Siriusmo

Mosaik

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Most mosaics are designed with some amount of general visual coherence in spite of their inherently cobbled-together nature. Siriusmo's Mosaik -- the full-length album debut of a German producer (birth name Moritz Friedrich) who's been steadily releasing EPs, singles, and remixes for over a decade -- hardly deigns to bother with such matters, stringing together an unpredictable jumble of sounds and styles and generally wreaking playful, pranksterish havoc across the board with no regard for overarching sense or structure. Hardly any strain of vaguely beat-based electronic music is safe, from the tuneful, Röyksopp-ish synth-disco of "High Together" and the aggressive hardcore dubstep of "Bad Idea," to the cartoonish glitch-funk of "Lass Den Vogel Frei!," the mechanical tech-house of "Feromonikon," and the jittery Atari bleeps of "123." Of course, Siriusmo's tracks -- which rarely exceed the four-minute mark -- don't necessarily stay in any one subgenre for long: witness "Goldene Kugel"'s gradual transformation from restrained, Ellen Allien-ish Berlin minimal into a burbling, xylophone-happy, Latin-tinged groover, or "Sirimande"'s slickly executed out-of-nowhere about-face from snakily stark, menacing body music to bongos 'n' lounge piano chill-out exotica, or the twinkling prog-jazz breakdown in the midst of "Feed My Meatmachine"'s squelchy, computer-voiced robo-funk. The latter two highlights, along with the relatively straight-ahead, smooth-cruising synth pop of "Nights Off," appear only on the CD and download versions of Mosaik: the album's LP edition features not only four alternative exclusive cuts, but also a completely reshuffled track listing, which speaks either to Siriusmo's carefully considered curation of his material to suit each format or, more probably, his general disregard for considerations of sequencing and format altogether. Either way, each of his tracks is so distinct and singular that they'd probably be just as enjoyable in any arbitrary order, although as it happens, the CD version does settle into a somewhat refreshingly less manic, more melodic groove (or perhaps a relative lull, depending on your perspective) in its midsection, before the metallic yowls of the brief, Beefheart-ian absurdity "Peeved" send things spiraling off again. If there's a unifying thread here, apart from Siriusmo's obvious playful irreverence and kaleidoscopic eclecticism -- which call to mind his label bosses and longtime pals Modeselektor as well as freewheeling artists as disparate as Norway's Bjørn Torske and Japan's Com.a. -- it's that with all of his shenanigans, he never loses sight of musicality and groove. If Siriusmo wasn't so darn good at putting these things together, with a solid melodic sense backing up his infectiously cheerful inventiveness, Mosaik might have been a hopeless, unlistenable mess. Instead, it's an utterly exhilarating, albeit exhausting, mess.

blue highlight denotes track pick