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Stereo Total

Musique Automatique

Bobsled

Bridging the gap between Trio and British pub rock, Stereo Total seem to possess an endless supply of minimalist studio creativity to complement the direct but infectious style of their melodies. With vocals in French, German, English and what-have-you, and a musical style that is simultaneously digital and analog, the band is staggeringly multi-cultural -- vocalist Francoise Cactus is French, while the rest of the band comes from Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Germany. On Musique Automatique Stereo Total put their drum machines and Casiotones in the front of the mix, and seem to greatly enjoy dropping what sounds like samples from '80s arcade staple Galaga into their songs. "Wir tanzen in 4-eck" could have been the cinematic theme for the failed Sprockets movie, what with its stoppy-starty sampled beat and spooky old-west organ riff. The title track teaches you all sorts of French words (or at least all sorts of French words ending in "-ique") while giving you a backing beat that is infectious and implacable. But the crown jewel here has to be "Forever 16," which riffs like early Devo before crashing into a superpunk chorus -- that whooping sound you hear is your brain's music node signaling a dangerous overload. You'll play it over and over again...

Stereo Total once again release a collection of songs that is globally cosmopolitan, owing allegiance to no particular language, genre or instrument. Keeping it simple, using whatever sounds good at the time (whether it be a power chord, digital beat, or Moog blast), and wrapping it with Cactus' oh-so-continental vocals has been a winning formula every time.

Bobsled Records: http://www.bobsledrecords.com