Slow cover

An unpredictable early collaboration from Mouse On Mars’s Jan St. Werner, with Felix Hoefler (aka F.X. Randomiz), who’d previously joined Werner in the group Four Square Logos. It’s a real surprise to hear what Werner and Randomiz were up to on Slow, particularly given how closely it shadows their soon-to-be friends and collaborators in Oval. Like the latter group, there’s a strong fascination here with sculpting the errors and detritus of digital reproduction into alternately playful or moody blocks of glitchy abstraction; there are also some echoes here of the weird Fourth-World syncretism that seemed to be doing the rounds in the sample-delic German underground of the time (see, for example, the two albums that Marcus Schmickler, Carsten Schulz and Christoph Kahse made as POL). But perhaps the most compelling moments are the patiently layered drone portals that take up the second half of the album – “Psychomatic Loop” reads like Coil in ‘worship the glitch’ mode; “Experts” soundtracks an ever-circling space station, slowly revolving its way into a black hole.

Jon Dale