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Emperor Tomato Ketchup

Stereolab

1996

Emperor Tomato Ketchup
Album Summary

Emperor Tomato Ketchup is the fourth studio album by English-French rock band Stereolab. It was released on 18 March 1996 and was issued by Duophonic Records and Elektra Records. The album is named after the 1971 experimental film Emperor Tomato Ketchup by Japanese author and director Shūji Terayama.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.03

Votes

9622
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

I have a big love for a lot of alt rock music and this actually is a great new discovery for me!! Never listened before and will now listen to more of their albums. I love the sound of this album it's going into my rotation! Love the mix of French and English. Can't believe I never heard of them before, I really can see how they would have been hugely influential and experimental in the 90s. Great stuff!

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Tue May 11 2021
2

Eclectic without much substance, it wasn't unpleasant to listen to, and I do like French music, but overall just eh.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
4

I enjoyed this album as background music. Too be honest this album could have been in a different language and I wouldn't have noticed. It does have a bizarre sound that I found amusing,

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

The sound of living in a city inside a French synthesizer. Surprisingly good stuff throughout.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

I really enjoyed this. At first, the vocals were a little too... "french?" But "The Noise of Carpet"... man, that was really something. Totally dug that. The grooves on it and the vocals really grew on me after a while. Quite refreshing.

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Tue May 11 2021
2

Not one I will be rushing back to.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
2

Ehhh....it wasn't terrible, but it didn't do much for me. Lazy review today. 2.

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Thu Oct 08 2020
1

Alternativt, repetetivt, soundtrack-agtig

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

The name of this group is familiar, but I don't know this album and no tracks on it rang as familiar. It was some very pleasant and charming music. The tempos are upbeat and melodies looping to provide some "fun to work by" music for me. I am keeping this in my library.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

Unfortunately for Stereolab, yesterday's listen was Elis Regina and she is a HARD act to follow. I really just wanted to keep listening to Elis. But I'm a good student and like to keep up with my homework so I made myself listen to Stereolab a couple of times today. It's good! Pleasant and unobtrusive, nice slow grooves. Favorite tracks were Metronomic Underground, OLV 26, and The Noise of Carpet. Now back to Brazil!

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

I enjoyed listening to this album. It has a smooth, sophisticated song sound mixed with the repetitive and extended feel of electronica tracks. I enjoy the vocals quite a bit. I enjoyed "Les Yper-Sound" quite a bit. I liked how they sang "op-PO-sites" (they did that kind of thing a lot with words). The title track was an example of where it could get a little tedious with its 1:40 one-note intro. But mostly I really enjoyed this music and would listen again.

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Thu Sep 30 2021
2

Agreement this was a chores to listen to. Maybe I'm just old but I can't and never really have been able to get into electronic music or whatever this crap is.

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

Fucking loved this shit. I cant explain why.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
5

I love Stereolab, although for some reason I had never gone back and listened to this album before. I’m glad it came up because it is an album worth hearing! This album is chock full of interesting, vivid soundscapes that are perfect for chilling out to. Stereolab has a very distinct sound, but also mix things up enough that their songs are quite distinct and interesting. The lyrics aren’t so much the focus in a Stereolab song as they are another instrument. Some French, some English, but it wasn’t until the middle of some of the English songs that I realized they were singing my language. Even so, if you attend to them the lyrics often have very interesting topics they explore. My French is a bit rusty and the translation of the lyrics don’t always work well, but they provide another level of depth to explore and contemplate as you become more familiar with the songs. Here are a few highlights that stood out: "Cybele's Reverie" was really nice. I felt like I was floating along with the song. "Les Yper-Sound" is a catchy little number that seems appropriate to the political atmosphere in the US nowadays. I love the title track. Nice driving beat you can dance to and lovely French vocals. “Motoroller Scalatron” has a great jaunty tempo as it meditates on the nature of society. “Anonymous Collective” has great jingly bells and a really interesting bassline as it reminds us that we are not aware of all the forces at work in our lives. Great ending to the album. I liked everything on this album. Stereolab are formidable creators of electronic music and this is a fantastic album that more than earns its place on this list. Wonderful wonderful!

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

I loved it, can't really say why, it was so varied and kind of beautiful

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Fri Mar 18 2022
5

Krautrock goes twee indie pop? Inject it into my veins! I could happily leave this album on repeat for a good chunk of time. Fave track - "Metronomic Underground", maybe, or the title track? I'm less into single tracks and more into the album as a whole on this one...

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Sun Sep 10 2023
5

It is wrong to approach Stereolab as producers of music. They make soundscapes and feelings. When you bear that in mind, most of their soundscapes are enormously fun. This is no exception. I have to say that I prefer Dots and Loops, but sure, I'll take this.

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Tue May 25 2021
4

How, how, HOW?! Did I not know about these guys? Electronica? Check. Weird? Check. FRENCH? Check. Man, I am glad I found them. They are fucking weird.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
4

Production: 14/20 Songwriting: 14/20 Innovation: 14/20 Bangers: 10/20 Emotional response: 16/20 =68 Solid. Nice. dependable. NINETIES. Also - it's the guitarist from Mccarthy and his wife - who knew?

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Really pleasantly surprised. The songs have great build and strike the balance of having strong core riffs to keep the song together while they get abstract AF but also the slow changes throughout the song mean they don’t get repetitive. Nice array of quirky sounds used throughout. Singing isn’t great, but I guess you can’t have everything.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

This album was strange but right up my alley. Groovy beats, wild synths, and dreamy vocals all contributed to my enjoyment of this. There was no single song that I loved but also no song that I disliked, so that's a good sign.

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Fri Feb 12 2021
4

Eclectic mix of songs on this album. Chilled out so easy to listen to but some lovely vocals and interesting arrangements make this a lovely album to listen through.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

This tomato ketchup based album surprised me. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard of stereolab before then remembered they made one of the songs from FlyLo FM on GTA V. Not sure if that means I really like them or that I’ve played GTA V too much. Anyway, 4/5.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Amazing how much of a wholly unique and incredible album this is. Just wonderful, not much else I can say.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
4

The album grew on me with each song, I liked it quite a bit! Synthy, a little post-rocky at the tail end, it felt like a group that was just making the exact type of music they wanted to make.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Very interesting and varied album, almost getting some Deerhoof-y vibes from some of the songs. First album in this run that I will actually actively come back to.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

‘What’s society built on?’ This is

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

Promisingly funky off the bat. Track 2 is a happy bop. Definitely digging this, would jam again.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

This album feels like a bunch of ideas crammed into a certain style. Although that may sound like an insult, the album tends to pull it together by making sure their own style comes out rather than the random idea placed into the song. It's very relaxing and doesn't make you jump around too much.

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Sat Aug 21 2021
4

In between looking up lyrics to the songs on this album while listening to it, I glanced at Spotify to see where I was in the album and I was startled to find that I was only on the third song--I thought I was half an hour in at least. Emperor Tomato Ketchup has that effect. While the songs themselves tend to be structurally simple, Stereolab piles on layer upon layer of rhythms, and counter-rhythms, underpinned by a motorik beat. The layering is also textural--the buzz of a distorted organ, electronic burbling, strings, vibraphone, guitar, and much more. All of this is topped off by the sing song vocals of Laeticia Sadler and Mary Hansen. The result is hypnotic--you spin down into the music and time distorts. Most of these songs are rather short, but they seem to go on forever. This is not a criticism, just an observation. How do I feel about this album? It's not as tuneful or accessible as the sophisticated retro-pop of Sound-Dust and lacks the gruff charm of Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements, but I like it a lot just the same. Why? Specific to Emperor Tomato Ketchup, I get lost in the sheer beauty of the elaborate soundworld Stereolab has created. It's like a music narcotic. More generally, I'm blown away by how effectively Stereolab has combined their influences into something utterly unique. Lounge music, grunge, krautrock, grunge, chanson--it would never in a million years occur to me to combine these things and somehow, magically, Stereolab makes it sound like the most natural thing in the world. My only criticism of Emperor Tomato Ketchup is that you won't come away humming any of these tunes, with the exception of The Noise of Carpet. The songs tend to blend together and blur.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
4

It was great to revisit this, I have just spent the weekedn revisiting Stereolab's back catalogue. Superb!

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Thu Dec 30 2021
4

I'm really digging Metronomic Underground.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

On first blush, this should have been a no for me, dawg. But it wasn't. Stereolab manages to take a genre known for repetitive noise and turn it into an interesting and enjoyable experience. Is it all amazing? No, it's not. There are definitely some bits that are a bit twee but not enough to tank the record. "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" (that's gotta be a translation error, right?) was a pleasant surprise.

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Mon Jan 10 2022
4

Stereolab is very hard to categorize. They simultaneously anticipate sounds that would dominate in the following years, yet do so by using sounds from the past across all genres. This album contains sounds that would become popular a decade later and sounds that are familiar and well worn. However, the only drawback to this album is its length.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Somehow I had never heard of Stereolab before. I’m not sure how that was because I simply loved this album. It gave me 18th Street Lounge vibes without the Friday night cover charge. I loved the music from every single track and thought that the vocals were exceptional without being distracting. I’m really not sure how I have gone this long and never heard it before, but I’ll be coming back for more!

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Sun Jan 23 2022
4

Crazy album, but I liked it. First song was amazing and carried the album. I will definitely be listening to more of them. Fun find.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Really enjoyed this album. I don't really know Stereolab very well at all but this was a very pleasant surprise

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Thu Mar 10 2022
4

I really liked this electronic, laid back, relaxed but engaging album. I would listen again. 4/5, to be honest I enjoyed the insistence of a lot of the instrumental lines, but I think many could view it as repetitive. I thought this was creative, fresh, fun, and compelling. Super nice recommendation, I’ve never heard of this band before and was pleasantly surprised.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
4

I've always thought that I _should_ like Stereolab, and I have checked in on some of their records in the past, but hadn't found the album that really grabbed me. And then i heard this. This is the shit. A mixture of krautrock, 60s French girl pop (having a French girl singer helps heighten that impression, but it is not a lazy comparison; they really sound like that), which inflections of jazz, easy listening, funk and the Velvet Underground. This is the record I have been always been wanting from Stereolab. And I finally found it! yes, yes, yes. I knew this project would be worthwhile.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
4

When I was 15 or 16 I went to an older guy's apartment to get some weed and I remember this album was playing as we made chit chat. Not the typical classic rock I had come to expect in the situation but a great soundtrack for a stoned mind to get lost in with all the loops and layers and mellow vibes. He was probably a real cool dude but I had to be on my way.

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Tue Mar 02 2021
2

Stereolab are a weird concoction. like sticking cola bottles on a pizza. Doesn't need to be done. no one wants it.

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Thu Mar 11 2021
2

Emperor they say... Pfffttt.... more like Concubine Tomato Paste. This was not my bag man. I have a big bag but this does not fit into my bag. Maybe if my bag had a little pocket on the outside I could slide this in. IN that case I would probably barely know it feel out when I was climbing that tree. I would just fill that pocket with something else that is not my bag. I did finish this. and was underwhelmed. I give it two junior mints

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Sat Jan 30 2021
2

"To be unique was more important than to be good", the words of the band's main songwriter. Probably explains why I'm not that into it although I can recognise the innovation. I like the fact that they have a very specific vision for their music and are quite fiercely independent with political sensibilities in their lyrics. But ultimately just not that into the music. 5/10

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Mon Feb 22 2021
2

First song was quite enjoyable. Gets you shaking your hips. 2nd tune was a little tired and I worried they front ended the good stuff and the list of goodies would, unlike my Sunday morning coffee, be short. Was I being too judgemental on a Sunday morning? Track 3 said "yes" as the album returned to form. Noise of Carpet briefly changed the tone of the album in a positive way. But overall the album was inconsistent and more off than on. There are a few goodies to mix in a playlist but overall the album had one thing in common with my Sunday coffee:  not strong enough.

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Sun May 30 2021
2

// Favs: Cybele's Reverie / OLV 26 Score: Strong 2

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Tue May 11 2021
2

I don’t mind the occasional French bop but about 4 songs in I was ready to turn it off and I probably won’t listen again.

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Mon Feb 15 2021
5

Really helped paved the way for indietronica to be a thing

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

c'es l'avenir! fav track: percolator

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Otro de esos álbumes (como el de Saint Etienne que salió por acá) que tienen todo lo que me gusta. Sonidos de variada procedencia, a caballo entre lo experimental, lo pop, con buenas letras, a veces hasta inteligibles. De acá escucho cosas como lo que después sonaría Broken Social Scene, entre varios en quiénes pensar. Favs: el inicio y el final ("Metronomic Underground" y "Anonymous Collective"), "Cybele's Reverie", "Olv 26". Sin embargo, no skips. 10/10

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

Esta muy chingon todo este viaje de sonidos que nos lleva este pedo

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Fri May 07 2021
5

starkes Album. geiler Sound, wie cleane und etwas ernstere Stereo Total

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Love the vocals and groovy funky instruments

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Mon Jul 12 2021
5

I really liked this one! Groovy and it had some interesting musicality in it. :)

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

I just love this band, they have such a friendly sound that's so iconic and instantly recognizable. One of a handful of bands that I first heard by randomly pulling their CD at the library, then felt like I discovered a secret that no one else knew. At least my friends had not heard them at the time. I don't know their discography well enough to know how this stacks up, but it's certainly on par with the stuff I've heard, and seeing as this is likely their only album on the list, it's a solid 5-star for me.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

Love Sterolab and it was a pleasure to sit down with this one again.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Gave me some serious existential Tuesday think and loved every minute of it.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

What a Sunday Lego session soundtrack. Couldn't have picked anything more suitable. A real find and I will listen to this again. Thanks 1001! A little gem for the time invested.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Love Stereolab! They definitely have a recognizable sound and sometimes their songs can start to sound alike but it doesnt bother me because theyre all bangers

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Fri Dec 09 2022
5

"Emperor Tomato Ketchup" is the fourth studio album by English-French band Stereolab (although they also had complilation albums and singles released). The album was named after a 1971 experimental film by Shūji Terayama. You can categorize this as experimental pop-rock. On this album, they experimented with composing songs around loops as opposed to riffs; the keyboards definitely are forefront here. A lot of the songs start simple and build with layers of vocals and keyboards. The layered vocals of Lætitia Sadier and Mary Hansen are highlights. This is an outstanding album and one of my favorite in that mid-90's time frame. There is a scratching-sound start to "Metronomic Underground" which continues throughout as a loop. The rhythm is almost groovy. The layered vocals. Criticizing war. Strings start "Cybele's Reverie" but this is a more straight-forward rock-pop song. Happy sounding with the guitar. The loss of innocence and wonder from childhood. A classic keyboard-bass loop and chorus drive "Percolator." Maybe, the one Sterolab loop I can't get out of my head once I hear it. I liked the way in the first four songs, the English-named songs are sung in French and the one French-named song is sung in English. My favorite song on the album "The Noise of Carpet" starts rockin' with the distorted guitar. More straight-forward pop-rock. The layered vocals are excellent. Weird keyboards noises. Trying to provide hope to a cynical person. "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" kind of reminds me of a mix between a Talking Heads and Wilco song. Repetitive and drving rhythm. Weird synth noises effective again. They go into baroque pop territory on "Slow Fast Hazel" with the strings. Beats change. A beautiful sounding song. Perhaps going into some Marxism here with the lyrics. I like most of the Sterolab I've heard. This album is at the top for sure. Worth a listen for everyone.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

Fantasy damn album. My goodness. Art.

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

Fav tracks: Cybele's Reverie, Percolator, Les Yper-Sound, The Noise Of Carpet

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

When I first heard Stereolab, I was instantly hooked. They're like nothing I had heard but they've had plenty of influence since.

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Sun Apr 02 2023
5

Still an amazing album. The odd meter tracks Percolator and Motoroller Scalatron are my favourites.

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Sun Apr 02 2023
5

Practically everything McCarthy did in the 80s and Stereolab in the 90s is 5 star. I am inclined to go for Peng or Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements or one of the two Switched On compilations, as I like the motorik sound more, but ETK is the best example of their more sophisticated sound. Great lyrics. Great songs.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

I've heard of the band and was initially impartial to the music, but as the album went on, it just clicked for me. I couldn't explain why it works since I'm somewhat picky on things but this just started to work in the right spot.

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Wed Apr 12 2023
5

I am in genuine shock that I love this album so much. It's like if Daft Punk were French and formed in the 90s...oh wait. Favorite track: Olv 26

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Mon May 01 2023
5

One big vibey extravaganza... more of this please.

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Wed Jun 07 2023
5

Really really enjoyable. I have a soft spot for females singing in French, and for this kind of chill electronic music.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

i mean, it's stereolab, so it's a five. i absolutely adore their sound, it's really unlike any other band i've ever heard. and the vocals are so unique as well, they have a really soothing and nostalgic feel to them. i don't really know how this album compares to their others as i haven't listened to most of them - i think dots and loops is a bit better - but i enjoy this one's combination of synthyness and rock elements. and stereolab is always a little weird, which i think adds to it.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
5

Love this (and all other Stereolab - surprised Dots and Loops is not in this list). This still sounds completely fresh. So good! Listened to this about three times in the past day.

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Mon Aug 21 2023
5

Yes! Love Stereolab. One of my favorites bands and basically tied for my favorite album by them. I love this so much. I place a high value on tone and texture and Olv 26 is a very nice example. Overall, the mix of smooth French / English female vocals, philosophical / political lyrics, chill Krautrock moog with strings vibes is right up my alley. 5/5

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Wed Sep 13 2023
5

"Emperor Tomato Ketchup" es un álbum de Stereolab que te hace sentir muchas emociones diferentes mientras lo escuchas. Tiene canciones que suenan como un sueño y otras que te hacen sentir lleno de energía. Algunas letras están en francés, lo que le da un toque especial. El álbum trata sobre muchas cosas, como recordar el pasado y pensar en la vida. También tiene diferentes estilos de música, como música psicodélica y experimentos musicales. En resumen, este álbum es como un viaje emocionante a través de diferentes sensaciones y estilos musicales, con canciones en diferentes idiomas.

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Tue Sep 26 2023
5

Another one of those bands that have gone on to influence a large portion of the music I now listen to. I love how upbeat and playful this album is. The electronica elements are also really great.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
5

I dont know what it was, but I REALLY liked this album

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Thu Nov 09 2023
5

Not big on electronica but I really liked this and added it to my library

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

super funky psychedelic French jams

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

This is glorious. This is what I want from this list. Fantastic music from a band with a hefty catalogue I've never heard before. This is chill but keeps it mainly upbeat throughout. Perfect for doing chores around the house. I can't explain why I like this so much the more I listen the higher I want to rate it. It's just great fun. 9/10

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

Experimental sounds, seamless album. Great vibes

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Mon Dec 25 2023
5

9/10 - I loved almost all of the songs. The worst one was sadly Emperor Tomato Ketchup. Cybele's Reverie was absolutely fantastic and gave toro y moi energy.

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Wed Jan 10 2024
5

10/10 experimental alternative rock is the best

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Tue Jan 16 2024
5

Great album, encompasses everything the 90s were about.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

It was approaching summer 2015 and I was going to be moving out of the city into a different one. Walking around the neighborhood one many more times, I can recall having this as a soundtrack. I may have had other Stereolab that was heard since then but none of them scratch the itch that this does. A perfect blend of electronic space age kosmische from three countries and two continents, named after an obscure Japanese film. Bright, eccentric, all-encompassing; as futuristic as it is nostalgic. A crazy, sturdy torpedo.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
4

Really liked the layering of this project. There’s a lot going on and it all meshes really nicely, sick alb

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Wed Jan 06 2021
4

Cool vibes, liked it more than I expected. Great background music.

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