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50 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 28, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

On their 12th release, art-pop act Stereolab float deeper into the post-rock atmosphere. They still draw from Ennio Morricone and Henry Mancini when creating their own fantasy soundtracks, but Sound-Dust lacks the dynamic interplay that invigorated Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night. The disc is all easy-listening lounge that's almost too gentle on the ears. There are no urgent sonic experiments, and only three tracks really spark to life: "Spacemoth," "Captain Easychord," and the Kubrick-inspired "Gus and the Mynah Bird." "Easychord" is the catchiest song on the album, containing the CD's most ebullient melody-emitting, warped, country-twanged notes. Beyond that, Stereolab fans should prepare for a very sedate, mature affair. --Jennifer Maerz


Ever since Mars Audiac Quintet and Emperor Tomato Ketchup, the rich production on Stereolab's recordings has belied the fact that, in live performance, the band unveils their identity as minimalists whose songs, stripped of strings, brass and vibraphones, are haiku-like in their economical usage of voice, percussion, organ and guitar. In the hands of Tim Gane, that last instrument becomes a tool used to reduce the myriad genres the group has touched (Krautrock, bossa nova, country) to their essential structures, which then become vehicles and instances of trance-inducing repetition.

All this may seem remedial to anyone remotely familiar with the group, but it bears repeating in the face of the cool reaction Stereolab's latest long-player, Sound-Dust, may get. Listeners hoping for a radical departure from previous outings may be disappointed to find that the disc doesn't necessarily break new ground - lush arrangements, enchanting melodies and otherworldly tones abound, but that's to be expected from Stereolab. But to assess this apparent lack of progress as aesthetic stasis or another signal of the group's lapse into irrelevance would be to overlook the ways in which their prolific output (eight LPs and scores of singles and EPs in the span of 10 years) incessantly reworks the same themes and ideas, as if the band wanted their records to blend into a seemingly endless, repetitious whole. It's a subversive pop formula that questions assumptions about innovation, originality and aesthetic progress, and one that Sound-Dust recalculates in superb fashion.

Pete Skafish -- From URB Magazine

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Black Ants In Sound-dust 1:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Spacemoth 7:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Captain Easychord 5:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Baby Lulu 5:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. The Black Arts 5:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Hallucinex 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Double Rocker 5:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Gus The Mynah Bird 6:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Nought More Terrific Than Man 4:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Nothing To Do With Me 3:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Suggestion Diaboligue 7:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Les Bon Bons Des Raisons 6:43$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00005N5AA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Byron the Bulb on August 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
After "First of the Microbe Hunters," I thought the groop had hit a stylistic block. There were a few good songs on that release, but overall the band was treading water. However, Stereolab have completely redeemed themselves with "Sound-Dust," which is IMHO their best since "Emperor Tomato Ketchup." Fans of their earlier stuff may be disappointed - the primitive, analog synths have entirely disappeared. Their new sound is much lighter, almost orchestral, with great vocals and lots of horns, flute, and electric piano. As usual, they plunder melodies from the 60s and 70s, combined with minimalist percussion reminiscent of Steve Reich. The album is extremely diverse while at the same time completely coherent. However, what most strikes me about this album is the song-writing - there are lots of great, unpredictable song shifts, catchy lyrics, and weird melodies that worm their way into your brain and won't get out. For example, check out the way "Space Moth" begins like a movie soundtrack before abruptly shifting into a disco number, or the country guitar that suddenly intrudes into "Captain Easychord," or the way Laetitia manages to sound earnest while singing the lyrics: "You're not a doctor, you're a wanker." And is that emotion creeping into Laetitia's voice on "The Black Arts?" Lots of fun and highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sir Grand Citizen on June 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ever have one of those albums?

An album where you spin it a few times and a few songs might sink-in, but the majority seem wrapped in gauze? Then-- ONE DAY -- it hits you, the genius behind the songs, the hidden melodies, the amazing musicianship?

That was my experience with this album. It took 2 years of (very) sporadic listenings to suddenly be hit in the head with just how flat-out AMAZING this album is. A few songs are easy and accessible (ie. "Captain Easychord"), while others may take a few listens to *really* appreciate--- but it's worth the effort. (as a comparison, I found "Margerine Eclipse" very easy to get-into, while it took a while for "Dots & Loops" and "Cobra & Phases" to really sink-in).

Very highly recommended, once it hits you, it will stay with you and grow-stronger with repeat-listens.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Loetterle on March 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Not sure what some of the reviewer's here are talking about. This is simply put, a fantastic album. If you consider yourself one of those who can see the rich brilliance of stereolab's offerings throughout the years, then you've got to get it. It flows, it's moody, funky, and lovely.

Baby Lulu is currently my fav, but they're all complex and original enough that it takes me a while to realize each songs awesomeness. Newbies can try Emperor Tk or Dots and Loops, but real fans shouldn't miss this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mantis on November 19, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Prior to purchasing "Sound-Dust", I read several reviews that hinted at Stereolab treading old ground. I'm not sure exactly what these snobs were expecting, but what I got is a beautiful, magical album that gets better and better every time I hear it.

Now I'm not going to lie, the album won't surprise you too much if you're familiar with their work of the late 90's and early aughts. But they add so much to it. There are moments of pure audio bliss. I liked this album quite a bit upon my first listen, but there were also some things that disappointed me. The vocals sounded forced in spots, and I didn't like some of the arrangements. Upon repeated listenings, everything blends seamlessly. The songs are beautiful, complex, just...lush. And not cheesey either. How a band can have so many "la la la's" in the background and not sound corny at all is truly amazing. A buncha stuff going on and still completely accessible.

I listen to everything from country to metal but I'm very picky about every category. I've never heard a band like this before. Their music appeals to me on almost every level of musical enjoyment. They don't quite do for me what good old-fashioned punk rock will (though their live shows are just as fun) but it's as if Stereolab fused together all these kinds of music that some might categorize as "background" and demanded attention from it.

If you like Stereolab or adventurous music at all, I can't imagine that you won't enjoy this CD. I guess in any review Stereolab would be categorized as "alternative" and I suppose that's as good a grouping as any, but still doesen't do the groop justice. No songs particularly stand out. I like some more than others but if you like it, you'll like all of it. This disc might be my favorite of theirs. Don't pass this one up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By jvdi on January 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
But now I do. I would say there are 9 good songs on this album. For a couple of years I would have said there were 2 good songs on here, Naught More Terrific than Man and Nothing to do with Me.

But really listening to this, I just have to shake my head at the sheer genius of Tim Gane. It really is a shame that such crap is on the top 40 these days when there is so much better out there. Like this.

Great music is still being produced folks. It is just much more difficult to find than in the 1970's where great songs made the radio.

In my opinion, the output of Stereolab in 1996-2001 ranks right up there with any rock group in the last 35 years. Bar none. It is just really too bad that nobody has heard of this great group.

You may get this and scratch your head wondering about the hype. It may take years to really appreciate this album. I have to tell you...when I listen to this group, I don't feel like playing guitar because I realize I will never posses the sheer genius that is Tim Gane.
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