22.12.15

The eight dreamiest Stereolab songs, according to Tom Furse

Confirmed fans of The Horrors already know that member Tom Furse had a fondness for 1970's krautrock, vintage electronic keyboards, and repetitive motorik beats. Furse's love for all things analogue means that he shares an affinity with Stereolab, who he also reserves a place in his heart. Across The Horrors' four albums in the past decade, the influence may not be immediately apparent, but a follower of Gane and Sadier, Furse is, with many of their tracks popping up in his NTS Radio shows in the past year.

Aside from his usual crate-digging and disc-spinning, this year Furse has also focused on solo material, with one of three EPs coming via Dave McLean's (Django Django) imprint Kick + Clap. Following the release of his Detroit techno-inspired 'Run To Me' short-player in October, we caught up with Furse to let him choose eight of Stereolab's dreamiest songs. Amongst his selection, Furse has opted for songs with 6/8 time signatures, deep cuts from 'Aluminium Tunes', a song not recognised by Shazam, and a track deemed too controversial to pass Norway's borders.

01. Pause.

Tom Furse: "Voices float over a delicate organ with a numbers station going in the background. Pause comes from early on in the Stereolab timeline so you can hear how they developed this style of playing through the list."

02. Ronco Symphony 

Tom Furse: "From their ‘The Groop Played Space Age Batchelor Pad Music’ album. Classic-era Stereolab with subversive undertones."

03.Neon Beanbag (Atlas Sound Mix).

Tom Furse: "The partnership between Bradford Cox [Deerhunter] and the two principal members of Stereolab [Tim Gane and Lætitia Sadier] has always spawned interesting results – this being the most abstract and weird as far as I am aware."

04. Fiery Yellow.

Tom Furse: "Fiery Yellow is Stereolab flirting heavily with exotica, a sound close to my heart and a great example of how the ‘lab brought a lot of different influences in and executed them masterfully and in a way that was still unmistakably Stereolab."

05. Contronatura.

Tom Furse: "Taken from their remarkable ’Dots And Loops’ album, Contronatura is a chugging slice of 6/8 beauty. Stereolab made lots of use of that time signature.. chords and rhythms float over it in a way you don’t quite get with 4/4 time."

06. Monstre Sacre. 

[Editors Note: Tom's choice is unavailable on YouTube, but can be heard on Spotify here].

Tom Furse: "Again carrying on the 6/8 time, it's Stereolab getting ever more sophisticated. The beautiful glissando strings add a soundtrack feel to their most iconic album ‘Emperor Tomato Ketchup’; that takes its name from a film with such controversial subject matter that The Horrors ditched our copy before the sometimes strict Norwegian border."

07. Space Moment.

Tom Furse: "Close, rich harmonies and long suspense are key to this track. Laetitia is a master at layering vocals, and the strings add a layer of beautiful tension that see’s sudden stop and release in a practically unrelated coda – just the kind of unpredictable arrangement I like to hear."

08. Ulan Bator.

Tom Furse: "Another from their brilliant 'Aluminium Tunes' collection of rarities and b-sides. If you try using Shazam to identify the song, the result is a continuously changing stream of incorrect identifications. Even the machines don’t know what to make of this stunning meditation!" 

Tom Furse's 'Run To Me' is out now through Kick + Clap (buy).