You need to drive to this record, or walk, or at least let your mind run. MODERAT, the combination of Techno flagship MODESELEKTOR and electronic music border-breaker APPARAT, present with their new album II a kaleidoscope of the career of all three masterminds. After their highly acclaimed self titled debut from 2009, they pushed their other projects yet to another level, musically and commercially.
The red line of II are bass lines from hell, Berlin Techno hell, to be specific. Embedded in soulful soundscapes where less is more and driven by constantly wandering complex beats. It can’t go any deeper. The first single Bad Kingdom thrones upon the record. It’s a clear single still perfectly fitting in the overall concept. Most Timbaland Wannabes would kill for this arrangement. The video questions the praise of money and power and is another statement of a band, which usually lets it’s music be the statement. They master the thin line between underground and success. All their work is a big middle finger to well known electronic music logic and at the same time they let simple pearls of emotional beauty rise from the dirt of the cellars.
MODERAT are about artistic freedom. They don’t need singles and so the album drags you deeper and deeper into it’s soundscapes. You wake up when it’s over and realize that you have been underground. At some points its pop music you will not hide from your tough guy friends. The invisible line that holds this work together combines big choruses with long phases of intelligent ambient sounds. All this keeps your mind moving, dreaming, thinking. With this musical foundation, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary of Modeselektor can show their experimental side apart from “four on the floor”. They create the perfect setting for Sascha Ring’s soulful voice. Here and there, Apparat comes up with a vocal performance, which does not shy away from R&B like voice effects like in the song Gita. With Apparat, he already turned to a rather band approach and goes away from the typical electronic act. A turning point that clearly also influenced the MODERAT approach to songs.
Take your time with the record. You must experience this on a proper sound system to feel the waves, the depth, the bass. And yes, it’s an overused phrase, but it’s a Berlin record. Just a feeling. The perfect soundtrack to wander through any urban setting where broken places still have a cultural value. Where not everything has to be painted in fresh colors but where rusty nails are links between musical heritage and going forward. This is the environment, MODERAT get their inspiration from.
Stream the entire album right here