TURN ON Turn On (Duophonic Super 45s)

Turn On is the given name of this half-hour collaboration between Stereolab’s Tim Gane and Andy Ramsay and High Llama (and sometime Stereolab assistant) Sean O’Hagan. For those of us into the ‘Lab’s fluttery Krautrock grooves and the Llamas’ "Pet Sounds"-tinted view of life the music of Turn On really requires no description, but for the uninitiated here’s an attempt. How about Burt Bacharach refereeing a showdown between the Cantina Band from "Star Wars" and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop? Certainly the quirky, jaunty squidginess of "Electrocation Of Fire Ants" (a "don’t try this at home, kids" title if ever there was one), whose tune is recycled later to provide the closing twinset of "Gimmickry Sensational Hoax" and "Gimmickry Hoax Sensation", hits somewhere near this mark, but there’s also the improbableness of "Plasmids" (a couple of minutes of drum loop with added squeaking) and "Ru Tenone" (a wonky retread of the "Jim’ll Fix It" tune with wordless vocals from Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier) to take into consideration.

"Turn On" probably won’t end up in anybody’s end of year top tens, but it stands up impressively as an easy-listening diversion in its own right, and also provides a few clues to the alleged jazz/pop direction of Stereolab’s soon-to-be-unleashed next album, "Dots And Loops"