By Gregory AdamsEarlier this year, English art-pop explorers Stereolab kicked off a reissue campaign that yielded vinyl represses of some of their earliest work. Up next will be a pair of platters celebrating the troupe's mid-'90s output. The 1972 imprint will offer up both 1996's Emperor Tomato Ketchup and the following year's Dots and Loops as double-LP sets on November 27.
Emperor Tomato Ketchup is praised as the band's first commercial breakthrough, with a press release explaining that this is "the point where the band evolved from a purely underground phenomenon to an important pop group capable of selling albums while keeping their hipness and integrity intact."
The group continued to explore the kitschy side of '60s pop, referencing Burt Bacharach arrangements with Farfisas and Moogs while still mining influence from Krautrock's odd time signatures and the spirit of punk. Tracks "Metronomic Underground" and "Les Yper-Sound" also added funk-like textures to the group's already heady brew.
As for Dots and Loops, the follow-up LP expunged any remaining traces of Krautrock's motorik beat to fully embrace lounge and jazz rhythms. Recorded in Chicago and Düsseldorf, the full-length found the regular players joined by members of the High Llamas, Mouse on Mars's Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma, and post-rock god John McEntire of Tortoise and the Sea and Cake. Described as "the band's most complex set of rhythms yet," the album featured the lofty, vibes-assisted epic "Refractions in the Plastic Pulse."
While tracklistings have yet to be revealed, we assume both reissues will stick to the original running order, with no added tracks included.