Live: Leaps & Bounds. Mouse on Mars, Village Underground.

In this salubrious nook of planet Earth, anticipation simmers as we anxiously await the arrival of German electronica stalwarts Mouse on Mars. It's Freitag Nacht; the joys and overjoys of the weekend are but nigh and yet there's a rather odd atmosphere within these four exposed brick walls. This drab reality stems primarily, arguably, from excessive floorspace and a complete disregard for support act: whilst it may not seem entirely imperative (nor even applicable maybe) for artists of their ilk to indulge in warm-ups, the ambience summoned is more minimal than the most obscure and anti-musical strands of techno and as such the evening initially suffers. Half nine ticks onto ten ten and then onto ten eleven. Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner, accompanied by longstanding sticksman Dodo NKishi eventually slink out from shadow. Lights and lasers dim, DJ set deceases, and they begin.
Opening up with the glittery hip hop bound of Chordblocker, Cinnamon Toasted from recent full-length Parastrophics NKishi immediately doubles his stock as his deep and deeply Americanised assertion that "Facebook's a cockblocker" powers it. If a little limp on record, it here resounds around with stentorian sonority and indeed Mouse on Mars are at their most urbane when the role of NKishi is focalised or rather centralised, as is his positioning onstage. Wienuss, zum Beispiel, may sound like dubiously concocted Bratwurst by name but by nature it sounds more like the sort of roisterous electro slayer to see off Simian Mobile Disco once and for all, whilst a thorough blitz through They Know Your Name is sparked periodically; perfectly by what sound not so much like drops as volatile detonations. Imatch recalls the glittery spaz jazz of Flying Lotus had the Brainfeeder honcho punctuated Cosmogramma with Nintendo bleeps and glitches; Baku Hipster is bolstered by devastating bass frequencies of which its recorded counterpart is now evidently quite lamentably devoid; the Venutian house of Seaqz too is wondrously reverberant in these gradually brimmed catacombs, the pair combining to inspire the imagining of a continental avatar of Liam Howlett intending to awaken the expired. As the celebratory blips and pieces of Polaroyced subside, Werner gingerly mumbles thanks into an iPhone app and they recede from whence they came. However their impression is lasting; their impact remarkable: for while other electronica kinds trace small steps toward inevitable disintegration, Mouse on Mars continue to hop from one of its innumerable subgenres and then onto its most stylistically far-flung, making giant leaps toward an ever-intriguing future all the while.