Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Intelligent dance musicor IDMis abstract electronica filled with bleep-bloop sounds geared more toward headphone listening than clubbing. It often sounds random, rinky-dink, and tossed-off, and it’s the sort of thing that makes you want to jam pencils in your ears faster than you can scream, “Damn you, Morton Subotnick!” But with powerful yet inexpensive computers everywhere, the simplicity of making electronic gurgles sound artsy, coupled with the ease of digital distribution, has led to IDM overload: Tracks are being produced faster than Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ kiddies. Jan St. Werner and his partner, Andi Toma, as Mouse on Mars, fully believe in IDM, as albums like 1994’s Vulvaland and 1997’s Instrumentals (reissued last year by Thrill Jockey) make clear. Plus, St. Wernerwith Oval’s Markus Poppis in the willfully obtuse Microstoria, a group whose CDs sound like men moving furniture for 70 minutes. But Mouse on Mars, for all its art-school leanings, has always had an ear for melody and the occasional hook, and nowhere is that more clear than on its latest, Idiology. With longtime drummer Dodo Nkishi stepping up to the mike for vocals on nearly half of the album’s 11 songs, Idiology makes a pointed stab at left-field chart success, dancing somewhere between Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choice” and early-’80s synth-popwhich, like Mouse on Mars, was influenced by both Kraftwerk and prog rock. See why Mouse on Mars has made the transition from the living room to clubland when it plays with Chessie and Vert at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 8, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $15. (202) 393-0930. (Christopher Porter)