Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:10 Release Date:2018-04-13
Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People
Mouse on Mars - Dimensional People

Ok, so you might not be a fan of dance beats or any shape or form of house music, and you might have dismissed Mouse on Mars as just another of the purveyors of such sound, right? Wrong. Furthermore, you obviously haven’t listened to, or with much attention to any of their previous albums prior to this newest one, Dimensional People.

You see, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma, the two guys who’ve been Mouse on Mars since the mid-Nineties, are probably one of the most inventive duos (bands, single artists, whoever) making music that has a predominantly electronic element in itself. It would probably take you less than a few fingers on one of your hands to count electronic musicians currently operating in the field (including Kraftwerk, and if they are still active after all) that go beyond the standardised formulas that are house, techno, ambient, electro-pop.

Mouse on Mars are all of the above and more, and Dimensional People, if not their best album so far, is certainly one of them. Their creativity didn’t go unnoticed among other musicians, and that includes those that necessarily don’t seem to be much connected with electronic music. The list of guests on Dimensional People is proof of the point - Dessner Brothers from The National, Beirut’s leader Zach Condon, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Swamp Dogg, Sam Amidon, the list goes on. But don’t just be impressed by the guest list. Quite often, albums that include a list of known guests turn into a jumbled up soup of disparate elements and clashing egos. Nothing of that here. St. Werner and Toma followed the simple rule that is hardest to achieve - they fit everybody involved in their vision, and not the other way around.

Another possible situation with star-studded album affairs is that it can turn into one long monotonous jam, but herein lies a catch with Dimensional People. Although the album is formally divided into twelve tracks, it plays like a forty-or-so minute jam (with electronics). It might be long, but it has nothing to do with monotony or boredom. What it turns out to be is a flowing piece of music with diverse elements that keep on shifting but fit with each other perfectly. Whether it is strangely modulated, but still recognisable vocals, guitars or fiddle (“Parliament of Aliens Part I), it might seem like a flowing jam, but you can certainly hear that everything is meticulously constructed and pieced together like on “Daylight” for example (remember Faust Tapes?). What Mouse on Mars has possibly come up with is a brilliant formula for a constructed jam.

Dimensional People? Certainly. Not one-dimensional, but multi-dimensional. If you are going to hear a more inventive album this year, please let me know.

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