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Boomkat Product Review:
A radically different approach delivers an album of signature Stereolab stylings embellished by an improvised recording process. All 13 tracks were laid down at Instant Zero, their studio in Bordeuax, in the same session as their 2008 album 'Chemical Chords'. 'Not Music' differs from its predecessor by way of Tim Gane's more experimental approach, messing around with a "series of about seventy tiny drum loops" before adding improvised chord progressions played on piano and vibraphone. "Building them up from there - later slowing the tracks down or speeding them up- was a totally new way of doing songs for us". The result displays an eclectic mix of influences, from the kings of Brasilian tropicalia, Os Mutantes, to the furthest experiments of Daphne Oram and The BBC Radiophonic workshop. The record also includes two mixes: 'Silver Sands' by Emperor Machine (full of driving and repeating samples and motorik drums harking back to classic 'lab), and 'Neon Beanbag' by Atlas Sound and Deerhunter member Bradford Cox (providing a sense of otherworldleness which so often found in his best known work). Stereolab, who have always managed to reinvent themselves over the years, have taken an improvised route but ended up somewhere pleasingly familiar, delivering an album recommended to newcomers and diehard fans in equal measure.