Artist Information


Genre: Electronica

Latest tracks by Modeselektor
By Shilo Urban

Wildly diverse, infused with exuberance and inspired by a slap of the absurd,
Modeselektor’s inarguable grooves seem to emanate from every conceivable
musical genre, creating a controlled chaos whose sonic expression elevates
the eyebrows and heartbeats of critics and dance floors around the world.

‚ÄėBoundary breaking‚Äô is a phrase that today almost every artist wants to claim,
however Modeselektor’s description as such does not come as an afterthought
or marketing ploy. The idea of breaking boundaries permeates their music
because this dissolution of cultural borders is ingrained in their very identities.

The electronic production team of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary came
of age in Berlin shortly after the fall of the infamous Wall in 1989. It was a
place and time where breaking down boundaries was not a convenient
meme, but rather a literal description of what was going on outside their front
doors. Germany was a stew of mixed emotions, high hopes and insecurity, all
existing at the same time as the reunited populace attempted to right itself

Thrust upon the unique cultural landscape of the newly liberated city, the two
former East Berliners found themselves in the ultimate urban jungle, deep in
the realm of the absurd. In this liminal state of upheaval and change,
anything was possible. As cops and parents preoccupied themselves with
other concerns, the youth took advantage of the obtuse authorities to throw
wild underground acid house parties. And this is where Modeselektor met: in
the midst of the chaos, swimming in the heady sense of freedom that only
those once oppressed can truly understand. It was 1995.

Modeselektor emerged out of the tangle of post-wall Berlin, monkey men with
beats clenched between their teeth and ideas that would soon force music
journalists to make up new words: bastard dancehall, euro crunk, acid rap,
big bass techno, labstyle, happy metal, psychedelic electro. Like a jungle,
their music is dense, textured and rich with sounds never experienced before,
drawn from a production ethos of ‚Äúcreate, distort, recycle.‚ÄĚ Modeselektor‚Äôs
appreciation for the absurd engenders an attitude of levity towards their music,
refreshing in a world where ‚Äúserious techno‚ÄĚ has become a funny clich√©.

After trying out the name Fundamental Knowledge, the duo soon found a
moniker with a better fit: Modeselektor, taken from a function on the Roland
RE-201 space echo analog delay effects unit. They progressed from DJ sets
to a live act and began playing small open airs in Berlin with Pfadfinderei, a
local design collective whose avant-garde visual contributions aptly reflect the
translation of their name: pathfinders. In 2001 Modeselektor met Ellen Allien
who quickly signed the promising minds to her label BPitch Control, one of
the most highly respected techno labels in the world. The catapult was

A series of singles, EPs and remixes ensued, along with exciting collaboration
with Parisian rap group TTC as well as Berlin wunderkind Apparat under the
name Moderat. Modeselektor began to draw international attention and soon
snagged the ears of one Thom Yorke, who declared his love for their music on
television. Now immersed in the European artistic community, the producers
presented sound installations at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and lectured at
the Merz Academie in Stuttgart.

After years of intense touring all over Europe, in 2005 Modeselektor finally
released their first full-length album Hello Mom! on their home label, BPitch
Control. Cue the world tour and rave reviews for a release that soared beyond
the normal strata of electronic output with its potent celebration of sonic
diversity, equally as enjoyable for the headphone listener and the sweaty
clubber at 3AM.

As if there was any question about this duo’s aptitude, in 2007 the album
Happy Birthday! (BPitch Control) dropped and subsequently detonated with
supreme force. Minds frothed and limbs flailed as the next era of grime-
techno-dubstep-acid-hip hop-electro-IDM was inaugurated, influencing
producers and DJs around the world to employ Modeselektor’s samples and
methods to bring a boundary-less musical experience to their listeners as
well. Happy birthday indeed.

No longer teenage rabble-rousers but young fathers, Modeselektor was named
‚ÄúBest Dubstep and Grime Artist‚ÄĚ in the 2008 Beatport Awards, and hit the road
with Radiohead and then Ellen Allien. Obviously the two play well with others;
their list of collaborators and guest vocalists had grown into a ‚ÄúWho‚Äôs Who‚ÄĚ
list of the continental underground: Paul St. Hilaire, Team Shadetek, Sasha
Perera, Puppetmastaz, Max√Įmo Park, Otto von Schirach and Siriusmo.
Reigniting their production work with fellow Berliner and Renaissance man
Apparat, Moderat released a self-titled, all analog album in 2009 to massive
critical acclaim. The creative synergy of Modeselektor’s robust, bass-slapping
sound and Apparat’s dark and dreamy intricacies highlights the best elements
of each style, resulting in a dynamic musical experience that is expressed well
by Moderat’s engaging and inspiring live performance.
Accompanied by Pfadfinderei, the dream team is touring the world, playing
the largest festivals in existence and garnering multiple awards for both the
album and their innovative live presentation, including Resident Advisor’s
award for Best Live Act of the year in 2009.

Appropriately, Modeselektor had always described themselves as more of a
live act, not studio musicians ‚Äď the opposite opinion from most producers
who prefer the hermit role. Their love for the live music experience is perhaps
a relic of growing up in a bounded environment; coming from a society that
was restrained for so long, they now relish the communion that performance

The pent-up energy generated through years of cultural suppression and a
divided heart-city has been captured in Modeselektor’s sound and delivered to
listeners around the world, to dancers who join them on the precipice of the
absurd- a place where boundary-breaking is no longer a metaphor. Like many
today, Modeselektor’s music is often sample-based, but like very few today,
they create almost all of their own samples, Jim Jones notwithstanding.

Though their sound is without a doubt inspired by the artistic rebirth of Berlin,
it was never confined to the limitations of the city’s hype bubble that by its
very nature rises and then falls. Modeselektor’s music does not belong to any
one time or place; it is universal. Just as the Berlin Wall was broken down in
the dawn of Modeselektor’s coming of age, so too were any musical
boundaries in their minds, and their multi-mood productions emulate the
deeply textured landscape of the human psyche that such a revolutionary era
put upon display.

Modeselektor continues to be an instrumental player in their home city’s
cultural agenda, curating an entire stage at the 2010 MELT! Festival in Berlin.
Touring extensively this fall with Apparat as Moderat, Modeselektor will take us
on a journey through their world, where the dance floor is heaving, the music
is magnanimous and the boundaries were broken a long time ago.


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