Stereo Total and me go back many years by now. The fact that I know them is basically Jörg's fault. He lived in a room similar to that I have rented now back in our first year (which I envied him for back then) and we sometimes listened to his CDs. On the first tape he made for me, he included Schön von Hinten by Stereo Total.
The band consists of two people, Françoise Cactus and Brezel Göring who sing and play percussions as well as electronic gadgets to create what I would call (and in fact called) Franco-German Trash-Pop. Their own rating of their music is slightly more sophisticated:
Our quoting for "Monokini" was: 40% Chanson, 20% R'n'R, 10% Punkrock, 3% DAF-Sequencer, 4% Jacques Dutronc-Rhythmique, 7% Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg, 1,5% Cosmonaute, 10% really old synthesizers, 10% 8-bit Amiga-sampling, 10% transistor amplifier, 1% really expensive and advanced instruments.
Their lyrics are mostly in German or French but there are bits of English-avec-French-accent to be found as well. The song Schön von hinten also exists in a Japanese version:
後ろ姿が奇麗 that may just have been the stepstone for Stereo Total to Japan. Jörg gave me my first Stereo Total CD, Juke Box Alarm, for my birthday in 1997.
And I wasn't too impressed back then. I would hear it and be fairly annoyed, thinking everything sounded broken and odd. It took me another year or so of the CD sitting on my shelf until I re-listened and liked it. It clearly was
good stuff then.
Since then I enjoy occassionally listening to Stereo Total. I got their latest record, Musique Automatique, which is fine but I don't like as much as their earlier stuff. Probably I should've gotten myself a complete copy of Monokini instead to replace the various songs I have scattered on different tapes that I harldy listen to for lack of a tape deck other than my walkman.
Last spring, Stereo Total supported The Strokes on their concerts in Germany. Sadly, I didn't manage to go there as I learned about the concerts too late. (I have yet to find a website that reliably lists all decent gigs in Germany without being completely cluttered by junk. Any hints?) That was really bad luck as I would've loved seeing either of the bands.
Recently I discovered that they offer a CD, Trésors Cachés for download on their site – complete with an inlay card for the CD case. I downloaded it (noticing that our internet connection is obscenely fast) and have been listening to it a lot in the past two days. It's quite a good mix of songs I hadn't heard yet and alternate versions of songs I already knew.