Stereo Total have been around for 20 years apparently and here they have a well deserved best-of compilation, Yéyé Existentialiste, taking form as a double vinyl LP. The Stereo Total sound is generally joyous French pop which whistles along at a pace and has an air of chic that can only be achieved from a French female vocalist. However they bridge many genres along the way, from indie to electro to New Wave and the 28 tracks on this compilation reflect their diversity.
CD £10.99 BU099CD
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Double LP £19.49 BU099LP
180g vinyl gatefold 2LP on Blow Up.
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Our shoegaze lord Ian has such an aversion to fun that he recently refused to go to a Go Team! gig complaining that it would be too much fun. Better not play him this ‘best of’ French/German funsters Stereo Total then.
The band have been around for about 20 years garnering a cult audience along the way but without the international success and wealth that hinders many other bands and makes their life a total misery. It’s brash funny, quirky danceable and fun pop with gallic flair. Opener ‘I Love You ONO’ is a prime example - bouncy and clipped electro-pop with hooks galore - the sort of track just made to be on an advert for something bright and sunny like a new brand of wi-fi parasol. I was alarmed to hear a man singing on ‘Musique Automatique’ and was doubly alarmed to hear them cover Bowie’s already everywhere ‘Heroes’ so I’m happy to hear them do what they do best on tracks like ‘Pixelize Me’ which is all bells and whistles and Devo hooks.
They go all over the shop from j-pop to dafty French punk to easy listening. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF A VOCODER and a lot of the tracks have a kitch value. ‘Relax Baby Be Cool’ sounds like Plastic Bertrand ‘Wir Tanzen Im 4 eck’ is kind of like Trio who have run off to the disco. There are 28 tracks here to get your teeth into, which despite the knowing kitchy nods are often excellently constructed - the doomy soundtracky ‘Cafeteria Ideale’ being a good example. But beware - it’s tremendous fun. These people are not sad.
8/10 berlin Customer review, 24th October 2015
What a fine selection of tracks compiled on this couple of 12” vinyl discs.
All favourite songs of two decades Stereo Total in one big compilation: Old gems like ‘Miau Miau’ or ‘Comicstripteasegirl’ together with chart breakers like ’Schon von hinten’, ‘Amour a trios’, ‘Holiday Inn’ or ‘Wir tanzen im Viereck’ not to forget some similar eclectic more up to date stuff.
Some bands age, but Stereo Total still seem to be trapped in their best years; between teenage dreams and 'just- turned- twenty- adventures' of adult life. Stereo total are some sort of eccentric but charming 2- (or sometimes more)- piece- band around Brezel Goering (SiegmundFreudExperience) and Francoise Cactus (Lolitas) with electronic experiments spicing up the the uplifting beat. Synthie Pop is flirting with Nouvelle Vague, Serge Gainsburgh is hitting on New Wave, Hillbilly Rock swings with Soul, and no one talks about contraception.
Both celebrating their French- German love affair on a very personal level and tell stories of big love and the big city with all it’s glittering lights and hidden perils multilingual in English, French, German, but also Japanese and Spanish.
Their songs sound like snap shots out of crazy films, when it was cool to be sexy, when it was cool to be feminist, hedonist, consuming life in all its colours, scents and shades without remorse. Eclectic, extravagant. Including the unavoidable hangovers, dramas and break- ups after long nights out in the wild world. Quirky as Berlin, Sexy as Paris.
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- Yéyé Existentialiste by Stereo Total
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