Mouse on Mars formed in 1993 when Andi Toma, from Dusseldorf, and Jan St. Werner, from Cologne, met at a speed metal festival in Stockholm and decided to form a band.
With eleven albums and eleven e.p.'s Mouse On Mars have gained a reputation as one of the most innovative and productive bands of today's popular music scene. "the true inheritors of kraftwerk's mantle" (MUZAK Magazine). The band itself never encouraged this comparison. They rather consider their efforts as fragmented and always reforming ideas which are not after the clean design of pop aesthetics but offer a broken and profound criticism on a "one world one sound" equalisation. "Nothing is decided in the music itself but its construction as a statement: even intervals and odd power chords arrayed in polistic structures, keyed in through micro-blasting tirades of resistance, display a world of madness and diversity" (the HUB, 12.01)
Their first release in 1994 was a single: "Frosch"- "lfo / krautrock toytown toonz" (NME). So fresh were the sounds that critics were at a loss for words "One Man's thingy is another man's wotsit." (melody maker). Their debut album "Vulvaland" went straight into the UK indie top 5.
Musically Mouse On Mars create densely layered tracks with the intended results being grounded between radical experimentalsism and timeless pop appeal. Designed to yield more with repeated listens, songs are minutely detailed. Drum tracks, for example, often contain over twenty different layers: live drums, programmed, digitally processed and various combinations and/or mutations of the aforementioned.
Fills and breaks are set, arranged, and placed individually as opposed to being looped. The results are rich, deep, wonderfully varied. "Mouse on Mars combine so many sounds from myriad genres, asking the listener to discard their preconceptions, wherever possible, and have what jazzbos in Tennessee call "big ears." Mike McGonigal
Or to quote Rob Young from the WIRE: "Mouse On Mars tracks are lush mini adventures or sound movies in multiple dimensions: densly layered vertically, constantly changing horizontally in time, it's a fully articulated body of music."
Since 1997 Mouse On Mars have run their own record label Sonig. Being fully independent from major record companies they have established their very own platform to spread their ideas. Over the last couple of years their concert tours have extended from Europe, Japan and the USA to South America, East Europe and Asia.
They have also produced records for Stereolab and members of Kraftwerk, they made music for an ill-fated Tony Danza film, and worked on remixes for the High Llamas, Cibo Matto, Pram, Anne Clark, the Pastels, Merz, Towa Tei, Oval and others. They recently worked together with house luminary Matthew Herbert and still find the time to let St.Werner work with Oval's Markus Popp on the digital off-shoot "Microstoria".
Mouse On Mars have paved the way for a continuously growing gang of German and international sound villains to weave analogue and digital, electronic and non-electronic sounds in a totally new, organic fabric. Not without reason have great swarms of independent and other tinkerers, post-, kraut- and general rockers, techno types and avant-garde scoundrels included this darned modern stuff in their daily menu.
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