Berlin – Modeselektor as synonymous with eastern technoid fairy tale. An incredibly intense, smooth, and successful story – the story of two morbid ones who find each other first and then on the big stage. Two of the Brandenburg sons, whose fans got tattoos from their poster icon, and who are as concentrated as they are silly in interviews, you can say: Two of them success can’t be a problem for them. But about addiction?
You can still read this event call on the Facebook calendar: “Monkeytown”, in a small ohm techno penthouse, announced on Thursday, March 12th, 2020, 9 pm. ‘Intimate Session’ with ‘B2B A very special surprise’ (back-to-back). Admission: six euros. 740 commitments. More than a year later, no one was surprised by the decisive addition: canceled.
This Thursday over a year ago, it was different when the operators, like many clubs in those days, announced on their website a “precautionary closure of all venues with immediate effect”. Coronavirus has arrived in Berlin. Shocking, not just for the 740 guests, it’s also a shock for the vaguely advertised look that should have come from Modeselektor. Sebastian Sazary still remembers exactly.
The length of “Extended” is 66 minutes
Sazary is connected to the newsroom by video call from his balcony in a northern Berlin neighborhood. He’s considered the wise half of the double pack he poses with his ever-enthusiastic partner Gernot Bronsert. Bruncert is temporarily unable to speak before our conversation, but Szari speaks almost exclusively in we anyway. Few city birds attempt to create the sound scene. We want to talk about the new album “Extended”.
“It’s not an epidemic album, by the way,” Szari stresses, the idea is much older than closing. After their latest album “Who Else,” which was relatively short for 35 minutes, the two were dissatisfied. “The story was not told until the end,” says Szari. Now “Extended” is roughly twice as long with 66 minutes.
But first Szari has to talk about that moment, which was so crucial for the creative industry, that every party was banished, every show first by weeks, then farther and farther, “to infinity, down to Pluto”; From the uncertainty of how things are going, from the disbelief – “How is it canceled now?” Which then turned into a feeling of helplessness. “It makes me emotional,” says Szari and lights a cigarette.
Uncertainty is usually not one of the things that it associates with Modeselektor. Stage phobia, maximum. Otherwise, they will likely be linked to the Berlin techno export hit, the pioneer of international music festivals, the proud parents of three brands, and producers in their early forties who look as prolific as the countless newcomers under their wing.
They still know each other from their youth in Rüdersdorf in Brandenburg, who are surprised to hear the recordings and DJs together. Soon they took their musical experiences from their parents’ attic to underground village concerts. With the move to Berlin, the rest came, they absorbed the rhythm of the turning point and poured it into the heads of the dance fanatics, shabby, pure, and sometimes shabby. Ellen Alien released her first two albums through her record company BPitch, and since the Moderat project with Sascha Ring, the mainstream no longer ignores Szary and Bronsert.
But it did not distort it. Modeselektor has always done this on its own, moving only according to its own definition of the electronic present, with the bass being the constant, the boundaries by which it has always crossed with its own tightly mixed rhythms and the voices of talents of all kinds: York garlicAnd Miss PlatnumAnd Paul St. HelierAnd Bonaparte, Flohio.
They’ve launched Monkeytown on their own brand since 2011. Like the event in March 2020: Label Night. good place. Uhm? “Our favorite club in Berlin,” says Szary. “Wonderful little store, so far our test lab.” After the tour to “Who Else” – big style, big wide world, 48 concerts in 2019 alone – Szari and Broncert finally played again in Berlin, at home.
Cold withdrawal from wandering through life
This differs from what happens in large halls. “The club is a club,” says Szary – and he wants to say: There is a level of opinion among the fans. It happens there by chance that someone in the crowd slips on him a USB stick with samples. The most important thing was always when the distance between transmitters and receivers was shrinking as receivers became transmitters.
Anyway, tonight. Jet life ended. Compulsory break, cold withdrawal. Since then, the two have only played live twice because online it’s different so everything is missing: the sweat, the strength, and the fog. Audience, inspiration. “Wonderful time,” says Szary. “We thought we had the safest jobs in the world!” Suddenly there was a fear of failure due to the new circumstances.
Thankfully, there was this idea to search your own archive. In isolation, they have blown dust off mountains of hard drives, stumbling upon pieces whose titles alone look like time capsules. Like it sometimes happens with odors. Then they constructed these memories as sketches in their studio in Kreuzberg: Overwrite, Stretched, Wrapped, and Disjointed.
The result is impressively consistent. The 27 songs flow into each other, the sound is loud as usual, the influences are few, and in a good place. The start seems somewhat inconclusive, but it fits into these times when assessing risk makes every intuition feel vibration, and at the end of the fourth path, “intervention,” it is clear: moving forward unchecked.
A declaration of love for U8
The middle part from “Hood” to “Pulse” is particularly stimulating, as is preparing for a post-pandemic euphoria. The dub and dancehall instruments are weaved with tight twists of rhythm and spread out thick metal flakes that seem to summon the following features. You can hear “extended” like a nightclub for 66 minutes.
There’s even an announcement of love on the way home. To Berlin Aorta. “U8” echoes like a night train ride. The “lock”, which the Tristan tendon undergoes, is experimental without restrictions, backwards and very slowly. What else was expected? Extender is (not) an epidemic album, it lives from experience, from its own story – it’s an art that knows how to inspire itself.
More EPs are planned by the end of the year, with dancer Corey Scott Gilbert translating the album into one One hour performance. It may have roots elsewhere, but “extended” cannot be heard when it comes to Corona. Alone because it makes clear what is missing.
Moodselector: “Extended” (monkeytown)