Friday, February 24, 2012

Mouse on Mars – Parastrophics 9.2


                ‘Parastrophics’ is unstoppable. After six years Mouse on Mars grace us with a true return to form. Six years is a long time, particularly when dealing with electronic music. Mouse on Mars never concerned themselves with hip genres or popularity. Indeed they forged a path mixing hyperactive beats, sweet melodies, and an obvious love for dub. This may be the perfect moment for Mouse on Mars. With the surge of ‘Dubstep’ and ‘Chillwave’, Mouse on Mars has a unique chance to capitalize on what it’s been doing so well for so long. Dub is popular. Chillwave is receptive to their charming, weird melodies.  It helps that this is their strongest release in over a decade. 

                In some ways this album feels like a follow up to my personal favorite album of theirs, ‘Idiology’, released in 2001. 2001 saw many great IDM albums, like ‘Confield’ by Autechre and ‘Drukqs’ by Aphex Twin. Both of those are fine, but Idiology’s endearing weirdness makes me return to it years after its release. There’s something human about that album that neither ‘Confield’ or ‘Drukqs’ can match. 

After Idiology I grew worried about Mouse on Mars. First, ‘Radical Connector’ felt too repetitive and slick for my tastes. Gone were all those lovable twists and turns. They were edited out for a smoother sound. ‘Varcharz’ pointed to a re-energized Mouse on Mars, with a few worthy tracks, yet it felt too dark. Sure there was the energy but where was the cheerful quality of their old style? 

                With ‘Parastrophics’ the light has returned. Giddy gurgles go by at a rapid pace. The record pays homage to a warped kind of dance music. Club music never sounded so positively distorted.‘Parastrophics’ displays a playful funky quality throughout its short duration. On the opening song they rush out of the gate. Eventually this transforms into a weird shuffle reminiscent of Flying Lotus, with a cheesy orchestra put through a countless number of filters. It is an early highlight. ‘Wienuss’ reminds me of the ‘Knight Rider’ theme injected into a cartoon. Yeah, it is delightfully mad. Towards the end it gets amazing on ‘Polyroyced’, back to the Mouse on Mars I remember and love. There is a shiny, chugging melody that is already stuck in my head. And that’s not to mention the samples, which grace nearly every song. 

                Every second is completely packed. In other words, Mouse on Mars is back.

4 comments:

  1. bought this yesterday cause of the 9.2 and the video for 'polyroyced'. didn't expect to dig it this hard. i felt like i was in an episode of space ghost: coast to coast made into a feature film by pixar. i'd even say 9.54. thanks for the rec.

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    1. I know you don't always enjoy everything Mouse on Mars has done. I feel this was one of their better efforts in a very long time. I've probably been listening to this album ever since it came out. You're welcome man, glad you enjoy it.

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    2. Everytime I put this record on, it seems to be drawing the most visceral, outlying emotions I can muster. Almost becoming timeless in its ecentricity. Full of insane amounts of tiny unique hypnosis. I love it. ...Back to playing my 3DS and taking a somewhat break from writing...

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    3. I like how I can re-listen to this one and still find new things I like about it. Whenever I'm feeling tense this one calms me down. Thus far it is my favorite release of 2012.

      PS: I like the book. The mentions of Matmos 'A chance to cut is a chance to cure' and the director's own problems seem pretty good. I'm not done with it yet but I'm enjoying it quite a bit thus far.

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