Record Review - 3 October 14 2004

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. And like free radicals careening about to damage body tissues, so are the swarms of rhythm of Germany's Mouse On Mars. Except that Mouse On Mars — the 10-year partnership of Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma — utilizes its Radical Connector (the group's eighth full-length) to make connections not originally intended to exist. MoM plays with how seemingly disparate sounds conglomerate and coalesce. The group mixes sprawling shards of percolating percussion with burbling bass and hiccuping vocals, creating a micro-edited chaotic bliss. But where past material bristled, Connector bustles. Songs twitch (two-step's distant cousin "Spaceship"), swagger (gyrating synth-laden "Wipe That Sound") and both bob and plod (female vocal-led "Send Me Shivers" and "The End," respectively). Yet overall, Connector is MoM's most orderly yet simultaneously "radical" work. It's concise machine funk, not just explorations of malfunktions.

-- Tony Ware
Mouse On Mars plays the Echo Lounge Tues., Oct. 19. 9 p.m. $12.