The period leading up to the release of Parastrophics was one of uncharacteristic silence for Mouse On Mars. Their 10th studio album was 5 years in the making – and the record, for all its deftness and dizzying unpredictability, was notable for the resulting sense of gravitas. WOW is the exact opposite, a spontaneous reaction to all those hours of studio labour, created from scratch in a matter of weeks, and released just 9 months after its predecessor.
You can almost feel the tension being released. WOW is an exuberant, immediate and club-orientated counterpoint to Parastrophics, with Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma aiming their considerable technical finesse firmly in the direction of the dancefloor. There are no prizes for guessing the 303 delights that a track called “ACD” might have to offer; others, like “DOG”, “HYM” and the closing “SUN” deliver serious bass punch and genuine hands-in-the-air euphoria alongside Mouse On Mars’s trademark twists and turns.
The vocal presence tying the whole mini-album together is Dao Anh Khanh, whom the band met during their tour of Asia 2010. Dao is a performer and sculptor from Vietnam, who invented a fantasy language which the band recorded together with him in an arcane Hanoi studio. Further contributions come from the Argentinian girl punk band Las Kellies and Eric D. Clarke. Thrown together, these disparate elements come together to make a whole which is epic, abstract, intense and ridiculous at the same time. WOW is Mouse on Mars’ bass theatre.
The record also makes much use of the wretchup, an iphone app which was invented by Mouse on Mars during preparations for their orchestral work Paeanumnion. The band went on to use wretchup effects on Parastrophics and on stage during their 2012 album tour – now they plan to make it available, via itunes, around the time of the release of WOW.