Wednesday, April 18, 2001


Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2001 at 12:00 AM


Idiology is almost ideology, but not quite. Perhaps it’s an expression of the imperfect, flawed and divisive nature of ideological rhetoric. Or maybe it’s a study in the idiosyncratic ideologies of Mouse on Mars. Then again, it could be something totally idiotic, like a ridiculous example of Germanic idiom. And to that I say, “Pass the schnitzel unt werk it kraftily, yah!”

MoM’s new album, whyever it’s called, is slightly more interesting, textured and gorgeous than the usual gently squeaky, then violently squiggly electric madness that we’ve come to expect from the German collective. The sonic structures of Idiology breathe life into the themes of MoM’s earlier works, building on what they started with last year’s Niun Niggung. Strings, strange (possibly human) vocals, horns, pianos and gentle acoustic guitar licks (what!?) awake with a yawn from a coma-like hibernation to communicate with lots of younger hi-tech components.

Although they haven’t defected from their alien world of quirk-tronica, the two prove that they’re not below throwing their fans (and their instruments) a chic, black-tie optional soiree. Older instruments hug MoM’s mischievous circuitry, exchange notes and proceed to get very drunk. The new language that is created when all of these tools speak slurred instrumental Esperanto is brilliantly detailed and orchestral, but suspiciously, it doesn’t sound orchestrated. It seems that sheer faith in their anthropomorphized instruments leaves Jan St. Werner and Andy Toma (aka MoM) just enough room in the studio to adjust levels and mix drinks.

Tracks vary in theme from the hedonistic, sly funk of “subsequence” and “introduce” to “catching butterflies with hands” — which sounds like an anthem for the first day of spring — to a lush and symphonic chillout conclusion on “paradical” and “fantastic analysis.” Like decoding cryptically pun-ny and aphoristic misspellings, Idiology demands an active imagination. A lovable idiolect indeed.

E-mail Robert Gorell at

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