Named for Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse, this UK ensemble started up in 1991 and shortly thereafter created an LP for Kramer's Shimmy Disc imprint of some heavenly and uniquely twisted pop songs. To say the Mabuses were a psychedelic outfit would be appropriate, but a bit incomplete in description. They certainly took their cues from the trippier sounds of the 60's (though Kramer's trademarked neo-psych reverb production is interestingly at bay here in comparison to his projects with Galaxie 500, Bongwater etc.); elements of some well-referenced influences like Barrett and Soft Machine dwell within. But on their debut LP The Mabuses, one hears a completely inventive collage of ideas as filtered through the mind of leader Kim Fahy; slices of the Monochrome Set or Wilder-era Teardrop Explodes, sea chanties and kid-friendly choruses, some truly eccentric guitar figures, harmonies, all exhuding a joyful vibe with a certain undercurrent of darkness/weirdness. My friend Andee visited in July and we talked about how great and overlooked they were, which made me dig out the old Shimmy LP and I found it to be as hooky and compelling as I remembered it. In some ways the Mabuses also brought to mind stuff like the Moles' experimentation and even Go-Betweens literate pop vibe, but in songs like "Cubicle" (MP3) everything is so compressed and streamlined that it almost takes a few listens to fully absorb the richness of what's going on here. Well, no sooner did Andee split then lo and behold a brand new Mabuses album appeared called Mabused (they had a 2nd album in the 90s as well which I never checked out) and the band announced an actual New York date, tomorrow (September 22) at 7pm at the Knitting Factory. You can stream Mabused in its entirety at Stereogum, and the band kindly offers up an unreleased new MP3 for Beware of the Blog called "Dots In Trouble." Be sure to check out their wild site as well.