This fortnight Fran and I are listening to Moderat’s second album, II. Moderat is an electronic supergroup from Berlin, made up of Modeselektor (Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary) and Apparat (Sascha Ring). In this post I thought I would give a little introduction to Modeselektor.
Modeselektor formed in 1996 and joined Ellen Alien’s label BPitch Control in 2000. They have made three albums – Hello Mom! (2005), Happy Birthday! (2007) and Monkeytown (2011). They’ve also released a string of remix albums, assembled compilations such as Boogybites Vol.3 and the Modeselektion series and set up their own label, Monkeytown Records.
Modeselektor’s sound is a mix of techno, electro, glitch and often features guest hip hop vocalists, such as Paul St. Hilaire, Busdriver and TTC. Their songs range from the downright silly to the deeply moving to sonic experiments to dance classics. Kill Bill Vol. 4 on Hello Mom! begins with some overexcited German background talking before exploding into probably the most dirty, electro attack I’ve ever heard. The White Flash on Happy Birthday! is a beautiful moment of calm in which Radiohead singer Thom Yorke sings the line ‘You have all the time in the world’, while 2000007 is a sputtering, glitchy song featuring the French rap of TTC.
Their most recent album Monkeytown is in my opinion their most consistent and strongest with a great balance between upbeat club tracks such as Berlin (featuring Miss Platnum) and more serious and darker moods like War Cry (featuring Apparat).
An overriding theme with Modeselektor is a feeling of fun, perhaps best illustrated on Pretentious Friends, as well as in their wacky videos and monkey-themed ablum artwork.
My scriptwriting takes three Welsh understudies
Their sense of timing within songs is perfect, knowing exactly when to up the tempo or throw in a random animal noise. Their albums are always shifting style throughout and some of their interludes, for example Late Check-Out on Happy Birthday, can seem unusual when you think of them seperately but work brilliantly in the flow of the record. I also really love the way they can take a riff and develop it through a song such as on Hasir.
Sebastian and Gernot clearly enjoy making Modeselektor and let’s hope they continue to do so for many years to come.