Musicians Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma are the pioneering electronic duo Mouse on Mars. Regarded as one of Germany’s most influential musical projects, Mouse on Mars has released eleven albums to date and has its roots in an enduring friendship between the two artists. Auspiciously born on the same day and in the same hospital, St. Werner and Toma take a highly collaborative approach to experimentation.
Mouse on Mars’ debut studio album Vulvaland was released in 1994 and was described by critic Sean Cooper as an “ambient texturology with experimental strains of Electroacoustic Music, Dub, Techno and Krautrock.” Over the past nearly three decades, the duo has explored and synthesized numerous transformations in technology, and their inimitable style has been shaped by eclecticism and innovation. As St. Werner said in an interview with Fact Magazine, “The interesting aspects of art are about the questions you pose, the perspectives you offer, rather than the genre you choose to belong to.”
Collaboration factors heavily into the group’s practice. In 2007 they joined forces with The Fall’s Mark E. Smith and, under the moniker Von Südenfed, they released Tromatic Reflexxions, “a futurist, neo-punk-funk workout.” Mouse on Mars’ 2018 release, Dimensional People, featured a cast of accomplices including Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver), members of the American rock band The National, soul musician Swamp Dogg, rapper Spank Rock, Zach Condon of the band Beirut, Australian electropop group Parcels, and Irish musician and composer Lisa Hannigan. The album was released at a symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where St. Werner lectured in the department of Arts, Culture and Technology. In 2020, they embarked on a collaboration with legendary dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry, the results of which are forthcoming. They will release their new album, AAI, in February 2021.
As artists-in-residence at Callie’s, Mouse on Mars is preparing a sound installation Spatial Jitter for Kunstbau at Munich’s Lenbachhaus opening in June 2021.