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Stereolab share rarity ‘Household Names’ before new compilation record


Legends of the ’90s, Stereolab have shared a rare track ‘Household Names’ before the release of their mammoth compilation record Electrically Possessed which arrives this month.

The song first appeared as part of Stereolab’s mini-album from 2000 The First of the Microbe Hunters but is now getting its first proper release. It’s a reminder rof the hidden gem Stereolab continue to be for so many music listeners.

20 years have passed since that recording and it’s a special memory for guitarist Tim Gane who said of the track: “During a two-week break in touring for the Cobra and Phases Group LP we decided to go into Blackwing Studios to record a bunch of tracks ‘old style’ – straight to tape for what would become the world’s first double-mini album First of the Microbe Hunters.

“It was a spur of the moment kind of thing,” continued Gane, “and there was only one song already written (‘Outer Bongolia’ – originally played by Turn On for three concerts played around the time of the release of their LP 28/07/97) and one song that had already been recorded and mixed earlier (‘I Feel the Air’ – originally meant for ‘Dots & Loops’ but we run out of time to mix it for the mastering and so it was left off).”

“Consequently – as time was tight -all of the other tracks were written very fast across two or three days. ‘Household Names’ was one of three tracks written on the first day (according to the running order on my Fostex cassettes) and it’s a little bit of a hark back up to the poppy side of the ETK period I suppose.

“The track has some lovely singing throughout and great keyboard arrangements courtesy of Sean O’Hagan. We played pretty much as a band and unlike the previous two LPs we didn’t use any computers. Andy [Ramsay]’s working title for the song was ‘Dicky Bows at Dawn’, a reference to its cabaret wedding band sound.”

The new compilation release Electrically Possessed arrives on February 26th via Warp records and Duphonic UHF Disks as a mammoth 3 x LP set. It covers the band’s later period at the turn of the millennium.