(1990 – present)
Stereolab are a UK-based band whose style, mixing 1950s-1960s pop and lounge music with the “motorik” beat of krautrock, was one of the first to which the term “post-rock” was applied. They are noted for the use of vintage keyboard instruments like Moog synthesizers and Vox and Farfisa organs. Stereolab is also notable for founding their own record label, Duophonic Records, with a grant from UK charity The Prince’s Trust. The band is often referred to as “The Groop” by their fans (and in the title of their song “The Groop Play Chord X” on the album Space Age Batchelor Pad Music).
They were founded in 1990 by songwriters Tim Gane (guitar, keyboards), formerly of the band McCarthy, and Laetitia Sadier (sometimes credited as Seaya Sadier; vocals, keyboards, trombone, guitar), who is from france and sings in both English and French.
Over the years, Gane and Sadier have enlisted a large number of other musicians to accompany them on stage and on record. The initial line-up featured Martin Kean, formerly of The Chills, on bass, and Joe Dilworth (from their Too Pure label-mates Th’ Faith Healers) on drums, with Russell Yates (of Moose) and Mick Conroy (ex-Modern English) also appearing at early live shows. In 1993 they recruited Andy Ramsay (drums), who has remained in the group line-up ever since, and Mary Hansen (vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion). Hansen’s distinctive backing vocals became an important aspect of the Stereolab sound, and she remained a regular feature of the line-up until her death in a cycling accident on December 9, 2002.