Published Mar 30, 2016As one half of Mouse on Mars, Jan St. Werner has spent the past decade exploring expansive, optimistic and dance floor-friendly electronic music.
However, over the past few years, the Berlin-based artist has used his solo work to return to his multifarious, experimental side, culminating with last year's guest-heavy examination Miscontinuum Album (Fiepblatter Catalogue #3). On Felder (Fiepblatter Catalogue #4), St. Werner has once again built an LP from field recordings, but much of it seems to take on a more narrative and forward-moving nature than previous volumes. Although the album's ten tracks were recorded across the world while St. Werner was on tour with Mouse on Mars, nothing on Felder comes off as restless or as pieced together as one might expect, as tracks like the eight-minute opener "Beardman" and the seven-minute "Singoth" sound more like academic studio creations than globetrotting field recordings. St. Werner still allows sculpted, bent and unidentified sounds to push each composition, but on tracks like the piano-assisted "Slipped Through Heaven" and the restless "The Abstract Pit," he seems to have a greater grasp on where to take them.
On Felder, St. Werner is coming closer to melding his two personalities, allowing his Type A to influence his Type B. (Thrill Jockey)