Stars of the Lid: Music for Nitrous Oxide(re-issue)

SEDCD023 | Released in 2009 | 1000 copies | $20 Music for Nitrous Oxide(re-issue)

This is/was Sedimental’s first cd release dating back to 1994. Robert Ovetz (Ultrasound) mentioned this guy Adam who was doing amazing 4-track stuff at home. I think the name of the tape he gave me was called “Ombudsman”. The success of this release was a nice surprise and certainly having Joel at Cargo champion it at the time (he was just getting Kranky going as well with the Labradford) certainly put both SOTL and Sedimental out there. Ultimately, SOTL ended up at Kranky and are still making amazing recordings for them. Many say this is still their favorite Lid release though, although I am partial to the “Ballested Orchestra” too. Ultimately, it certainly remains a powerful touchstone for and precursor to, the post, post, post independent music scene and still sounds incredibly good today.

Though SOTL founder Adam Wiltzie distanced himself from the release for many years in artistic terms, he felt it was time to re-visit and re-fresh the work with a new mastering job, as well as having updated artwork designed by longtime visual collaborator Craig McCaffrey. Sedimental has always kept the document in print in its original form with a remarkably steady stream of sales, but we welcomed the opportunity to update the release and make it more widely available to a new generation, so to speak.

Below are excerpts from the original press release which still seem quite relevant and accurate:

Sedimental announces the first CD from Austin drone stars Stars of the Lid, an amazing 4-track recording that is created in the spirit of Eno, Main, and Spacemen 3. Produced without keyboards, this lo-fi ambient journey employs predominately guitar, avoiding typical rock elements while still possessing the “home” recorded feel of so much independent music.

Being based in Austin, a town loaded with so many heavy guitar bands, one wonders how they came to make such hypnotic and engaging sounds. Especially when Stars mastermind Adam Wiltzie is involved with so many “rock” bands himself, having recorded Ed Hall’s Motherscratcher and its forthcoming release, the Flaming Lips Peel Sessions, as well as running sound for Bad Livers, and Doo Rag tours. Citing Cage, Spacemen 3, Robert from Main and Loop, nitrous oxide, and Bedhead as artistic inspirations, he also comments the group is a reaction against the “muscle” rock and C&W that dominates the Austin music scene and a way to withdraw from it.

Despite their current unknown status, we at Sedimental were so impressed by the music of Stars of the Lid , we felt it worthy of our first CD release. After giving this a few listens(especially the brilliant trio of tracks 7,8, and 9), we are sure you will think they belong on the same plateau as EAR, Labradford, Main, and Organum.