Mouse On Mars Varcharz

[Ipecac; 2006]

Styles: IDM, Ambient Techno, Indie Electronic
Others: Kid 606, Luke Vibert, Mr. Oizo, Bruce Haack

How is this for a change of pace? While Mouse On Mars' last full-length was a happy, housey electronic affair with fractured vocals in every track, Varcharz (a German word intentionally misspelled to sound like "war charts") is a much more serious, often less danceable, instrumental effort. It appears Köln's Andi Toma and Düsseldorf's Jan St. Werner want you to remember they don't just make dance music, but intelligent dance music. Point taken, guys. The drum and bass, glitch-warp opener "Chartnok" should be enough to quell naysayers right off the bat. Ravers these days wouldn't know what to do with that track. While much of their eighth album is a throwback to their abrasive mid-career sound, the metal drumming, grunge-guitar-based "Inocular," and fuzz-drenched post-rock number "Hi Fienilin" exhibit a previously unexplored interest in hard rock while demonstrating the duo's commitment to creating new sounds and developing as artists. The distinctively video-game-like "Bertney" would do well alongside Venetian Snares' "Pwntendo" on a mixtape. With their ever-perfecting brand of glitch intact, it looks like MoM is going to keep on trucking strong for many years to come.

1. Chartnok
2. Igoegowhygowego
3. Düül
4. Inocular
5. Skik
6. Hi Fienilin
7. Bertney
8. Retphase
9. One Day, Not Today (part 1?)
10. (part 2?)
11. Ignition Segments (?)
* The promo I was given contained 11 tracks and no tracklisting, so I've completed the above with my own best guess *