Mouse On Mars -‘Parastrophics.’ (Monkeytown)
This is Mouse On Mars’ tenth album, and their first since 2006. In that time, however, they have been working on other projects, including with Mark E. Smith as Von Sudenfed, for the criminally underrated Tromatic Reflexxions album.
In terms of lazy pigeonholing, the German duo do come under the umbrella of electronica. But as anyone who has ever heard them will testify, they are equally as far from being a schillout act as they are from being producers of bangin’ dancefloor anthems.
Still with me? Good. For an act whose skewed take on rhythms, distorted voices and lack of anything approaching a melody most of the time might sound terrifying, this album actually makes for a pretty compelling listen. It’s constructed in a way that makes you feel that it could all fall apart any second, and rather like with The Raincoats’ debut LP, that’s exciting rather than unsettling.
Although ‘They Know Your Name’ does sound like it could have been done by anyone several years ago, the opening double whammy of ‘The Beach Stop’ and Chordblocker, Cinnamon Toasted’ set you on your way for an album that constantly delights.
It does require you to pay attention, and should you be so inclined, it certainly won’t work as background music. But if you are willing to give this album your undivided attention, it will reward you in spades.
Parastrophics is out now on Monkeytown