Mouse on Mars – AAI
Live AV ft. Dodo NKishi
With the virtual participation of Louis Chude-Sokei
Presented by silent green and CTM Festival
Mouse on Mars, the duo Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma, who have been inexhaustibly and inventively creating experimental electronic music between pop, art and club music for 25 years is one of Germany’s few experimental pop acts to have stirred wide international attention and acclaim. With their anarchic mixture of sound that oscillates between uncontrollable chaos and meticulously arranged structures, Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma have forged a unique musical language, which is readily decomposed by the unpredictability of its myriad mutations. This dialectical method, coupled with the capacity for continuous reinvention, is the only constant to be found in the duo’s cooperation.
Their 2021 album AAI (Anarchic Artificial Intelligence) takes Toma and Werner’s fascination with technology and undogmatic exploration a quantum leap further. Collaborating with writer and scholar Louis Chude-Sokei, a collective of computer programmers, and longtime Mouse On Mars percussionist Dodo NKishi, the duo explores artificial intelligence as both a narrative framework and compositional tool, summoning their most explicitly science-fiction work to date.
AAI is based on a text by Louis Chude-Sokei reflecting on an alternative history of race, technology, colonialism and futurism from the perspective of machine intelligence as a form of ethnic becoming. Chude-Sokei’s voice is also the source for a speech model algorithm which allows the band to interact with the evolving sentience of AAI, and to control parameters like speed or mood to create a kind of speech instrument they could control and play as they would a synthesizer. The album’s narrative is quite literally mirrored in the music - the sound of an artificial intelligence growing, learning and speaking. Emerging from a primordial ooze of rolling bass and skittering electronics, hypnotic polyrhythms and pulsing synthesizers propel the listener across the record’s expanse. Artwork was provided by the inventor of the computer graphics language Processing, Casey Reas, a further exploration of technology’s application in the context of art.
As part of the CTM Festival 2021, the work has already been presented in a combination of online virtual environment and an on-site sound installation. In silent green, AAI will finally be experienced as an expansive, audio-visual live show.
More about the project as part of CTM Festival:
Tuesday, October 11
Doors: 8 pm I Start: 9 pm
Funded by NEUSTART KULTUR, Initiative Musik und der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM)