future," "The Past," "UHF," and others.

RATING: ***** 4 out of 5 stars


Release Date:
April 2005

Recording Label:
Too Pure / Beggars Banquet

Stereolab: Oscillons from the Anti-Sun track list:
01 Disk 1
02 Fluorescences
03 Allures
04 Fruition
05 Wow and Flutter
06 With Friends like These
07 Pinball
08 Spinal Column
09 Ping Pong - unreleased LP version
10 Golden Ball
11 Cybele's Reverie
12 Nihilist Assault Group [parts1,2,3]
13 Off-On

14 Disk 2
15 Jenny Ondioline
16 Young Lungs
17 Escape Pod [From the World of Medical Observations]
18 Moodles
19 You Used To Call Me Sadness
20 Captain Easychord
21 Les Aimies
22 French Disco
23 Transona Five [live]
24 Moogie Wonderland
25 Canned Candies
26 Narco Martenot

27 Disk 3
28 The Noise of Carpet
29 The Free Design
30 Les Yper Yper Sound
31 Pain et Spectacles
32 Ping Pong
33 Long Life Love
34 Jenny Ondioline - 7" tour single version
35 Heavy Denim
36 Brigitte
37 Miss Modular
38 Soop Groove #1

39 Disk 4 - DVD
40 UK Promos:
41 Jenny Ondioline
42 Ping Pong
43 Wow and Flutter
44 Cybele's Reverie
45 Fluorescences
46 Miss Modular
47 The Free Design
48 US Promo:
49 The Noise of Carpet
50 UK TV Performances:
51 French Disko - The Word
52 Cybele's Reverie - Later With Jools Holland
53 Les Yper Sound - Later With Jools Holland



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