Stereolab – Pulse Of The Early Brain (Switched On Volume 5)
Following much anticipated live dates and the fourth instalment of their Switched On series in 2021, the unparalleled Stereolab return with yet another helping of rare and unreleased material. The fifth volume in the series compiles out of print records and obscure tracks from limited splits and singles spanning from the band’s beginnings with the 1992 Low Fi EP to some of their more recently released material in 2008 with Chemical Chords bonus tracks.
Pulse Of The Early Brain is a rollercoaster ride through Stereolab’s career, showcasing a variety of musical moods from noisy drones through playful pop to amorphous acid jazz. The albums kicks off with two Nurse With Wound collaborations running ten and twenty minutes apiece: ‘Simple Headphone Mind’ chugs along to rebounding delicate guitar plucks and steely vocal musings, while ‘Trippin’ With The Birds’ is an extended cut with slow as molasses mind-altering manipulations. ‘Robot Riot’ picks up the pace, strumming brightly into the colourful krautrock tune ‘Spool Of Collusion’.
The mood switches once more on ‘Symbolic Logic Of Now!’, a sound salad of bit-crushed blips, crashing drums, and explosive horns that play into the album’s wide reaching selection of tracks. Stereolab’s sonic explorations are documented in full force, from flitting reversed sounds to churning guitars, to the emotional performance on the grand and energetic live version of ‘Cybele’s Reverie’. Also included is a rare find in Autechre’s 1998 rework of a track from Dots And Loops, which sees the duo twisting the once pristine vocals into the corroded output of dying android launched into a network of mangled breaks.
Stereolab journey through prismatic pop experiments with their latest offering of rarities on Pulse Of The Early Brain.