Idiology, the seventh album from German electronica duo Mouse On Mars, finds this innovative act squaring off against all that is rote in contemporary electronica.

Idiology, the seventh album from German electronica duo Mouse On Mars, finds this innovative act squaring off against all that is rote in contemporary electronica. Though many of the act's songs won't be refused admission to dance clubs for lack of floor-shaking beats or fashionably distorted synthetics, an intriguing laminate of orchestral arrangements and frame-precise editing sets this collection apart. An iconoclastic spirit prevails throughout, evident in vocals reminiscent of English art-rocker Robert Wyatt or the drowsy slide guitar and trombone of "Catching Butterflies With Hands," suggestive of the more grandiose Smile-era studio experimentation of the Beach Boys. Much lip service has been paid to the pioneers of electronic music on recent compilations such as Ellipsis Arts' Ohm and Caipirinha's Early Modulations; Mouse On Mars is the one group willing to put the lessons of the past to use in the present day. Their frenetic sound montages evoke memories of '60s greats Richard Maxfield or Pierre Henri, enhanced with the humor of Carl Stalling's soundtracks for Warner Bros. cartoons.—RBH