MOUSE ON MARS

 
 

If Jan St Warner and Andi Tomi ever devised a Mouse on Mars manifesto, it must be this: music made molten and moulded anew. Their po-mo approach can be heard albums like the tiki-tronic Iahora Tahiti, where the sounds of 50s exotica - the soundtrack of serial seducers and suburban swingers - are bounced back by satellites, frayed by signal decay and pitted by space debris. After three acclaimed albums for Too Pure, MoM set up their own label Sonig, christening the imprint with two albums, Instrumentals (later reissued by Domino) and the rejected soundtrack commission Glam. Initially conceived as a hit and run, vinyl only operation, Sonig has moved from fast company to stable haven for MoM's kindreds, housing Kosmiche folk outfit Workshop, France's Scratch Pet Land and England's Vert. Meanwhile Werner used inter-album layoffs to activate two side projects, dropping into solo mode as Lithops and forming Microstoria, a mutually beneficial mind-meld with Oval's Markus Popp. A subtle shift in MoM's sound strategy came with 99's Nuin Niggung and 2001's Idiology, two stylistically diverse affairs that brought a pastoral tone to their blend of playfully processed pop and bleeding edge electronics, a passport out of the artificial wonderland and proof it was impossible to guess where this mercurial unit is headed next.