It’s a good time to be following this duo: Mouse on Mars seem to have entered a period of explosive creativity. And so it’s doubly a pleasure to be working with them now. As I hear younger artists complaining that they feel confined in musical expression, here are artists unafraid to explore strange, wonderful sonic worlds.
What’s special about two new releases is that, while they still represent a tremendous amount of effort and labor, they’re also more spontaneous. As the press announcement that went out with WOW noted, the five-year project that was Parastrophics now gives way to music produced in weeks, that has, accordingly an almost improvisatory feel. It’s as if all this generative energy has been released.
WOW is out now, and has the kind of subversive, mischevious humor that I think is part of Jan and Andi’s DNA. It’s real wit: sonically serious, but with a smile. (Actually, I think it can be a bit unfortunate that some interviews can make Jan and Andi seem overly deadly serious, and miss out on the sense of play that is part of their music.) And WOW is danceable, filled with butt-shaking enthusiasm.
There are also some nice collaborations: Vietnamese vocalist (and sculptor) Dao Anh Khanh and Argentinian “girl punk band” Las Kellies and Eric D. Clarke chime in for an album that’s more extroverted than the more introspective Parastrophics, if no less detailed.
Coming soon is a second release, which the band says they want to treat with the same weight as a studio record. As part of our collaboration on the WretchUp app crowd-funding project, Mouse on Mars are also producing a new record entitled “WretchDubbed,” exclusively for their backers. I think we all felt that this app project shouln’t be a charity, and getting music to the backers is part of doing that. (We’re now all out of physical releases, but backers can still get high-quality downloads of the music – that is, when it’s done, as right now Jan and Andi are still in the studio working away. Based on what I hear so far, I may actually like the experimental tilt of WretchDubbed better than even WOW and Parastrophics. See what you think.)
In the midst of discussions of apps and crowd-funding, it’s great to turn back to the music. Both WretchDubbed and WOW make use of the WretchUp app – and that, in turn, means use of the open source tool Pure Data. You may not immediately notice where, because they get creative with feedback effects and remixing the effected sounds.
And yes, not to pimp our project too hard, but we will be glad to have your support for releasing WretchUp – and will share WretchDubbed with you starting at $10 backing. (Having reached our iOS goal, we’re using extra funding for more features, an Android version, or, hopefully, both.)
More great listening: tons of music in the free MOMCAST is a nice window into their taste.
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