John Maus, who hailed from Minnesota but studied in Los Angeles and Hawaii,
was perhaps the most knowledgeable pupil of
synth-pop of the 1980s, a school that staged an impressive comeback in the
21st century on the wake of the electroclash fad.
Songs (2006) contained
Less Talk More Action, composed using the twelve-tone method of
Love Is Real (2007) contained
Love Letters From Hell, built around the Agnus Dei from Josquin Desprez's Missa La Sol Fa Re Mi.
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (2011) contained
the sophisticated Believer and the catchy Streetlights.
The problem is that Maus' music in not quite music: it is a cerebral exercise.
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