JOHN MAUS

Screen Me­mories Domino First al­bum in six years from Min­nesota’s singing the­o­reti­cian.

Prog - - Limelight - RH

Maus has spent most of his work­ing life jug­gling song­writ­ing with academia, study­ing Re­nais­sance mu­sic at the Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of the Arts and earn­ing a mas­ter’s de­gree in phi­los­o­phy from Switzer­land. Since his last al­bum, 2011’s We Must Be­come The Pi­ti­less Cen­sors Of Our­selves, he’s com­pleted a po­lit­i­cal sci­ence doc­tor­ate at the Univer­sity of Hawaii. All of this might sug­gest an artist big on heavy con­cep­tu­al­ism, but less in­ter­ested in car­ry­ing a de­cent tune. The re­al­ity is quite dif­fer­ent. His ear­lier ex­per­i­men­tal mu­sic has mor­phed into some­thing more co­he­sive and hook-friendly, oc­cu­py­ing a space where stately syn­th­pop and ob­scure progtron­ica get on down. Key­boards and mo­du­lar synths dom­i­nate on this fourth solo record, their dron­ing pat­terns over­laid by Maus’ sulky voice. If you’ve ever won­dered what Sis­ters Of Mercy might sound like if they teamed up with Van­ge­lis, see Teenage Witch. Post-New Ro­man­tic surli­ness cuts through the in­dus­trial throb of Touch­down, while echoes of some­time col­lab­o­ra­tor Ariel Pink ring through the broody hall­ways of Walls Of Si­lence. There’s straight-faced hu­mour too – ‘Your pets are gonna die’ on Pets – and a whole lot more be­sides. His best al­bum yet.

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