Miss Modular [EP]

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The lead single from Dots and Loops captures Stereolab at its most formally elegant. Digitally assembled from isolated studio elements, the aptly titled "Miss Modular" is musique concrète pop, a bubbly yet plainly synthetic effort that walks the tightrope between art and artifice. The three exclusive B-sides vary wildly. The breezy, bossa-influenced "Allures" evokes Astrud Gilberto, while "Off-On"'s percolating techno bears the obvious stamp of collaborators/co-producers Mouse on Mars. But the sylph-like "Spinal Column" is alone worth the cost of admission. Its celestial beauty seems to emanate from somewhere beyond the physical plane.

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