Mouse on Mars
Since the beginning, Mouse on Mars have brought in guest musicians, vocalists and lyricists to help shape their distinctive brand of IDM. On Dimensional People, collaboration doesn’t just play an important part in the album’s sound, it’s become the sole M.O. The 13 tracks that make up the German band’s 11th LP find them recording, writing and collaborating with a wide swath of artists, including Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Beirut’s Zach Condon and rapper Spank Rock, alongside 41 others, to craft a dizzying array of sounds and vocals.
Not only do songs on Dimensional People gratifyingly clatter and clash up against each other — the gloss of “Dimensional People Part III” blends into the strident hip-hop of “Foul Mouth” while the avant-guard knob noodling of “Parliament of Aliens, Part I” brazenly rubs up against the tight footwork beats of “Daylight” — but the duo have chosen not to employ an abundance of electronic musicians, instead focusing on vocalists, saxophonists, banjo players, violinists and others to craft a true spectrum of sounds and ideas. And in what may be their most revealing decision, Mouse on Mars elect not to specify which of these 45 musicians worked on what specific tracks, allowing the listener to let go of the notion of “feature artists,” giving the audience a clear head in order to properly absorb the wonderful, compelling and downright bonkers sounds they managed to piece together, courtesy of these “dimensional people.” (Thrill Jockey, www.thrilljockey.com)