Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.
In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.
The sixth Sheep Records release was an exclusive 7" by Stereo Total, which at the time were beginning to experience international success via their CD/LP releases on German label Bungalow. The single was limited to 1.000 copies - 700 on black vinyl and 300 on green vinyl - and was released in May 1998.
Side A offers two covers: "Tintarella di luna" was one of the first huge hits by Italian female singer Mina in 1959, while "In / Out" was released as "Qui Est In, Qui Est Out" by Serge Gainsbourg in 1966.
Side B features a French rendition of The Beatles' "You Can Drive My Car" and one more track entitled "Carte postale". I'm not sure if the latter is a cover of some obscure French '60s tune or an original Stereo Total composition, but I would lean towards the second option.
Enjoy the originals here below courtesy of YouTube:
Here's the track list for this 7" single:
01. Tintarella di luna (2:37)
02. In/Out (2:18)
03. Tu peux conduire ma bagnole (2:28)
04. Carte postale (2:13)
All tracks were remastered from vinyl in October 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.
Stereo Total? The best pop group in the world. They remind me of Shakespeare, Picasso and the 1960s. In certain times and places, the world of the royal court includes the energy of the people, formal experimentation embraces populist emotion, and the commercial reaches up to touch the sublime. Stereo Total fuse the dumb energy of pop culture with the elite salon fizz of high culture. Think of Lou Reed fusing his hack songwriting skills with the avant-gardism of Cale and Warhol, think of Joe Orton writing film scripts for the Beatles, think of the weird cleverness of shows like The Monkees and Batman, think (of course) of Gainsbourg melding left bank cabaret with the sounds of the latest anglo-saxon beat boom.
Stereo Total are a bottomless goldmine of clever ideas, populist yet unpretentious: songs about Satan’s house in London, France’s arterial roads, kleptomania. Françoise Cactus sounds forever young, hard and funny in her lyrics. Bretzel Göring has the genius of simplicity in his music, which revives lost pop tropes like gimmicky sampling, garagey guitar and crunchy distorted snare beats as if they were invented yesterday.
Sure, other bands sell more records with dull, formulaic lyrics and cliched, slick productions. Sure, other artists puzzle their audiences with ultra-minimalism and grey experimentalism. But they’re not as clever or funny as Stereo Total. Their attempts at commercialism and cool are sad in comparison, their lack of ideas and melodies glaringly obvious. Stereo Total – The Best Pop Group In The World – have nothing to declare but their genius.
["Stereo Total, The Best Pop Group In The World" by Momus, September 2001]
Stereo Total in an old East-Berlin swimming pool, 1998. Left to right: Françoise Cactus, San Reimo, Angie Reed and Brezel Göring.
More information about Sheep Records and Stereo Total is available here:
The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!