Stereolab Fab Four Suture

Stereolab Fab Four Suture
Fab Four Suture is a collection of 12 Stereolab songs released over the course of six limited edition seven-inch singles. The first three — "Kyberneticka Babicka,” "Plastic Mile” and "Interlock” — were released in September 2005 and promptly sold out. The next three — "Whisper Pitch,” "Excursions into Oh, A-Oh” and "Eye of the Volcano” — will come out the same day as the CD that collects them all into one handy package. Tim Gane and company have always preserved a sense of unity on their albums, leaving their more adventurous side for their singles. And so a collection like this is most revealing for the telltale signs of an all-too-consistent band branching out. Do they? In small parts, yes. The differences here are subtle, and most often happen in the rhythm section: "Kyberneticka Babicka Part 1” makes good use of the T-Rex shuffle; and halfway though "Interlock,” angular disco-punk infiltrates the bass and drums. These singles are more inclined to dance rather than noodle. Though, Gane’s signature guitars, Sadier’s unmistakable voice and the subversive cooing of her lyrics, and all those bubbling synths still make up the central part of the mix, and so the Lab sound isn’t about to undergo any stark transformations. As for the songs themselves, fans won’t be disappointed, but they’ll by no means be surprised either.

Why the decision to release these singles as a compilation? Gane: Well, it wasn’t a decision so much on my part. Our label Elektra had gone belly up, so we weren’t too much in an album mood. There’s a freedom in trying out new ideas with no obligation to something longer. I think about the finished form a lot when recording, whether it will come out on single or be downloadable. Then the label approached us about putting it all together in one package.

What do you make of the criticism that the Stereolab sound never changes? Yes, I hear that, but, obviously, I never think I’m going into the studio to record the same songs over and over again. I think of Woody Allen and his movies and how they’re all a variation on the same theme, each one is pretty similar to the next — like he’s exploring something. I think we have that kind of dynamic to the band, where we’re interested in exploring certain ideas more than others. Also, most people have trouble recognising our music when it’s instrumental, but once Laetitia starts singing, she’s the Stereolab stamp. Her voice is very distinctive. (Too Pure)