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Instrumentals

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 21, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Though it verges on the lackadaisical, this utterly enjoyable record radiates the attentive playfulness that Mouse on Mars bring to their warbly, crunchy beat salads. Originally released on vinyl on the tails of the group's excellent 1997 album Autoditacker, Instrumentals feels a bit like it was cobbled together from pieces on the cutting room floor. But since Mouse on Mars's Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner are so good with their sonic bits and pieces, the collection does not feel at all like a throwaway. Lovely little melodies arise but then wander away again in the company of various burps, snaps, and fizzy bits that waddle off like landlocked ducks. Six minutes into "PegelGesetzt" you hear a single non-repeating funhouse "wheeeee"--a minute later, a horn. Not a serious record, but a substantial one. --Erik Davis
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B000053UEP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,835 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This vinyl only album is finally being released on CD. It's too bad if you don't have the vinyl b/c all the crackles and pops from over-play really add to the sound.:). What makes this album so good is that it is short (~40mins) and the selection of material is perfect. There is no filler, only perfect transitions--which is not always true with other MoM albums. It swirls from melody to bubbly ambience to white noise....then back again. something else about this album is that it keeps it's laid back ambient mood throughout and there are no hyperkinetic tracks here. you really feel as if you are immersed in warm alien amniotic fluid. If nothing else the aptly titled possibly best MoM song, "chromantic" is worth the purchase of the album.
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Format: Audio CD
Stylistically INSTRUMENTALS is somewhere between the techno goofiness of AUTODITAKER or IORTA TAHITI and the ambient soundscapes of GLAM. It contains the kind of distorted sounds that any MoM fan will be familiar with. MoM dosen't forget to include the one ingredient missing from most music made by "electronica" acts: melody and warmth. "Chromantic" (I really dig MoM's song titles) is a great example of the band's ear for lush melody without sacrificing abstractness. Only on the sparse "1001" does the mood turn somber; with its odd, scratchy trumpet soloing and skittish piano key loop. "Auto Orchestra" opens the music with an abstract cut-&-paste sound collage. "Owai" is the CD's only hyber/bouncy track. The rest of the tracks further reaffirms MoM's genius. The funny-looking cartoon characters found on the packaging is a great visual compliment to the music.
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Format: Audio CD
Andi Toma, Jan St. Wermer, elect. Toma and St. Werner have collaborated as Mouse on Mars since 1993, producing a music that is best categorized as ambient music electronica. This album, which was released in 1993, was their fourth recording. I got to it through the backdoor: our son had introduced me to the brilliant small band projects of singer/musician Merrill Garbus under the name tUnE-yArDs and I’d liked the group enough that I wanted to buy an album of theirs. I did order one, Nicki Nack (2014), and am waiting eagerly for it to arrive. I started exploring other albums recommended further down the frame and came upon Mouse on Mars. The group sounded interesting and although I never much cared for Tangerine Dream, perhaps the first major electronica rock group, I do like ambient music, pieces like Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, Terry Riley’s In C, Steve Reich’s Come Out, Piano Phase, Music for Eighteen Instruments and Electric Counterpoint (guitarist Pat Metheny multiple taped), Scott Johnson’s intensely irritating but exhilarating John Somebody. (“You know who’s in New York? / Remember that guy … J-John somebody? / He was a… he was sort of a …”)

I mention my preferences as background to my reaction to this album. I like electronica and ambient music enough to give this album a try but it had to impress me as especially well crafted (like Eno and Riley) or adventurous in its choices (like Reich and Johnson) for me to warm to it much. And that’s the problem with the album. Music like this relies on a steady progression of subtle changes, modulations in pitch, timbre and rhythm, to keep the listener’s attention.
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Format: Audio CD
this cd defies categorization.its one part dub,one part ambient,and another techno.mix them together and you have perfect ear candy.put on some headphones and prepare to get lost.and yes the album cover art is a great companion.i love this cd.
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