Stereolab go on hiatus
According to a note that manager Martin Pike posted on their website today, Stereolab are taking a break. “We are are all going to have a bit of a rest now after nearly 19 years and work on a few other projects,” Pike wrote, in a note titled “Hiatus/Sabbatical/Pause/Intermission/Breather”.
The London-based experimental pop band has been going strong for the better part of two decades now, twisting krautrock and exotica and drone and French music-hall and futuristic laser noises into fascinating new shapes. They endured the death of member Mary Hansen in 2002, and they played a huge part in inventing post-rock. And as Pike points out in that note, they made Emperor Tomato Ketchup, which no less an authority than Amazon recently named the #51 indie rock album of all time. (We suspect–and hope–that he’s kidding about that being the motivation for the hiatus.) They also placed one song in The Pitchfork 500– if we’re counting Uilab’s “St. Elmo’s Fire”, which we should, they placed two.
In the note, Pike promises some new material soon. Duophonic Super 45s, the band’s label, plans to release a new Stereolab album Chemical Chords 2. When we spoke with Tim Gane following the release of 2008’s Chemical Chords, he told us that their next album would be made up of songs recorded during the Chemical Chords sessions: “When [Chemical Chords] was originally going to come out, we had to finish it by the end of December. But now it’s been put back, so we’re mixing other tracks. The tracks were chosen at random. It will make an interesting kind of sibling or companion to the record. I think we won’t release it like a normal record. We’re not going to wait until next year, because it’s too similar, it’s from the same sort of sessions. We might do something like a tour album instead of a regular release.”
And in a interview, Laetitia Sadier explains a bit further: “The new record is 31 songs; that’s how I see it. It’s 31 songs, which are split into two halves. One is the day side, and one is the nighttime side … I was happier with the mix on the second album, which hopefully will come out in a few months’ time. I don’t know what’s going to happen with this other half of the recordings.”
According to Pike, the band also plans both a new entry in their Switched On compilation series and a “remastering of the back catalogue.”
Pike doesn’t mention the word “breakup” in his note, so we probably shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about the future of the band. But he does say that Stereolab have no plans to record anything further, and they’ve cancelled their last two scheduled shows, including one at Austria’s Donau Festival. Check below for the full text of Pike’s announcement.
As we recently made #51 with Emperor Tomato Ketchup in the Amazon 100 Greatest Indie Rock Albums of all Time we feel that our work is done for the moment.
We have had to cancel the last two shows that we were scheduled to play, apologies to all that had bought tickets, and there are no plans to record new tracks.
Duophonic are working on the release of Chemical Chords 2, we also have plans for a new Switched On and remastering of the back catalogue.
We are are all going to have a bit of a rest now after nearly 19 years and work on a few other projects.
The website will still be updated and disks released but there won’t be any new Stereolab product for a while.