The most amazing thing about Stereolab's Margerine Eclipse is how much of a surprise it is. It's not just that it's a fantastic record–Stereolab have made plenty of those. But since 1996's classic Emperor Tomato Ketchup, they've been deconstructing and breaking down their mix of exotic lounge pop and progressive Krautrock, throwing up cyclones of electronic mist. It's yielded some beautiful, but cold and distancing work. Eclipse shocks you with the contrast. Filled with the warmest possible intentions, it invites you to fall in love with its kind thumps and aural flotsam. Anchored by a test pattern baseline and a sly beat machine, the title track wanders around the edges, breaking into the main groove only to smoothly dissolve in a bittersweet end. Sounds like any other Stereolab song, right? But here–stripped down, dynamic, and alive–it's simply charming.
Having released two albums in a nine month period between October 1981 and July 1982, “Three of a Perfect Pair” is the final part of the recorded trilogy begun with “Discipline” and “Beat”. Originally released in April 1984, from the pointillist minimalism of the title track through to the urgent rush of ‘Sleepless’ and the album’s closer ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic III’ - the only reference to the 1970s incarnations of the band – Crimson’s distinctive mixture of rock, electronica, funk and pure pop songs, ensured the group’s status as one of the most interesting and innovative bands of the decade.