Oscillons From the Anti Sun
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Oscillons From The Anti-Sun
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This 4-disc box set features 3 CDs of EP tracks from 'Jenny Ondioline' to 'Captain Easychord' - compiling tracks from the band's rare Duophonic EPs and singles. A 4th DVD (NTSC/Region 1) disc of the accompanying promotional videos also includes TV appearances for The Word and Later with Jools Holland. All four discs in this set are packaged in a clam shell box, with free stickers. Too Pure. 2005.
When you're a prolific band that also happens to be mighty friendly to your obsessive compulsive collector fan base, you wind up releasing a lot of singles and EPs with material that's otherwise unavailable on your albums. And here, for the price of a Japanese pressing of the Fluorescences EP on an auction site alone, you get Stereolab's eight Elektra EPs, from 1993's Jenny Ondioline to 2001's Captain Easychord. The "groop"'s collaborative EPs ( Crumb Duck, Uilab) are not included, but there is a DVD with rarely-seen videos and television performances. This box set serves far more than a plug-the-gaps exercise for trainspotters; as with the singles collections Switched-On volumes one, two and three (did we not mention this band is prolific?), it's an intriguing retrospective of the band in their mature years. And unlike those comps, this set often highlights the band's more lengthy, experimental songs. "Les Yper Yper Sound," for instance, John McEntire's distorted, delightfully repetitious reworking of "Yper Sound" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, is spine-tinglingly awesome. --Mike McGonigal
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.04 x 5.71 x 0.94 inches; 7.83 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Too Pure / Beggars
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : January 30, 2007
- Label : Too Pure / Beggars
- ASIN : B0007YMRWS
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: #234,951 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The music is wonderful, often with more of an experimental or rougher edge than their albums. I haven't found a weak track yet; often I find myself saying "damn that's amazing" Sonically you couldn't ask for a better mastering job. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun is not only an excellent album in its own right but also acts as a kind of career retrospective showing both Stereolab's versitality and purity of vision throughout the years.
Now everything wasn't all sunshine and lollipops with Oscillons from the Anti-Sun, there were a few things I didn't like. The songs weren't sequenced by EP or release date but by feel. Although the sequencing works, I still find it mildly irritating. But I ripped this thing to my computer and can sequence the songs any way I care to. Number two is the cardboard CD case is almost impossible to open without ripping it. I had to struggle for some time before the damn thing finally bent to my will. Number three is that while personnel listings are given for each EP, none of the EPs are mentioned by name but by manufacturers number and date: "Originally released as D-UHF-D26, etc." But in the light of what you get for your money, at worst they're minor annoyances. For the Stereolab fan who hasn't collected these EPs already this is a no brainer. What are you waiting for? Click add to your shopping cart now.
After a few regular albums* they again compiled non-album cuts on "Refried Ectoplasm" (subtitled "Switched On, Vol. 2"). Then, a few years later, the double-CD "Aluminum Tunes" (aka "Switched On, Vol. 3) presented many more non-album cuts.
Now this fine tradition has been repeated with the amazing collection "Oscillons from the Anti-Sun." It's about time!
Like many 'Lab fans I have tried to collect all the past singles and EPs but with limited success. While all of Stereolab's regular albums have remained in print, many singles and EPs have not.
About one third of these songs, or at least the versions represented here, are entirely new to me. This is very exciting, especially since our much-missed Mary Hansen is heard throughout. It's like having the impossible: new releases featuring Mary's sweet voice.
Anyone who doesn't like this collection doesn't like Stereolab. I mean, don't you get sick of short-sighted people who complain that every new 'Lab album doesn't sound like "Mars Audiac Quintet"? Growth always means leaving the slow ones behind.
*(By the way, an Album is a collection of music. A 12", 33 1/3 RPM vinyl phonograph record is called an LP. I only state this to clarify things for the kind of people who call video game cartridges "tapes" and who try to re-wind their DVDs.)
I want to add one thing. Stereolab has a player who I don't see getting enough credit: drummer Andy Ramsay. While the other players are making all kinds of experimental zooms, gleeps and boings, Andy keeps up a solid rock beat that ultimately is the only thing keeping this band on the ground. His drumming is some of the most appropriate and tasteful anywhere.
Top reviews from other countries
Oscillons From The Anti-Sun catches up with all their regular EP releases from 1993 up to Captain Easychord in July 2001. The earliest included EP is Jenny Ondioline, the first on their own Duophonic UHF label in the UK (a 7" vinyl single had come out the previous year), and also the start of their lengthy association with Elektra in America. Tour singles such as The Underground Is Coming and Free Witch And No-Bra Queen are not included, but will doubtless appear one day on Switched On Vol. 4.
Although not in any chronological order, thankfully all the EPs represented are included in full, bypassing the frustration of wondering what missing tracks might sound like and why they were excluded - a lesson other compilers might care to learn.
The Noise Of Carpet was a lead track in the US instead of Cybele's Reverie, and is included here, though Percolator, which replaced Young Lungs from the same UK EP, is not. Both The Noise Of Carpet and Percolator are on the album Emperor Tomato Ketchup, though whether in the same versions I cannot confirm. Additionally there are alternative takes or mixes of Ping Pong and Jenny Ondioline, though these differ from the familiar versions only in the slightest respect.
Whereas the EPs seemed to be designed to higlight the range and display the diversity of the groop, as they are styled, the tracking order of the discs seems to favour like with like, so that each disc has a dominant mood or ambience. First pressings of the box set include facsimile glossy labels of the seven EP covers, either to ease the conscience of those selling their original artefacts or for the benefit of newcomers to the recordings. These are fractionally reduced in size from the original paper inserts.
Considering that there is an additional DVD disc with eight promos and three live TV appearances which is probably worth the asking price alone, this box set is remarkable value for money and gives a thorough and representative overview of this unique outfit.