Mouse on Mars
Mouse on Mars is a duo from Germany (Jan St. Werner, from Köln, and Andi Toma, from Düsseldorf) who have been making electronic music since 1993. Their music is a sometimes quirky blend of IDM, krautrock, disco, and ambient with a heavy dollop of analog synth sounds and cross-frequency modulation. Their music also utilizes live conventional instruments such as strings, brass, drums, bass and guitar.
St. Werner and Toma are childhood friends who were born on the same day, in the same hospital. Dating back to the mid-1990s, their productions do not shy away from fractures and deconstructions of conventional patterns in electronic music; at the same time, they also play with these patterns. Their approach is characterized by a blend of intuition and reflection that spotlights a special sensitivity to structurally and harmonically interesting inventions. For the most part, their pieces do without vocal elements.
Mouse on Mars is recognised as one of Germany’s most defining and versatile electronic music projects. With their anarchic mixture of sound that oscillates between uncontrollable chaos and meticulously arranged structures, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have forged a unique musical language, which is readily decomposed by the unpredictability of its myriad mutations. This dialectical method, coupled with the capacity for continuous reinvention, is the only constant to be found in the duo’s cooperation. Free from schools of thought, genre conventions, and from the constraints of the music establishment, they have worked under the Mouse on Mars alias for 23 years, mapping their own idiosyncratic trajectory through a no man’s land between pop, art, club music, and the avant-garde. The duo represents one of Germany’s few experimental pop acts to have stirred wide international attention and acclaim. Four Peel sessions alone, recorded at the legendary BBC Radio, attest to their influence.
Since 1999, the label has dedicated itself to an international program of musicians. Mouse on Mars were & a. Also by the independent label Thrill Jockey. The album Niun Niggung rose in the year 2000 in Germany up to place 76 of the album charts. In 2007, Mouse on Mars, with Mark E. Smith of The Fall, released the album Tromatic Reflexxions under the band name Von Südenfed. In an interview they announced further albums for the years 2009 and 2010 than from Southfed, which never appeared. At Christmas 2009, a new album was announced by Mouse on Mars, but the new album Parastrophics appeared in the beginning of 2012. In the years 2005, 2008 and 2009, Mouse on Mars attended events at the Goethe-Institut. From 22 October to 13 November 2010 Mouse on Mars commissioned the Goethe-Institut to perform concerts in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, China and Vietnam.