After hinting at reunion shows back in December, avant-pop heavyweight Stereolab is reconvening for the London outfit’s first North American date in a decade.
Stereolab is the first major act unveiled for the Southern California psych-rock festival Desert Daze, which returns to Lake Perris’ Moreno Beach on Oct. 10-13.
Stereolab first teased the comeback on its website late last year, when it announced plans to reissue its seven-album catalog in 2019, and noted that fans should “keep ‘em peeled for news of the live return of Stereolab.” The band has also announced a handful of upcoming European festival dates, including Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival in May.
“There’s a handful of bands that I feel Desert Daze was made for, and Stereolab is one of them,” Desert Daze founder Phil Pirrone told the Times via email, explaining that the booking has been “a dream” years in the making.
“They are on constant rotation in our house. And like so many others, I’m one of the unlucky ones who has never been able to see them live .… We knew if we kept asking, one day they might say yes. Thankfully we’re persistent.”
Formed by Tim Gane and Laetitia Sadier in 1990, Stereolab went on to become one of the most influential groups of the 1990s for its “post-rock” stylings that merged analogue keyboards with Krautrock, ‘60s pop and Sadier’s husky vocals sung in French and English.
The band announced an indefinite hiatus in 2009, but Gane and Sadier have since kept busy with their own projects. Gane has fronted the band Cavern of Anti-Matter, while Sadier has released work as a solo act and with her Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble, in addition to collaborating with artists like Deerhoof and Atlast Sound. Last year, Stereolab released a three-album compilation series titled “Switched On.”
“Stereolab are one of the most technically advanced yet tasteful bands to ever touch Krautrock, avant-pop, psych, jazz, whatever you want to call it,” Pirrone said. “They’ve influenced just about every band in this extended community, including my own.”
This year marks the eighth edition of Desert Daze, and the second year at its new lakeside venue. The festival’s origins as a Coachella side party have in recent years given way to its reputation as one of the world’s most acclaimed boutique music and art festivals, marked by clout-heavy alternative headliners like Spiritualized, Iggy Pop, My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive, alongside taste-making bookings spotlighting local and international rising acts.
Desert Daze organizers will host a career-spanning retrospective of the band’s work and announce further additions to the festival’s 2019 lineup at the Lodge Room in Highland Park on Feb. 19.