Biography

Varcharz

Mouse on Mars is one of the few electronic bands to stand the test of time. Constantly reinventing themselves, they have taken electronica to new heights with a unique blend of sound annihilation, fragmented melodies and an impassioned hatred of conformity. For over a decade, Mouse on Mars has sweated over burning consoles to create a new musical language, only to twist it again into thousands of myriad distortions. After recording five albums for Thrill Jockey Records, they now team up with Ipecac Recordings for the release of Varcharz. Entirely recorded at Mouse on Mars’ St. Martin Ton Studios in Duesseldorf, Varcharz is their most live sounding and diverse studio album to date.

The title, Varcharz, is intentionally mistaken to sound like “war charts”, but in fact, it is the phonetic mangling in English of the German word “wortschatz” which means “vocabulary”. Recorded throughout the last three years, Varcharz emerges partly from the sessions that produced 2004’s kinetic dance party, Radical Connector, but reveals the harder and more experimental side of the group. For this album, Mouse on Mars digested a steady diet of spatial free-jazz and cocaine-fried booty funk to deliver an album reflecting their energetic live sets’ sparkling chaos and glorious precision. Veering away from the vocal hooks of Radical Connector, Varcharz is nine tracks (don’t get confused by its stuttering track ID’s) of energetic impulses, heavy riffing from grained sounds and canned percussion, and slamming bottom end insanity provided by notorious sequenced bass and kick drum jolts. Varcharz is also spiked with catchy pop references, anarchic rock interpretations and manga-style pathos.

Mouse on Mars’ Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner have been more than busy in the intervening two years between albums. As well as the release of their live record, Live04, on their own label Sonig, and a constant barrage of touring, they are collaborating with Mark E. Smith of The Fall. Both Toma and St. Werner produce independently for the Sonig label. St. Werner has also worked on two new solo records under the Lithops moniker and acts as the artistic director of the Amsterdam Institute for Electronic Music, STEIM.

Lazaro put it best when he describes the new album: "It's got nerdity and wisdom, and it’s intensely dynamic and textured. The world of extreme electronica will soon be rejuvenated as Mouse on Mars dechristianize the weak and lay waist to the non-believers. Angst has never been so much fun, THIS is extreme electronica at its full potential!”

Releases

Cover for Varcharz
Varcharz