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Radical Connector

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Album Review

Throughout their decade-plus career, Mouse on Mars' Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner have engaged in a very focused kind of wandering. They've moved from the frothy textures of Vulvaland and Iaora Tahiti to the busier, drum'n'bass-inflected Autoditacker to the playful pastoralism of Niun Niggung to Idiology's rubbery, eclectic pop while, paradoxically, crafting a sound that is distinctively Mouse on Mars. On Radical Connector, Toma, St. Werner, and percussionist/vocalist Dodo Nkishi once again build on what they've done before and take it in a very different direction. The album is more overtly pop than anything they've done before — each of the tracks features vocals, a first on a Mouse on Mars album — but also harder-edged and more overtly electronic than work such as Idiology. As clichéd as it may be to say it, the album's title conveys its aesthetic perfectly: tracks like "Mine Is in Yours" and "Spaceship" build on Idiology's most radically jittery tracks like "Actionist Respoke" and "Introduce," but take this sound in an immediate, danceable direction. And while the frostbitten, pristine beauty of "Send Me Shivers" — featuring guest vocalist Niobe — borders on the alien, it's never alienating. But even the album's most delicate, intellectual moments don't feel as detached as Mouse on Mars' past work; Radical Connector has more guts and soul than what has come before it. Nkishi feels more integrated into this album than he did on Idiology, and his blunt, raspy vocals provide some of Radical Connector's best tracks. Nkishi's voice is the perfect canvas for Toma and St. Werner to tweak, particularly on the bouncy, oddly tribal "Blood Comes," where he croaks "it's interrrrrrrupted" over increasingly busy layers of himself and a relentless beat. Things get even crazier on "All the Old Powers," a witchy track built around Nkishi's trippy ramblings and a beat that sounds like it was made from kicking doors open and throwing things against the wall. Best of all, though, is "Wipe That Sound," a funky, evocative track that's both sweaty and smart. By the time the glacially gorgeous closer, "Evoke an Object," finishes, it's hard to believe that Radical Connector is only nine tracks long; the album is so concentrated that it feels much bigger. This may not be Mouse on Mars' most ambitious album, but it's among the group's most successful — it's not at all difficult to feel a connection to this truly intelligent dance music.

Customer Reviews

radical sleeper

inaccesible and just strange. experiemental IDM/electronic/pop in a tight little package. experienced production and a refined idea truly create a radical connection that is worth the experience. somehow through all this, each track maintain a poppy, floaty sense that is difficult to pin into a particular genre. compared to other MoM, this is much more progressive and a break away from the ambient deep bass tracks of earlier albums. this is what is so interesting. truly stands on it own and is not for everyone. however, some, and you know who you are, can open their mind and really listen.

Their most accesible..

I would probably agree with the first reviewer in saying this album is not accesible to the casual listener but I would say this is their most accesible albmum to their followers. Poppy, quirkey and just down right funky! Radical connector stands as one of their crown acheivements.

Well good

Strangely wildly accessible..... And well ahead of its time as with most inaccessible stuff :))

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Düsseldorf, Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dabbling in complex, heavily hybridized forms of everything from ambient, techno, and dub to rock, jazz, and jungle, German post-techno duo Mouse on Mars was the combined effort of Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner (of Köln and Düsseldorf, respectively). Mouse on Mars formed in 1993, reportedly when Werner and Toma met either at a death metal concert or a health food store. Working from Werner's studio, the pair fused an admiration for the early experiments of Krautrock outfits like Can, Neu!, Kluster,...
Full Bio