mouse on mars - 21 again-57

Mouse On Mars – 21 AGAIN Festival – Day 1 (9/10)
Start 19:15 / End 2:00 about
Mouse On Mars, the electronic music duo from Düsseldorf, celebrates its 21st Birthday with a lot of friends at the Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin Kreuzberg on two consecutive Days last weekend. Several locations are involved. There is the more formal HAU1 which is a beautiful small old theater, the HAU2 as its modern counterpart just around the corner and the WAU that is the restaurant closely associated with the Hebbel am Ufer and helpfully a directly neighbouring the HAU2. The tight programme is supposed to start at 19 o’clock which almost works out. At 19:20 Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma (Mouse On Mars) enter the stage together with Chris Sharp for a short introduction to the evening and a kind of improvised interview. The most interesting information was that actually the Birthday celebrations should have taken place last year already (20th birthday) but with all the other artists involved the organization just needed more time than initially planned. The next program point is the premiere of the new Mouse on Mars video featuring Eric D. Clark (who was in the audience as well and recording everything with his iPad :)). The video is called ‘Lost and Found’ and was directed by German independent film legend Klaus Lemke. The video is quite uplifting, some Kreuzberg is shown and the audience seems to like it. After a short break but without further introduction a man enters the stage that now features a grand piano additionally to the screen on which the Klause Lemke video was shown and introduces himself as composer Augustin Maurs. He explains that he actually should have been accompanied by a singer but she had a bad cold and could not make it… So he asks the audience to bear in mind that he’s neither a singer nor a pianist but the performance would only take about seven minutes anyway. The act is called ‘Seven notes on Peter Roehr’ and consists of seven short minimal piano/voice pieces each conceptualized as a counterpart to a picture of German minimal artist Peter Roehr. It was a quite funny performance but I’m actually not really sure that that was the intention… Another short break follows and the Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop appears. Ten string players (several Celli, Violins and one double bass) start off the piece – their instruments lying on the floor – letting out the air from balloons through sirens. This takes about two minutes and is quite impressive to watch (and hear) because the whole ensemble tries to keep a very stern face and this almost works out until the very last balloon as expired its air. Afterwards the strings get pulled a lot and a wall of sound ensues. The piece is called ‘Lumio’ and it’s a collaboration between the Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and Mouse on Mars’ Jan St. Werner. It’s a very rhythmic piece supported by the neon lights on stage flickering like there is no tomorrow. The neon lights, apparently not really part of an art installation and definitely not by singer (duh!) Susan Philipsz (thanks to Jo for the clarification), i really liked a lot. The show is approximately 20 minutes long and after the next a bit longer break Mouse on Mars and Tyondai Braxton enter the stage for the main act of this part of the evening. Tyondai Braxton (probably well known of his guitar and vocal work in Battles) and Moritz Simon Geist and his giant Sonic Robot MR-808 join Mouse on Mars’ performance. Mouse on Mars and the MR-808 deliver the rhythmical floor for Braxtons guitar sounds and of course his trademark birdlike chirping. Occasionally he also trumpets like an elephant, though. It’s a quite organic performance that sometimes really looks like the birthday party of boys that have a lot fun with their toys. Very appealing and very likeable! The show takes about 40 Minutes and there are no encores at least not here… So let’s move on to HAU2. At HAU2 is a pop-up branch of Cologne’s record store A-Musik installed (actually selling records of course) and one can find some video installations closely or remotely related to Mouse on Mars. The main stage will host some more concerts and DJ-Sets through the night. I attended british multi-instrumentalist Kathy Alberici’s performance (a lot loops of course here, too but with a violin!) but then left the evening and missed Schlammpeitziger and the trio Cavern of Anti-Matter. Consequently i missed out on the experimental Mouse on Mars DJ-Set together with the aforementioned Eric D. Clark. I bet it was all great. Let’s see what Day 2 will bring… stay tuned.

Pictures on Flickr as usual.

Venue: Hebbel Am Ufer
Price: 27,50€ at for each day

Berlin, 31.10.2014

  1. celiaamitsis says:

    hello dothob,
    wasn’t sure if you knew about this and wanted to share it with you:

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