Have you noticed the silence? I realize the other guy releasing an album 6/1 has been drowning out everybody else anyway, but the contrast is instructive: Whereas Kanye West is doing everything he can to rankle and entrance the masses, his fellow media-savvy cult of personality Josh Tillman hasn’t made a peep. His latest … More »
Mouse On Mars
[Thrill Jockey; 2018]
Warm synths simmered down by warm blankets. Absence rather than presence, then back again. An iridescence like the nacreous interior of an abalone shell. An aura that massages you. Cocktails crafted by extraterrestrials in spaceship lounges overlooking the darkness of the galaxy.
Spoken word vibes; jazzy electronica chillaxin’. Then back into this noisy, uniquely Germanic space. Songs divided into parts that make you wonder why anyone would divide a song into parts. From a ray of sunshine that speaks of the African American experience to the turbid murk of some Wald. It’s not about nature, of course. Just a marathon through a certain type of membrane-space that may or may not be about the madness of being normal and the madness of collaboration.
Yeah, so they were inspired by footwork. I don’t think there’s a trace of that here, honestly. Instead, we’ve got all these cameos from dead-end artists like Spank Rock (remember him?) and Zach Condon (remember him too?). Although it’s nice to see these guys guest on this album, it’s not a good look. Wrong time portal maybe? Dimensional People wants to be a major rap album, complete with cameos stacked way high, all epic and prodigal. But it’s just not all there.
So, how did they do it? Did they ask each artist, one by one? Who asked who? Who was where, and why? Did sunlight slash their sunglasses as they signed the papers?
Moogfest has built a name for itself around both its highly immersive visual and technological programming and stellar lineups year in and year out.
This year’s initial lineup announcement sparked slight controversy when the festival announced the first phase of their lineup would feature exclusively female and non-binary talent. The first phase announcement included performances by SOPHIE, Fawks, Jamila Woods, and Gavin Rayna Russom of LCD Soundsystem, along with various extracurricular programming such as a keystone presentation by privacy rights activist Chelsea Manning.
Now, the festival has released the second phase of their 2018 lineup. The festival will play host to two performances by Mouse on Mars, Jon Hopkins and Little Boots; an “ultramodern sonic installation hosting original creations by nine artists;” a headlining performance by R&B visionary Kelela; a Sleep Concert by members of Bedroom Community, as well as durationals by Wes Borland and Gareth Jones + Nick Hook.
The festival’s 2018 music programming is still expanding, with more announcements to come.
One of Germany’s most versatile electronic music institutions, Mouse on Mars recently announced they would be returning with a new LP called Dimensional People.
According to the electronic duo, most of the album was recorded in a single tempo and was “inspired by Chicago footwork.” The dazzling new album will feature a dizzying array of indie rock’s finest including The National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Beirut’s Zach Condon, and Bon Iver virtuoso Justin Vernon.
Mouse on Mars has shared the first single ahead of the new album and its a soaring soundscape led by the ethereal Justin Vernon.
“Dimensional People Part 111” is a significant departure from Mouse on Mars’ typically experimental material. Considering their most-accessible material draws from collaborations with groups like Modeselektor, the new record’s a significant shift in the type of releases that have been seen from the duo, despite many the argument many withhold that the group pivoted entirely towards pop with Radical Connector in 2004.
Vernon’s sultry vocals imbue a newfound melodic side to the duo’s music and even de-escalate to scats at a point in the track. Both Mouse on Mars and Bon Iver’s music over the years has contained multitudes, so perhaps the two are hinting that the new album’s title is really quite preconceived.
Dimensional People Tracklist:
1. Dimensional People Part I
2. Dimensional People Part II
3. Dimensional People Part III
4. Foul Mouth
6. Parliament Of Aliens Part I
8. Tear To My Eye
9. Parliament Of Aliens Part II
10. Parliament Of Aliens Part III
12. Sidney In A Cup
Thrill Jockey will release Dimensional People on April 13.
Photo Credit: Monkeytown Records
“Woo woo (woa woa) woo woo woo woo
Bakada baa baa baka doo kaa
Bakada baa ba waa daa taa”
– “Pinwheel Herman,” Niun Niggung (2000)
“Ooooooo-pd (doo chh, doo chh, doo chh ch ch) ooooo gsh gsh gsh dgdgdgdggdggg”
– “Chartnok,” Varcharz (2006)
How else to describe the loopy sounds of Mouse on Mars? No help that the IDMers have changed their sound dramatically over the years, even doing a full prog-rock 180° for their live shows.
This year’s no different. For their upcoming LP Dimensional People, out April 13 on Thrill Jockey, the Berlin-based duo of Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have teamed up with an assemblage of musicians like Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Bryce Dessner (The National), Zach Condon (Beirut), Spank Rock, Swamp Dogg, and others. Such unlikely eclecticism is the Mouse Way™, as is collaboration on a massive scale (see the 30 tracks on 21 Again Collaborations). The album was supposedly borne of “a spatial composition using object-based mixing technology that plays with possibilities of sonic design and collective musicianship.” Oh, and Chicago footwork.
Closest aligned to the ambient-leaning Glam, first single “Dimensional People Part III,” featuring Justin Vernon, speaks for its glitchy self. Fans of Bon Iver expecting a traditional approach will find Vernon’s voice merely used as a source to be fucked with à la Matmos. In other words, fans of Mouse on Mars will be pleased. Stream it via Spotify down below (and if you find any resemblance to Chicago footwork there, be sure to let me know):
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Dimensional People Tracklisting:
01. Dimensional People Part I
02. Dimensional People Part II
03. Dimensional People Part III
04. Foul Mouth
06. Parliament Of Aliens Part I
08. Tear To My Eye
09. Parliament Of Aliens Part II
10. Parliament Of Aliens Part III
12. Sidney In A Cup
It’s been about six years since the pioneering German glitch duo Mouse On Mars came out with Parastropics, their last album. And this spring, they’ll return with a new LP called Dimensional People. Mouse On Mars recorded most of the album within a single tempo, and it was inspired, so they say, by Chicago … More »
When the National shared “Guilty Party,” the most recent song from their upcoming album Sleep Well Beast, they also announced an actual Guilty Party, a two-day collaborative concert at Basilica Hudson in Hudson, New York. Yesterday was the first day, and the National decided to commemorate by playing the entirety of Sleep Well … More »