Mouse on Mars – Parastrophics
It’s six years since this German techno/post-rock duo released their last LP, Varcharz (five, if you count their work with Mark E Smith under the Von Südenfed moniker); the dizzying level of cross-pollination seen in electronica over that period could justifiably raise fears that Parastrophics would be stillborn, its approach irrelevant or prematurely dated. Yet Mouse on Mars’ taut-yet-chaotic amalgamation of crazed hip-hop, techno and glitch sounds as fresh as ever. Appropriately, the LP is released on Modeselektor’s label Monkeytown, signalling the duo’s easy alignment with contemporary dancefloor experimentalism.
Parastrophics runs through 13 tracks at breakneck speed, with jolting gear changes and genre collisions at every turn; the hip-hop influence comes to the fore on pieces like Metrotopy, which lays tasteful autotuned rap samples over mangled, stuttering beats. Some convergence with recent innovators is evident: Imatch, for instance, bears affinity with Rustie’s hyperactive, dayglo funk. Yet MoM’s sound remains startlingly distinctive: evidently enough to ensure their continuing relevance and vitality.