Stereolab: Mars Audiac Quintet (Warp/Duophonic UHF Disks) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Mars Audiac Quintet

Warp/Duophonic UHF Disks

May 23, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In 1994 Stereolab were slowly becoming a recognizableif not quite householdname. Television appearances on shows such as Channel 4’s The Word and MTV’s 120 Minutes had raised the band’s profile somewhat to the point where expectations surrounding the imminent arrival of album number three had reached fever pitch in some circles.

So when Mars Audiac Quintet arrived in the summer of 1994 it lived up to those lofty expectations. Released in the same month as Portishead’s Dummy, Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, and Manic Street Preachers’ The Holy Bible, Mars Audiac Quintet might not have received the same amount of column inches that August but its undoubted longevity and underlying influence in shaping many artists since has ensured its status remains as one of the decade’s most essential records.

Once again featuring the same line up as its predecessor, 1993’s Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, along with the addition of Katherine Gifford on keyboards, it also marked Sean O’Hagan’s last contribution as a full time member of Stereolab before heading off to front his own band The High Llamas. Comprised of 15 songs in total including two of the band’s biggest singles (“Ping Pong” and “Wow and Flutter”), Mars Audiac Quintet would go on to become the nearest thing Stereolab would ever get to making a radio friendly pop record.

This new reissue contains 12 extra tracks of mainly demos and alternative versions of songs from the record along with liner notes from the band’s Tim Gane and a lottery style scratch card which enables winners to receive a limited edition 12-inch. It goes without saying that anyone with an interest in the development of experimental pop music should own a copy of this record, so for those of you that don’t already, now’s your chance to put that right. (

Author rating: 8.5/10

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