Review: Modeselektor and Apparat's Moderat project has, by now, become a staple of modern electronica. This isn't a surprise; the material these two sets of producers come up with ticks all the boxes, and has the the power to appeal across the underground masses thanks to its subtle infusion of pop. This latest album for the Monkeytown imprint brings together their last few years of work under one roof; precisely, these tunes are all live versions of their biggest hits. Tunes like the mesmerising "Ghostmother", or the more progressive "A New Error", have new life breathed into them with this live approach. The originals were already moving and hypnotic as they were, but these versions certainly add an extra layer of charisma to these wonderfully timeless tracks.
Review: Modeselektor and Apparat have been busier than usual recently, turning out an album and an endless string of EPs, all for the inimitable Monkeytown label, of course. We're graced by the presence of a live version of "Ghostmother" this week and, although we don't usually say this about electronic music, we think that this surpasses the original mix in terms of charm and energy. This gorgeous pop song is still produced to its best capabilities, and its electronic half-steps still very much in a tight arrangement, but there's now something a little looser and more vibrant about it; something that we're sure you'll love to.
Review: Moderat's third album, simply tagged as III for the purpose of continuity with their previous two albums on the Monkeytown imprint, took us by the scruff or necks when it was released earlier this year, and we knew it was only a matter of time before we'd see some remixes spring up off the back of it. However, this particular number isn't quite a remix, but an edit of a remix. Yes, very much in line with the label's improvisational vibe. Tech house specialist Solomun remoulds Siriusmo's remix of the track, now a sleek and DJ-ready house anthem with a progressive tone at its core, and drenched in poppy vocals to make it an instant hit beyond the ones in control of the decks. To cap it off, there's one more remix by NGHT DRPS, a jittery, pseudo house groove drenched in vocals of bittersweet nostalgia, along with the original mix of the tune, a Moderat signature-tune, and a live version for added effect. These guys can do no wrong.
Review: Moderat's third album, simply tagged as III for the purpose of continuity with their previous two albums on the Monkeytown imprint, took us by the scruff or necks when it was released earlier this year, and we knew it was only a matter of time before see some remixes to spring up off the back of it. However, this particular number isn't quite a remix, but an edit of a remix. Yes, very much in line with the label's improvisational vibe. Tech house specialist Solomun remoulds Siriusmo's remix of the track, now a sleek and DJ-ready house anthem with a progressive tone at its core, and drenched in poppy vocals to make it an instant hit beyond the ones in control of the decks.
Review: Moderat should need no introduction should they? Riding on the success of their third album, the lead single "Running" has had a succession of absolutely brilliant remixes by the likes of Ostgut Ton maverick Shed, Bulgarian hardware freak KiNK and now it's the turn of Innervisions head honchos Ame who give the track a makeover that is effective in all its subtlety and restraint but has all the euphoric and soulful hallmarks of their signature sound.
Review: Simply put, and if you weren't already aware, Moderat is the collaboration between Modeselktor and Apparat, three masters of electronic music that are averse to genres, and instead prefer to let their hands guide the synths and drum machines to pastures new. It's been a while since we heard from them, so this new EP on Modeselektor's Monkeytown comes as a breath of fresh air, bringing through some much needed experimentation to our weekly electronic charts. The title track "Reminder" is basically a pop tune with a deep and ethereal backdrop of sonics, but "Fondle" brings through the German roots by blasting out a steady techno beat, and a whole myriad of rich and textural electronics. The special surprises come via two remixes of "Findle", the first by the ever-impressive Answer Code Request, who injects some of his signature stumbling break patters, and from the UK's Special Request, who adorns the original with an awesome, jungle-leaning house banger for the dance.
Review: Here's something of a treat for Moderat fans: a stonking new remix of II album favourite "Bad Kingdom" by German veteran DJ Koze. There's much to admire about his bumping, floor-friendly reinterpretation, which retains the original's woozy, hazy vibe - and distinctive vocals - while gently leading it further towards the dancefloor with arms raised skywards. It's melodic, quietly uplifting and decidedly heavy, even if the percussion does shuffle rather than bang. The (virtual) flipside offers another treat in the shape of an extended 11-minute version of Robag Wruhme's swinging, string-laden re-edit of the same track, which first appeared (in shortened form) on January's "Tour Edition" reissue of II.
Review: After being hidden away on the deluxe CD edition of Moderat's II long player, "Last Time" gets a full airing with this single release that lets the pop-electronica crossover stand proud on its own. With a delicate, emotive take on trap providing the back drop and Apparat's vocals standing clear and confident in the front of the mix it's a cut that could easily infiltrate the charts given the right attention. The "Alternate Version" keeps the structure intact and builds a more obtuse beat around it, but it's Jon Hopkins that really gets to grip with the track as he throws down a thrilling arpeggio and touch stepping rhythm polished with his trademark finesse.
Review: Taken from Moderat's recent II album, "Bad Kingdom" gets turned inside out by Marcel Dettmann and Rene Pawlowitz. It's no surprise that the Berghain resident's version is the most frenetic and abrasive; over a high-tempo groove, Dettmann delivers screeching riffs, jarring percussion and high-pitched vocal yelps. Just when the listener couldn't imagine it getting more intense, he drops the madness volume down with a sensuous woodwind break down. By contrast, Pawlowitz's version as Head High is far less viceral. Based on a dubby house groove, it leads into tranced out chords and a soulful vocal - but it isn't a completely smooth ride, and a humming bass ensures this version also has dance floor clout.
Gajek - "Forgotten In The Midst Of The Desert" (feat Deborah Kara Unger) - (1:39) 133 BPM
Moderat - "Invaluable Waste From The Outlying Districts" (Part 02) - (1:53) 124 BPM
Gajek - "Two Simple Happenings" - (0:45) 86 BPM
Gajek - "Shooting" - (2:38) 157 BPM
Moderat - "Invaluable Waste From The Outlying Districts" (Part 03) - (4:33) 160 BPM
Gajek - "Charakter" - (1:25) 119 BPM
Gajek - "Boulevard" - (2:17) 132 BPM
Gajek - "Moment" - (1:38) 145 BPM
Moderat - "Invaluable Waste From The Outlying Districts" (Part 04) - (4:27) 62 BPM
Review: Rolf Peter Kahl's A Thought Of Ecstasy has been released below-radar, and it's the sort of film that demands appreciation from a particular type of audience; after all, it's been released on Germany's most prolific 'bass' imprint since the early 00's, the formidable Monkeytown Records. Two young talents from the wider 50 Weapons collective, Gajek and Anstam make up the majority of these tunes, delivering leftfield shades of moody electronica through a bass-filtered approach that sits just right with the arguably tenebrous vibe of the movie. Shape-shifting and constantly on the prowl for that extra but of euphoria, their expertise is made doubly effective by the appearance of Moderat on the score, another duo whose love for electronic intricacies leads them to paint a rich and compelling picture of society. The underground lives
Review: Remix compilations can be a little hit-and-miss, but this one - gathering together five years of eccentric and often inspired reinterpretations from German veteran DJ Koze - is anything but. Koze often saves his best work for the remix domain, delivering imaginative reworks that take the original material into surprising new places. So, Herbert's "If Only" is turned into a sparse chunk of atmosphere-rich late night deep house, Caribou's "Found Out" is blessed with a new sense of wonky, left-of-centre purpose, and Zwanie Johnson's "Golden Song" is given a decidedly Balearic, beatless makeover. Highlights are plentiful, with Koze's dubby, low-slung afro-jazz reinterpretation of Soap & Skin's "Marche Funebre" standing out.
Review: It may not have the catchiest title, but this remix package from Modeselektor's label manages to cover a range of sounds and styles. At one end of the spectrum there's the high-paced, spaced out jungle rework of Addison groove and Sam Binga's "Rzor" by DJ Friction, while at the opposing end, Tale Of Us and Fango turn Cosmin TRG's "Vertigo" into a deep, reflective broken beat arrangement, replete with jazzy inflections and clattering rhythms. The biggest surprises however come from Marcel Dettmann and Chris Liebing. The Berghain resident's Pitch & Stretch take on Moderat's "Bad Kingdom" is a hyperactive, ravey workout , while Liebing's version of Benjamin Damage's " 010x", which the CLR boss did with SCNTST is a dark but deep-chord techno groove.