Published Feb 29, 2012This week, electronic music lifers Mouse on Mars released Parastrophics, their tenth LP and first since 2006's Varcharz. Working closely with new label bosses Modeselektor for their Monkeytown record label, the album's 13 tracks find the Düsseldorf-bred duo entering their Berlin phase, where Mouse on Mars's Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have recently relocated. Despite the pair's change of scenery, label and studio, St. Werner insists that a rather odd cast of characters were the actual inspiration behind their latest batch of songs.
Speaking with Exclaim! St. Werner elaborates, "What we did was create an imaginary person, like a chameleon, who could completely blend into several environments but also be completely out of place, and even be multiple."
Moving from the fictitious to the factual, St. Werner found inspiration from the villages of Eurasia for the Parastrophics track "Baku Hipster."
"[It's] about music from the early 20th century in Azerbaijani where guys would do rap battles; these days they still do it. And they have a song about Baku Hipster, who's kind of a dandy in the streets of Azerbaijani, dressing up weirdly. People would wonder, 'Is he gay? Who is he?'"
Even the cover art was inspired by a group of 19th century outsiders.
"We found those Shakers drawings, which basically we stole... or took as inspiration for the album. Men and women in the group were equal, it was quite radical. And they even had this idea of a metaphysical world that they would deal with in drawings, in craftwork, in poems. So we used this kind of world view for the record."
Mouse of Mars's video for Parastrophics' first single, "Polaroyced" debuted today (February 29), and you can watch it below. Keeping with the album's theme, the clip works as homage to a mysterious L.A.-based jump-dancer Gold Inferno, whom Mouse on Mars repeatedly tried to track down to appear in the video. Maybe they should have tried to contact the producers of So You Think You Can Dance (see what we mean at the bottom of the page).
To read more of Exclaim!'s recent interview with Mouse on Mars, head here.