Mouse on Mars is recognised as one of Germany’s most defining and versatile electronic music projects. With their anarchic mixture of sound that oscillates between uncontrollable chaos and meticulously arranged structures, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have forged a unique musical language, which is readily decomposed by the unpredictability of its myriad mutations. This dialectical method, coupled with the capacity for continuous reinvention, is the only constant to be found in the duo’s cooperation. Free from schools of thought, genre conventions, and from the constraints of the music establishment, they have worked under the Mouse on Mars alias for 23 years, mapping their own idiosyncratic trajectory through a no man’s land between pop, art, club music, and the avant-garde. The duo represents one of Germany’s few experimental pop acts to have stirred wide international attention and acclaim. Four Peel sessions alone, recorded at the legendary BBC Radio, attest to their influence.
Mouse on Mars originated in Cologne and Düsseldorf in 1993 during a time of general musical upheaval and an awakening interest in experimental yet non-academic electronic music. Despite this context, however, the project began and has remained an entity that first and foremost pursues a singular agenda, metabolising scenes and trends rather than aligning with them. Since their first album, Vulvaland, was released in 1994 on British label Too Pure, Mouse on Mars have released 11 albums and numerous solo and collaborative projects, relentlessly pushing forth their uncategorisable sound. Their hybrid style constantly synthesizes new influences and a wide variety of genres. A disorienting mix of pop and experimentation running from noise to strange beauty, their music is at the same time resolutely avant-garde and playful, though always charged with a destructive compulsion. Brimming with fragmented melodies, spacey dissonances, edgy breaks, strange streams of sonic particles, and chaotic overlays, Mouse on Mars’ fluid sound aesthetic reflects their general mutability, which is deeply rooted in their restless ingenuity, quirky sense of humour, and fearless non-conformism.
-Jan Rohlf, CTM Festival