Mouse On Mars - Idiology - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Mouse On Mars - Idiology

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2001-04-23

Snatching cohesion from the jaws of chaos can't be as easy as Andi Toma and Jan St Werner of Mouse on Mars make it sound on Idiology. Their weirdly off-kilter brand of skittery, IDM song-craft always depends on uncommonly interesting melodies, even while those melodies swim in digitised madness. It's a trait that also shows up with a vengeance in Werner's other band, Microstoria (with Oval's Markus Popp). Most shockingly, with their recent work, Werner's penchant for tuneful warmth and relentless experimentation have led the band to--get this--use actual instruments. MoM's last proper full-length, Niun Niggung (the late-2000 release Instrumentals was originally released on vinyl in 1997), included ever-so-slight leans toward more acoustic instrumentation, and the music here continues to bring in occasional bits of French horns, clarinets, even the odd guitar chord. "The Illking", for instance, contains only the barest electronic morsels among the lazy lull of a lush string section. Still, the flipped-out drill-n-bass of songs like "First: Break" go the opposite direction, dissolving and re-emerging in Squarepusher-esque bursts of computerised sonics. Along the way, there are avant-garde(-ish) oddities such as "Unity Concepts" and the hyped-up beat salad "Doit", which sounds like carnival music as performed by malfunctioning robots. When all the pieces come together for Mouse on Mars, as they do on this release, it's a peculiar musical beast, but one that's still absolutely loveable. --Matthew Cooke

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