A locked groove is that empty loop your needle gets trapped in when you leave a record on the turntable after the music has finished. Technically the record is still playing, but it’s only producing a soft, rhythmic hissing. It’s noise, but for many music lovers, the noise comes with a feeling and a history.
A distinctly Stereolab flourish was to sample that repetitive hiss on “Lock-Groove Lullaby,” the last song on their second studio album, 1993’s Transient Random-Noise Bursts With Announcements.
The idea of finding romance in an incidental machine sound is Stereolab in a nutshell: As postmodern recyclers of 1960s kitsch and analog sound effects, they were never ones to let the standard definition of musicality limit their quest to invent a new and idiosyncratic kind of pop music.