Stereo Total - Monolith Cocktail

The chic lo fi pop exponents of…well, ‘yé yé existentialism’, Stereo Total are given adulated respect in this latest compilation of their work from Blow Up Records. Compiled by Paul Tunkin, in conjunction with the Franco-German duo, this celebration charts all their kooky career highlights: from the 1995 debut, right up until their last studio LP in 2012. Who better to wax lyrically over this collection than our very own Francophone Ayfer Simms.

Stereo Total   ‘Yéyé Existentialiste’   (Blow Up)

The delirium of free spirits, tongue twisting languages brings a nice breeze of explosive pop, punk, and elastic rock genre all together mixed under a very European banner of French, German and English, even stretching the borders to Japan and…space. Romantic avant-garde movie scenes, uncanny bedrooms, rooftops with sun kissed people, disco techs, aliens, childhood melodies, Stereo Total gathers all kinds of effects and shrug their shoulders: The singer is a fiery, fragile, bony and cool chick, un peu chic and Bohem, in the grand old tradition of French women who are able to scream while whispering.

Sophisticated, outrageous, this is a good time to give you a lesson of Frenchness: with a superb elasticity of the limbs, attitude, lyrics, nonchalance, a pinch of creative bratness, the band manage to give birth to a great bold pop tune collection with catchy bouncy rhythms. The Duo is Franco-German but the prevalent spirit is without a doubt French. The compilation is quirky, non-French speakers may experience butterflies on the tip of their tongue and let a “Ohlala” escape in joy of that bistro world invaded by light headed and free beings: “I like threesome love, I know it sounds démodé”, pretty and subversive; A world of boots and sandals, of bikinis and raincoats; There’ll be some messy intercourse with robots from the 70s and some feast fights in muddy craters, and there will be more intercourse and more mischief: There’ll be rolling down a puddle of electric funny sound with a  gigantic hysterical fit of giggles, a walk to the nearest “café” big sloppy love making and expresso consumption, naked perhaps.

The tunes are bubbly and the accents suave. What is it with the French Je ne sais quoi?  The German punch? It works, in all its Saint-plicity, pray for us!

Words:  Ayfer Simms

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