Another inessential but lovely gallop through avant-pop's airy fringes.

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Stereolab : Captain Easychord

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Stereolab : Captain Easychord

As surely as the turning seasons, this year’s radically non-changing Stereolab single arrives with the strict regularity of an antique metronome fed through a vintage Moog before being detuned by a chrome-plated valve amp with its compressors rewired according to classical Marxist economic theory. As usual with latterday ‘Lab, the big red pedal marked ‘pop fun’ has been lightly pressed (bourgeois revisionist sell-outs!), thus leavening Laetitia’s glacial bilingual trilling with a measured dollop of rolling pianos and shiny, parping brass. With regular fellow travellers John McEntire, Jim O’Rourke and Sean O’Hagan in the mix, the result is another inessential but lovely gallop through avant-pop’s airy fringes.

Stephen Dalton