Published Mar 21, 2018Since Stereolab announced their "indefinite hiatus" at the close of the last decade, fans have been able to fulfill their desire for sleek political French yé-yé through former vocalist Laetitia Sadier's solo work and their thirst for tight post-rock motorik rhythms with multi-instrumentalist Tim Gane's Cavern of Anti-Matter project. Which is to say that the sonic sensibilities of Stereolab were always precise and fully-realized during their 19 year run.
But with the release of Hormone Lemonade — the third release by Gane, former Stereolab drummer Joe Dilworth and instrumentalist Holger Zapf — Cavern of Anti-Matter attempt to broaden their musical landscapes and move from their comfort zones, as each musician recorded their parts separately (and without external input) before sending it off the next member to add to it.
The resulting LP, all ten tracks and 66 minutes of it, finds the trio coming off more loose and exploratory than they've ever sounded, best demonstrated on the album's opening track, the 17-minute marathon, "Malfunction."
Others, like the pulsating "Automatic Morning" and the looming synth breakdown, "Remote Confection," benefit from this new musical mode, as they seemingly utilize a model of expressionism often explored in free jazz circles. Then there are songs, like the loop-overload of "Solarised Sound" and the persona-less "Feed Me Magnetic Rain," that unfortunately drag on the album's flow.
On Hormone Lemonade, Cavern of Anti-Matter have created an inventive piece of art that could have benefited from a bit of self-editing and a some of that old style vision. (Duophonic)