"Download Sophist," Niun Niggung's opening track, might fool you into thinking you've got the wrong disc in the player; it's a
From there, Niun Niggung becomes a bustling hive of percolating musical activity, offering the futuristic Wire-meets-Latin-Jazz samba number, “Mykologics” and the friendly solid-state tones of “Yippie.” It seems as if Mouse on Mars have truly committed themselves to adding warmth, humanity and palpable melodic substance to their compositions, while banishing forever complaints of cold, clinical linearity. “Diskdusk” certainly succeeds at that task, offering a bustling jumble of percussion and an intricate melody constructing organic-sounding electronics, literally besieging the ear and mind with ideas. Switching gears, “Distroia” engineers an apocalyptic, stripped-down and overmodulated deconstruction of drum’n'bass aesthetics; despite the feeling that the track is a carefully-designed, painstakingly constructed, functional model of a drum’n'bass song, it’s far more compelling than most “straightforward” entries in the genre.
Niun Niggung is an album to present to your electronic music-hating friends. It not only argues the point that electronic artists can produce works just as emotionally charged and creatively rich as those of more traditional musicians, but systematically addresses and demolishes most familiar complaints about, and criticisms of, the genre. “Thinking person’s electronica” might be too lofty a title, however; intellectual payload notwithstanding, it’s still a barrel of solid-state fun.