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on 12 August 2004
Having known Stereolab throuhg their singles on t.v., and later on printed press, it came as a shock to me that such a retro attitude could be acted out in that wholesome and true fashion. Recorded between Chicago and Dusseldorf, this record oozes groove. The music is great, but Tortoise's John McEntire's touch of Midas is all over the record- or at least in the seven songs he produced and played on. Fellow member of Tortoise Doug McCombs also plays upright bass on one track. From the Dusseldorf sessions, Keyboard player Xavier Fischer is a welcome contribution; his work as Xavier Fischer Trio is worth checking out too.
Almost Immaculate.
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on 11 March 2001
I got hold of this album Amazon a few months ago, and I simply can't stop listening to it. The sound is a combination of avant garde drone effects, 60s style moog synths, lilting hypnotic vocals sung in french and english and some of the most 'groovy' rhythms and chord sequences I have ever heard. The first track sets the scene perfectly: slowly building up the layers of organ, guitar, vibraphone, moog, and singing, before the second song "Misso Modular" - the single - crashes in with brass. Each song has it's own distinctive twist, but the album as a whole finds Stereolab picking up bossa nova influnces, as well as 60s easy listenign ones. Tracks 7 and 8 deserve special mention: 7 for being a daring 17minute composition in theme and variations form which is comparable to Djed by Tortoise; trck 8 for combining latin with easy listening and drum'n'bass! You have to get this album, it takes a few listens, but after that you won't be able to stop.
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on 6 December 2007
This is Kind of Blue and Abbey Road territory here, people.

The Groop have been among my favorites for the past decade. They're quite capable of reaching the part of you where all artists aspire to, and they do so regularly. In my humblest, this is the pinnacle of of their talent.

Make this album a chapter in your life.
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on 1 May 2011
Saying that this is Stereolab's best album is high praise indeed, as I regard them as literally the best group in the history of the universe. I remember buying their very first album, "Switched On", in 1992, and thinking: "My, this is really something!". I have been hooked on Stereolab ever since.

"Dots and Loops" is Stereolab in their prime. I must have listened to this album hundreds of times over the years, to the point where it has become part of my life. It's one of their more subdued albums - very soothing and hypnotic.

This album represented a marked shift in style compared with their previous, electro-rock albums. Out went the surging guitars and swirling synthesizer. In came brass, strings, and more of a beep-beep-beep electronic sound (the eponymous dots and loops?). The back-and-forth sing-song vocals are more beautiful and entrancing than ever. The whole album is a remarkable montage of multi-layered musical textures.

I have a habit of playing it on Sunday evenings, when its calming tones are the ideal antitode to the approaching trauma of another busy week ahead!
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on 27 April 2003
Probably their most even album, it marked a shift upwards in the band's trajectory for me - sustained by subsequent releases 'Cobra and Phases ..' and 'Sound Dust'. Full of exotic, beautiful tunes, with a rich, mature sound. Stereolab are a one-off and their unwilting musical curiosity keeps them ever interesting. They go to places beyond the limited horizons of the bulk of modern musicians, whether 'indie' or otherwise. Buy any of their albums, but this is a good one to start with.
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on 9 May 2016
A brilliant album. Much has already been said about Stereolab's eclectic blend of influences - 60s lounge music, Latin American jazz and minimalism spring to mind here - but their uniqueness is hard to describe. Just lose yourself in the lush layered textures of their sound, beautiful arrangements of strings and brass counterbalancing the electronic bursts of noise and above these floating ethereal female voices. There are very few bands genuinely pushing the frontiers of music. Stereolab are definitely one of them.
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Many bands produce music where, once you've heard one album, you've more or less heard them all. Stereolab started out like that, doing art-rock drone music of a vaguely Velvet Underground lo-fi indie variety. I'm not so keen on that aspect of the band.

But from Emperor Tomato Ketchup onwards they started to branch out more, incorporating elements of Krautrock and easy listening into a broader richer sound. All this means that it's likely you won't always love everything they do. The positive side of their eclectic and adventurous musical exploration is that they sometimes unearth a diamond.

This album is perhaps not an even and easy ride throughout because it covers so much territory - but it's all worth it for the first two tracks alone: 'Brakhage' is a kind of psychedelicized krautrock trance-out, propelled by superb drumming, a strong feature of Stereolab during a period when John McEntire and Jim O'Rourke were collaborating with and producing them.

'Miss Modular' is a funkily kitschy pop anthem with a nice brass arrangement, bubbling with a knowing naiveté. Open-minded hungry ears will find a lot to chew over and many and varied spicy flavours to enjoy on this, one of Stereolab's better wider ranging albums.
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on 5 February 2009
'Dots and Loops' really is something special from an incredibly creative band- 'Miss Modular' is a bouncy, attractive little filly, but the genius is in the details here; 'Flower Called Nowhere', as evocative as Woolf's 'To The Lighthouse' & just as sensual in its observation, is quite frankly one of the best songs I've ever heard, & I've heard (& written) a few; 'Refractions in The Plastic Pulse' is one of the best sides of a record (vinyl) it's been my pleasure to hear, the way the melodies overlap & repeat above drifting chord progressions is astonishing, as is the switch mid-song from elegiac threnody to four on the floor (French) disko-fodderstompf during 'Contronatura'; indubitably their best record (Gane & Sadier's writing here has never been bettered, but feel I must also point out how impressive & evocative the irreplaceable Mary Hansen's counter melodies & backing vocals are) 'Dots & Loops' remains one of the highpoints of Anglo-French music, not just of the 1990s but from any time before or since. No question.
Absolutely essential listening.
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on 8 November 2001
with such songs as miss modular and refraction in the plastic pulse, any true stereolab fan will be pleased. for the tv junkies, parsec is the background music to one of the popular VW commercials from a few years ago. all in all, well worth the money. i'd also recommend sound dust if you enjoy this disc.
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on 30 July 2015
Just brilliant really...but that's just my opinion...I think this is a really good introductory album to stereo lab and really it's best served through headphones.....oh yes..
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