Mouse On Mars have announced 21 Agaian, 21ST Anniversary Ddouble CD, out October 31ST on Monkeytown Records. How many internationally influential pop acts has Germany thrown into the mix? Kraftwerk, of course, followed by Can and the other,Read More
Mouse on Mars is a duo from Germany (Jan St. Werner, from Köln, and Andi Toma, from Düsseldorf) who have been making electronic music since 1993. Their music is a sometimes quirky blend of IDM, krautrock, disco, and ambient with a heavy dollop of analog synth sounds and cross-frequency modulation. Their music also utilizes live conventional instruments such as strings, brass, drums, bass and guitar.
St. Werner and Toma are childhood friends who were born on the same day, in the same hospital. Dating back to the mid‐1990s, their productions do not shy away from fractures and deconstructions of conventional patterns in electronic music; at the same time, they also play with these patterns. Their approach is characterized by a blend of intuition and reflection that spotlights a special sensitivity to structurally and harmonically interesting inventions. For the most part, their pieces do without vocal elements.
Their first album, Vulvaland, was released in 1994 on the British record label Too Pure. This is considered their “straightest” and most focused album, mixing ambient and dance forms. Their second album, Iaora Tahiti, has a much more playful feel and encompasses a wider variety of electronic dance genres. Over the years, their sound has increased in warmth, playfulness and what the duo term “fantastic analysis”. On their fourth album Niun Niggung (released on Domino Records in 2000), the live instruments start to become more prominent. Idiology, their fifth album, continued this trend, while their sixth album, Radical Connector, has a more “pop” feeling. Both of these albums also increasingly include vocals, primarily by touring drummer Dodo NKishi.
The band would then release their most recent full album, Parastrophics, almost six years later, in February 2012. It was their first album to be released under Modeselektor’s Monkeytown record label.
Mouse on Mars regularly perform live as a three-piece, with Toma & St. Werner augmented by drummer Dodo NKishi. In 2005, they released their first live album, titled Live 04.
Mouse on Mars collaborated in the studio and toured with Stereolab in the mid 1990s – the results can be heard on Stereolab’s Dots and Loops album and the associated Miss Modular single, and Mouse on Mars’ Cache Cœur Naïf EP. St. Werner and Lætitia Sadier of Stereolab have also performed karaoke duets.
St. Werner has released solo work under the names Lithops and Noisemashinetapes. St. Werner also partners with Markus Popp of Oval for Microstoria. St. Werner has also collaborated with the renowned visual artist Rosa Barba. While releasing albums on British indie labels, Mouse on Mars started their own label, Sonig, on which they release their own work and that of other German artists. They have also produced a number of EPs and have recorded music for film soundtracks as well as remixing the work of other musicians.
Mouse on Mars have collaborated with Mark E. Smith of The Fall in a band called Von Südenfed in 2007. Their album is called Tromatic Reflexxions.
Further collaborations are set to follow with the release of a mini album in November 2012, titled WOW. This will feature input from and a group of first-time collaborators, including the performer Dao Anh Khanh, producer Eric D. Clarke and the punk band, Las Kellies.