Peng! (Too Pure)
The query “what’s your favourite album?” all the time leaves me feeling a bit like I’m falling out of the sky, as I can consider dozens of favourite albums in a single cut up second, very like the rate of 1’s physique falling via time and area within the blink of a watch. There’s the query of “favourite” album after which there’s the query of which album is your “biggest affect.” For me, that is Stereolab’s debut studio album Peng! (1992). I can nonetheless bear in mind the primary time I heard it – I used to be 22 years outdated and I’d by no means heard something prefer it, not even shut. I didn’t comprehend it was okay to combine genres in the way in which this group did and that you may achieve this and nonetheless maintain strong songcraft in your again pocket. As a child who by no means held regular to at least one style of music style, however felt equally dedicated as a fan of punk rock, experimental noise, shoegaze, folks, jazz, new wave, world music, and soul, listening to Stereolab for the primary time was nothing wanting mind-bending for me.
Stereolab and their first file Peng! aren’t simply outlined. Merely put, Peng! is each fashionable and retro. A easy but complicated merging of experimental 60’s pop, ’70s krautrock, ’50s jazz, dreamy ’60s-influenced feminine girl-group harmonies, British mod-psychedelia, easy low-end lounge pop, with an undercurrent of hypnotic analog synths, sequencing and electronics, countless memorable counter melodies, repetitive sonic drones, lo-fi pop precision, a touch of world music, some punk rock and experimental noise with a keenly cinematic high quality – this album stands the take a look at of time. Peng! is pure ironic bliss. There’s ability in the way in which it brings opposites – minimalistic monotonous repetitive grooves that each make you stand utterly nonetheless and dance on the identical time. The album is punk rock within the sense that it’s genre-bending/genre-exploring, rule-breaking, boundary pushing, discordant avant garde, and but at instances ethereal, stunning, poetic, after which chaotic, noisy, and sonically pleasing. Any band that may write nice songs with solely two chords and songs that might simply be carried out with out using electrical devices strikes me as good. Stereolab redefined the character of experimental music with this album and in addition upheld the gold normal of pop songwriting mastery.
“Joanna” is out now. The self-titled debut album can be reissued on February 5 via Jealous Butcher Information.