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Mouse on Mars

November 28, 2009

Back before the kids changed my life, I had the time and money to indulge some of my little whims. One of which was building a vinyl collection. Although the stack only grew to about fifty deep, I was pretty proud of my little assemblage of electronica and rare groove, a motley balance of classics and the obscure. Most of it was culled from the abundant back street record shops of Shimokitazawa. There was an upstairs store/cafe/dj bar that I sometimes ventured into – forget the name now – which was always stocked with a modest but amazing selection of what, for lack of a better term, is commonly classified as IDM. I don’t think I ever bought anything there, partly because their prices were pretty outrageous, and partly because nothing I listened to there ever made me think, yes, this is it.

Surprisingly, I recall listening to Mouse on Mars in that store.

I must not have been in the right frame of mind. Because right now there is no electronic music I would rather listen to. I picked up a few of their albums recently, and I feel like I’ve come home. When you start going deeper into any genre of music, you are on a mission. A mission to discover an ideal that exists in your mind and hopefully some artist has come close to approximating.

These Krauts have done it.

Mouse on Mars is the most ingenious mashup of styles, balance of play and intelligence, meticulously composed yet grooving, unexpected and mystifying, fresh on every track electronic music this music lover has ever heard. Maybe the music doesn’t have quite the personality of say an Aphex Twin or a Squarepusher, but I would argue that may be to their advantage as both of the aforementioned can start to grate the ears on excessive listening. Autechre might be the best comparison, but these guys really take their sounds way beyond the repetitive drone of Autechre’s dense, hammering structures.

Yeah so maybe I’m a few years late to the party. They’re still good.

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