Niun Niggung
(Sonig via Thrill Jockey P.O. Box 476794 Chicago IL 60647
Released in September 1999 in the UK and Europe via the Domino imprint, thanks to Chicago's Thrill Jockey label North Americans can now check out "Niunn Niggung" at a domestic price. "'Niunn Niggung'", you say, "what's that?" This is the sixth full length from Germany's Mouse On Mars, and the third MoM LP on the group's Soniq. Jan St. Werner (who's worked with Oval's Markus Popp as Microstoria) and Andi Toma are the main players behind the name and manage to make one heck of a joyful noise. From the album's opening trio of quirky avant rock and pop cuts (minus the lyrics, thank goodness) to introspective electro (best example here is "Gogonal"), seductive techno with a MoM twist, and heady downtempo and experimental numbers, these 13 songs make up one gorgeous piece of work and an album that immediately becomes a must-have for the electronic music enthusiast. There are those who can craft a pop ditty, and those who can push the boundaries of audio. But it's not an easy task doing both-and doing it well; balancing the seductive and the inventive, juxtaposing sleek passages with digital blips and bleeps and melding the result into a pleasing whole, these are MoM's skills. Give this one focused listen and you'll want to add their previous albums-Vulvaland (the 1994 debut), Iaora Tahiti (1995), Autoditacker and Instrumentals (both 1997), and 1998's Glam-to your "to buy" list. "Niun Niggung" really is that enthralling. Good news: late March will see Mouse On Mars play select live dates on our shores. --Andrew Duke

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