According to legend, on Christmas Eve animals magically gain the ability to speak. If there’s a similar date for sound-making machines, it may have coincided with the work on the latest of two releases from a Mouse on Mars-curated netlabel.

Mouse on Mars have quietly started “Recommended Records” as an online-only outlet of free, full-length downloads. Based on the debut offerings in December and January, you can expend electronic outings full of sonic invention, experimental but always full of forward motion and kinetic energy. Ironically, they’re immune to what deef, in RR01, dubs his first track – “boring ass oldschoolness.”

And departing from a client of conservative seriousness, these are records that joyfully let the machines roam free, as if someone departed the studio and devices and instruments grew legs and tails and headed into the woods.

Indeed, in the second release, artist E.A.R.L. himself is identified only as a mysterious forest-dweller.

Not much is known about this creature, it is told that it was born in the woods somewhere in germany. It is connected closely to nature in general and animals especially . There is the ability to speak (the human way) in his neural system but it is buried under thick layers of instincts and life saving mechanisms so its not used that often. The creature is communicating through strange noises, at least for humans they might be strange for the creatures itself and animals they are a perfectly normal way of exchanging information.

There are influences of modern music in the voice of E.A.R.L that is because more and more people listen to loud music in the forest and of cause the creature braids everything it hears into his voice. E.A.R.L never leaves the forest his voice is performed live through Armann Woodruff who tries to resample its glimmering and spitting voice and who is in fact the only Human who can understand E.A.R.L, and even more important who is the only one,who is able to find it.


Vienna-based deef has a known identity – but his sounds are just as manically-fanciful. His Facebook page represents the earnest optimism of the underground. “I enjoy making soundtracks for theatre & movies (documentary(!), short films, video clips, etc.) If you’d like to work with me or just want to say or ask something,” he says. And you’ll find booking and management, but also a plea to find a netlabel for his next outing.

And then there’s this music statement, which is just about the best from any artist I’ve ever read, I think:

“Where there need for a poem to accompany this release, I would like to quote myself: In the context of contemporary beat scene I wanted to make something new; something that deserves the label of “hyperspace future blabla music” everybody in the scene adorns herself with, but unfortunately I failed. I need more time & fucking money.”

If it’s a failure, though, it’s fantastically fun to listen to it fail.

And, damnit, I found myself dancing to it, so let’s tag this “dance music” anyway.

You’d be smiling from the track titles alone, and my guess is, if you get the wit and humor of those, you’ll be grinning ear-to-ear from the tunes, too.


More of this, please.

The Internet: it will happily release your music. Mouse on Mars recommendation aside, no label needed. Whatever the commercial value of music, the value of listening remains up to you.

An aside: as part of our ongoing crowd-funded collaboration with Mouse on Mars to release an open source iPhone/Android app, Andi and Jan produced a full-length of music that they made for 100 people. It’s just friends and backers; we head over to Andi’s flat next week to stamp these and mail them off. Listening to that was a pleasure; they made music that’s different than anything they’ve produced lately. You could just hear this sense of freedom in the studio. (Downloads will ship off from me next week, then physical, then an update on the app, in case you’re wondering.)

Imagine for a moment if you threw a birthday party for yourself and a hundred people came. Or if you played a live gig for a room of a hundred – that’s often our favorites. Making music “just for yourself,” the popular cliché, can be ultimately unsatisfying. But making music that a small but meaningful group of people will care about, that’s something. And just as that birthday party would be fun if only a couple of people brought you drinks and someone came with a card, it might not need a massive amount of income.

For the same reason, I’m glad that Jan and Andi have taken up this series. I actually hope other friends will do something similar. It may be the releases deemed un-commercial that prove the most refreshing.

And a “Recommended by/for Friends” series could be a terrific way to spread music even if you’re not Mouse on Mars.