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The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music

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Album Review

Released in 1993, Space Age Bachelor Pad Music refined Stereolab's sound further and also showcased the increasingly experimental focus of the band's music. Split into two sides — the gentle, intricate "Easy Listening" and the more upbeat "New Wave" — this eight-song EP ranges from the bubbly keyboard piece "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (Foamy)" to the defiant, driving groove of "We're Not Adult Orientated." The sweet, close harmonies on "Ronco Symphony" and "The Groop Play Chord X" edge closer to the sophisticated, lounge pop-inspired sound explored during the rest of Stereolab's career, while the vibes of "Avant Garde M.O.R." and the fizzy keyboards of "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music (Mellow)" spotlight the band's more texturally complex arrangements. However, the immediacy of "We're Not Adult Orientated (Neu Wave Live)" and the hypnotic, fuzzy guitars on "U.H.F. - MFP" prove that while Stereolab gained more polish and ambition on Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, the band didn't lose any of its kinetic edge.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining an inclination for melodic '60s pop with an art rock aesthetic borrowed from Krautrock bands like Faust and Neu!, Stereolab were one of the most influential alternative bands of the '90s. Led by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier, Stereolab either legitimized forms of music that were on the fringe of rock, or brought attention to strands of pop music -- bossa nova, lounge-pop, movie soundtracks -- that were traditionally banished from the rock lineage. The group's trademark sound -- a droning,...
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