RIYL: Mouse on Mars

Label: Thrill Jockey

Jan St. Werner’s newest effort, Felder, is out now on trailblazing Chicago label Thrill Jockey. Felder‘s album trailer opens with an older (?) Diane Rehm interview that seems chopped up to my ears, but perhaps I’m just stupid. The album’s trailer is the perfect accompaniment to the music as the trailer focuses on space, and not the actors/details within the canvas – what you, the listener, are ultimately supposed to do with Felder in its totality. Light(s) and darkness are the two constant themes between the few “scenes” we’re given in this trailer. More or less, we’re given three still images and one with what looks to be a sound/equipment check at a sweltering music festival. Felder is an hour-plus long journey with drone and assorted aural oddities. This may be longer than normal for some of you for an album, but in order to gain its full effect you should probably listen to it from beginning to end in one go if possible. Listen to Felder via the Spotify stream and watch the trailer via Vimeo, both below, and see what you think of them. Cheers!

The Details

CD version packaged in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package. LP version pressed on virgin vinyl with free dowload card


Bundle the Felder CD with 2015's Miscontinuum Album CD and save $3! Put both CDs in your cart and use coupon code : JanCDdeal for the discounted rate

Bundle the Felder LP with 2015's Miscontinuum Album 2xLP & 2013's Blaze Colour Burn LP and save $7! Put all three LPs in your cart and use coupon code : JanLPdeal for the discounted rate

Jan St. Werner, a well-respected artist and musician known for his solo compositions, his work with Mouse On Mars, and his conceptual art pieces, has created a beautifully rhythmic, instantly gripping work with his new album Felder.

Felder is an infinite, boundless creation that unravels upon every listen. Werner has created sounds that are listenable and inviting, complex but approachable and, mostly, completely unidentifiable. “Felder” means “fields” in German, and here the word refers to conceptual frameworks and subjects, and sound fields. Werner is a cultivator — a farmer — of the various sounds, from metal scratched on a big glass window to piano phrases found on a private Popul Vuh compilation. He mixes organic sounds from French horns and cellos seamlessly with synthesized notes created with one-of-a-kind programs. Werner builds layers of sound with differing cadences upon one another, creating intricate patterns that connect with each other structurally, rhythmically, semantically, and historically. Suggestions of jazz, industrial music, drone and even folk float in and out of the electronic compositions in a seemingly effortless manner; paradoxically, Felder was meticulously constructed over the course of four years.

Werner’s refinement process for the pieces on Felder was simultaneous with the lofty goal of challenging himself as a musician while still creating a record that is melodic and complex. Werner recorded the album in Marfa, Texas; Berlin, and around the world while touring with Mouse on Mars. Just as the album’s creation and production cannot be tied to a specific setting or time, the sounds heard on the album have no clear boundaries. They are unexpectedly malleable and mutable. Context and perceptions play with sounds to yield a fresh new experience with each listen. Samples and instrumentals bounce off one another, starting from central points and radiating outwards. With so many new sounds to discover and new inspirations to be found, Felder is an entire new field of musical possibilities — a landscape that at first appears simple and beautiful that reveals its utter complexity upon closer inspection. The album is joyful experience for both the mind and the soul.

Price $16

Listen on Spotify

Jan St. Werner - Felder (Official Album Trailer) from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

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