John Maus - A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material (3 stars)

John Maus - A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material

Off-kilter compilation from Ariel Pink and Animal Collective keys-man

(Ribbon Music)

Remastered rarities, demos and previously unreleased tracks are generally the preserve of the socially ostracised. Don’t own a stained raincoat and a couple of Can bootlegs? Don’t care. We make an exception for cult hero and part time-Ariel Pink and Animal Collective keys-man John Maus though, and this 11 year-spanning compilation captures Bobby Conn’s brother from a Philip Oakey-loving mother perfectly.

At times he croons and coos as if he’s stumbling blind around a broken synth-strewn cave (‘Angel Of The Night’), and his piano, drum machine and guitar-bashing occasionally sounds like a particularly traumatic bout of musical therapy. But every so often he’ll make off-kilter disco so gorgeous that it’s worth weathering the anxiety-inducing anti-melody; ‘North Star’, ‘Bennington’, ‘All Aboard’, ‘Fish With Broken Dreams’ and ‘The Law’ all shimmering unease, making Maus the greatest lounge act Twin Peaks’ Great Northern Hotel never had.

John Maus - Mental Breakdown (2004)

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