Stereolab Vinyl, CD & tapes by Stereolab at Norman Records
Avant-pop weirdos Stereolab influenced pretty much everyone who's ever made a band since.
An exaggeration, maybe, but without them we wouldn't have a Deerhunter, nor an Animal Collective -- would we have any pranksters at all? A bananas initiative founded by experimentalists Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier, the group hosted many a rotating cast member and brought a whole number of things to the fore of rock music, be it uncomfortable dynamics, looping electronic music or avant-garde rhythm. Through a series of esoterically named LPs marked by psychedelic krautrock -- or sometimes marked by, well, nothing at all -- they became alchemic icons of indie rock.
They might be best known for Emperor Tomato Ketchup, a metamorphosing blob of sound art that made rock malady out of dub, trip hop, and ambient music, often creating something fluorescent out of the most simple and repetitive of trances. Somehow Stereolab could do that: they could make something as sure as a record spinning around feel busy with as many occurrences as a renaissance painting. Bands of the day have Stereolab to thank for bringing over motorik; they made this stringent rhythmic style sound bubbly and surreal. They did so much and were phased by so little of it, seemingly content with the logic of their own strange world. And now we all get to live in it.