Stereolab Concoct Third Collection Of Rarities

Aluminum Tunes will cover the acclaimed ambient-pop group's last three-plus years of activity.

Acclaimed ambient-groove group Stereolab will compile obscure material from

their past three years for the third in a series of rarities

collections, this one curiously titled Aluminum Tunes.

The two-CD, 25-track set (Oct. 20), which gathers songs from more than 20

different releases by the London-based experimental group, including singles and compilation tracks, is the latest

in a rarities-collection series that also includes 1992's Switched

On and 1995's Refried Ectoplasm [Switched On Volume 2].

The new collection covers the last three-plus years of the prolific band's

career, beginning with 1994's Mars Audiac Quintet and continuing

through 1996's Emperor Tomato Ketchup and 1997's Dots and

Loops.

"This one really strikes me compared to the last one we did, which covered

a period which saw the world receive this band with open arms and had the

feel of everything including the kitchen sink," said Gene Booth,

spokesman for Chicago-based Drag City, which released Refried

Ectoplasm and is releasing Aluminum Tunes.

"With this one, it's like a function of where they're at now, with such

maturity, that from song to song there's a linearity to the record, which

is amazing for a singles compilation/rarities collection. It's a testament

to how good they are at what they do."

Aluminum Tunes will include split 7-inch singles, tour singles,

compilation tracks, a 12-inch remix by Wagon Christ (a.k.a. Luke Vibert) and a

bonus disc that features the entire 1995 rarity release Music for the

Amorphous Body Study Centre.

The latter was a combined effort with artist Charles Long in which the

group -- known for its artistic melding of ambient and electronic music

-- created a "soundtrack" to one of Long's gallery installations of

sculptures. Visitors to the exhibit were able to experience each piece of art

through a set of headphones that provided audio tracks keyed to each

sculpture.

"I think it's cool that they're generous enough about paying attention to

this stuff," Booth said. "As a collector, I'm always frustrated when I

can't find that odd B-side. It's a real nod to their fanbase."

The collection also will be released in a triple-vinyl format.

The track listing for Aluminum Tunes is: "Pop Quiz," "The Extension

Trip," "How To Play Your Internal Organs Overnight," "The Brush Descends

The Length," "Melochord Seventy-Five," "Space Moment," "Iron Man," "The

Long Hair Of Death," "You Used To Call Me Sadness," "New Orthophony,"

"Speedy Car," "Golden Atoms," "Ulan Bator," "One Small Step," "One Not

Samba," "Cadriopo," "Klang Tone," "Get Carter," "1000 Miles An Hour,"

"Percolations," "Seeperbold," "Check And Double Check," "Munich Madness,"

"Metronomic Underground (Wagon Christ Mix)" and "The Incredible He

Woman."