As he was preparing for Stereolab's latest album -- "Chemical Chords," which came out in August -- group leader Tim Gane "ran out of time to write songs." So he decided to experiment with a different method of composing.
"For two weeks, I wrote (guitar and piano) chords back at my house, not playing along to anything, just notating them on a mini-keyboard," Gane, 44, explains. "Then we meshed them up with these little drum loops and rhythms I had assembled, without knowing exactly where they were going to go either.
"I was trying to get a situation where I was listening to the music as if I hadn't written it -- kind of controlling it but at the same time reacting to it like a listener. I could listen to the way the rhythms altered the chords and appreciate it like it was somebody else's music. I kind of enjoyed the process."
Gane acknowledges that several of "Chemical Chords' " 14 songs have a Motown flavor, particular on the rhythmic tip. But he contends that was circumstantial rather than planned.
"I was really interested in having short, uptempo songs," he notes. "Some of the drum loops at the beginning were cut from Motown or similar style songs -- just the drumbeat, not the whole songs. I think where the chords are on the guitar didn't have much relation to Motown, but putting them together did give them that spring I was looking for, that combination of speed and dense arrangements that I think was one part of the Motown sound, for sure."
Stereolab, Le Loup and Monade perform Thursday (Oct. 9) at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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