Artist: Mouse on Mars
Record Label: Monkeytown Records
German electronic duo Mouse on Mars is to release their first album since 2006, Parastrophics, this month. The experimental, ambient music-makers started recording over a decade ago and have since released nine studio albums covering a variety of genres including IDM, disco, krautrock and dance. Unpredictable and inventive, Parastrophics breaks the silence with a vengeance.
Opener “The Beach Stop” is a positive and intense, high pitched track full of bubbling, glitchy sounds and whispery female vocals seducing throughout. “Chordblocker, Cinnamon Toasted” mixes in seamlessly with glitches, beeps and static sounds surging the track forwards, fractions of phrases build up with a male voice utters “Facebook’s a cockblocker” and “cinnamon toast and crunch” before strings bring the track to an end.
Sound samples are used creatively, in both “Chordblocker, Cinnamon Toasted” and the next track, “Metrotopy” the sound of a Ping-Pong ball dropping is used, as are various clapping sounds and a vast range of others which build to create a rich mesh of sound. More traditional drum thuds sit alongside beeps and scratches and work in unison.The vocals that do appear in Parastrophics are almost indecipherable; in “Cricket” they are mumblings, the track builds on low key ambient sounds and into glitchy beeps noises to accompany. The sounds vary from the technological, like the laser sounds
and 8-bit video game noises in “iMatch”, to the earthy pan pipe sounds in “Polaroyced” or harp noises in “Bruised to Imwimper”. It really is a vibrant range of tracks.
The album flows together like one continuous piece with a few distinct parts and a kinetic energy throughout. “Wienuss” increases the intensity with a more steady rhythm whilst synth-y keys bring in some form of melody. High pitched screeching sounds react to and go back and forth with lower bass sounds in “They Know Your Name”, a narrative that will keep listeners hooked. “Syncropticians” is a slower, rolling track which gives you time to take a breath. Closing track “Seaqz” is filled with exotic vocals and a tense feel, low humming bass that surges forward. In conclusion, it seems that six years
off has only ensured that the music Mouse on Mars make is stronger and more unique.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.