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Mouse On Mars - AAI

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 5 / 7 / 2021

Mouse On Mars - AAI
Label: Thrill Jockey
Format: CD


Computed coordinated chaos on anarchic latest album from German electronic duo Mouse On Mars

After Kraftwerk and Neu! I really can't decide between Mouse On Mars and To Rococo Rot as to which is carrying the torch of electronic music in the 21st century. Academically educated, members of both love to investigate to what extent dance music can be manipulated. On 'ABC' To Rococo Rot wrote music for graphic fonts and Mouse On Mars' 'AAI' takes a giant step further. Professor Jan St Werner, one of Mars' mice, is for example a university lecturer, experimenting with frequencies, like he did at the start of the Documenta Exhibition of 2017. The outright surprise of 'AAI' comes from how Mouse On Mars effortlessly incorporate my beloved Congotronics and still remain true to their æsthetics. It is as if no style of music can't be deciphered in a logical or digital manner. Mashing up rhythms, melodies and snippets of words over logarithms and algorithms has very much hallmarked Mouse On Mars' music for a good two decades, only rivalled by To Rococo Rot on their 'ABC' album. On 'AAI' the electronic scientist duo delves and drowns in digits. Only occasionally too clever for their own good, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma blend maths and world music polyrhythms on 'AAI' and miraculously churn these into new riddims. Like explorers, Mouse On Mars do not oversee music from any of Earth's continents. On this album Mouse On Mars mapped and charted most of the globe's music. Blasting off from the start however with 'The Latent Space' in Sputnik Overdrive, the tone is easily set. Mouse On Mars' Machine Music does require following their mindset. The ill-spoken American wisdom makes that quite hard to follow. It compares to some National Geographic or Netflix commentator, when you'd long for, say, a wise man like Bryan Cox. Chaos, and in particular chaos in music, is a fine thing to strive for. 'AAI' - Anarchic Artificial Intelligence - nonetheless goes much further than that on the sturdy and gritty 'Youmachine' with its poignant slave rhythm lashings, which strut eventually into the ragga induced mayhem of 'Doublekeyrock'. The icing on the cake must go, however, to 'Go Tick' which has a stupendous drive to it. The quasi title track 'Artifical Authentic' is a fine piss take of dancehall house music and comes at the moment at which the album starts to dig deeper. Now, we're getting serious. I can't help the feeling that for at least the first half hour we've heard the obvious Mouse On Mars and the show is about to start just now. Zany and wacky flashes on the intermezzo 'Loose Tools' pave the way for further adventure. The elaborated spacy afrobeat music on 'Seven Months' ultimately ends in a splendid tour de force. Just like almost every track seems to end with a twist. In a sense this 'AAI' album is where kindergarten meets university classes. 'AAI' took a few weeks to sink down yet when it eventually did, I had started to care less about trivial matters such as money.

Track Listing:-
1 Engineering Systems
2 The Latent Space
3 Speech And Ambulation
4 Thousand To One
5 Walking And Talking
6 Youmachine
7 Doublekeyrock
8 Machine Rights
9 Go Tick
10 The Fear Of Machines
11 Artificial Authentic
12 Machine Perspective
13 Cut That Fishernet
14 Tools Use Tools
15 Loose Tools
16 Seven Months
17 Paymig
18 Borrow Signs
19 New Definitions
20 New Life Always Announces Itself Through Sound

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