CD: Mouse On Mars - Parastrophics | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Mouse On Mars - Parastrophics
Two decades on, the nerds still have the funk
Jan St Werner, half of German duo Mouse On Mars, recently held forth on their inspirations, citing the tension between metrical freedom and metronomic funk in the work of Sun Ra and Funkadelic as their key motivator. And while it might seem odd to compare two synth-twiddlers from Cologne and Düsseldorf with the great mavericks of mid-century American Afrofuturism, when you hear their music it makes complete sense.
Watch the video for "Polaroyced":
St Werner and his partner Andi Toma have been making weird music solidly for two decades now. Often they've seemed like the absolute cliché experimental electronica act, noodling and complex for the sake of it, but just as often they've reached sublime highs of barmy invention. And it seems that they've been spurred on to new heights by their 2007 partnership – as Von Sudenfed – with the legendarily difficult Mark E Smith of The Fall.
On that project, they reined in their noodling instincts and delivered mainly hard, driving techno – and though this album doesn't pound as hard as that, in the dubsteppy wobble of “They Know Your Name”, the hyperactive video game music of “Seaqz” and “Imatch” and the zingy disco funk of “Polaroyced” they have maintained its directness.
OK, tracks like “Cricket” and “Bruised to Imwimper” might sound like sedated machines trying to explain a bad acid experience, but that's not necessarily a bad thing – and as St Werner's analysis suggests, the balance between their unstructured weirdness and the aforementioned tracks' drive gives Parastrophysics a depth and excitement that makes it a worthy addition to the MOM catalogue.
Share this article
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Veteran folk-protest singer seduces audience with delicacy
Fans-only tribute to a tenacious musical eccentric
Lyrical country meets rollicking cowpunk: Paul Simmonds on writing songs for two very different new albums
Swedish psychedelicists move the hips and spin the mind
Intermittent thrills on third album from LCD Soundsystem-related electro-dance outfit
Dave Grohl's band closes Invictus Games with a seismic blast of energy and goodwill
Rich and nourishing seventh album from American alt rockers
Ethiopian lounge lizard creates a new sonic world
The first of a series of reissues paying tribute to sadly missed pop auteur Scott Miller
A triumphant return for the New York New Wavers
Head-spinning Mongolians, intense Indonesians and bull-roaring locals at the festival building bridges between Finland and east Asia
Passionate, political singer discusses writing, Africa, and her career with the Communards