Concept

Dots and Loops

Summary
Dots and Loops is the fifth studio album by English-French rock band Stereolab. It was released on 22 September 1997 and was issued by Duophonic Records and Elektra Records. The band co-produced the album with John McEntire and Andi Toma, and recording took place at their respective studios in Chicago and Düsseldorf. It was their first album to be recorded straight to Digital Audio Tape and produced with Pro Tools. The album explores jazz and electronic sounds, and is influenced by bossa nova and 1960s pop music. Its lyrics address matters such as consumerism, the "spectacle", materialism, and human interaction. Dots and Loops reached number 19 on the UK Albums Chart, as well as number 111 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. The track "Miss Modular" was issued as a single and as an EP, and peaked at number 60 on the UK Singles Chart. Several music critics have praised Dots and Loops for its blend of accessible music with experimental and avant-garde sounds, and some have considered it to be one of the band's finest works and one of the first produced with a Digital Audio Workstation. The album was reissued in 2019 with bonus material. Seven of the ten tracks on Dots and Loops were recorded by Stereolab in March 1997 at the Chicago studio Idful Music Corporation with John McEntire, who also produced and mixed the tracks with the band. The remaining three tracks – "The Flower Called Nowhere", "Prisoner of Mars", and "Contronatura" – were recorded the following month at Academy of St. Martin in the Street in Düsseldorf, this time with co-production, co-mixing, and engineering duties overseen by Andi Toma. Additional engineering was undertaken by Max Stamm and Toma's Mouse on Mars bandmate Jan St. Werner. Stereolab recorded the song "I Feel the Air (Of Another Planet)" for the album, but it was not mixed in time for the mastering process and instead appeared on the band's 2000 EP The First of the Microbe Hunters. The Dots and Loops sessions marked the first time Stereolab recorded straight to Digital Audio Tape, a process the band found enjoyable.
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