Modeselektor: Switching and pitching with Berlin's variety band

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So you’re having one of those days, where nothing looks quite as bright, smells quite
as strong, feels quite as warm or tastes quite as sweet. As the annual dark cloud sets in.
bringing with it only unhappiness, cynicism and washing away all remaining hope. That is
until your usually annoying and interfering flatmate walks in to offer her unwanted and
daftly clichd two cents, but something is different this time. As she walks in with a
solemn knowing smile, she pushes past you to the stereo and slips in a CD, before
handing you the CD cover, (it’s called ‘Hello Mom!’ by Modeselektor) rubbing your back
briefly and vacating the room without a word.

As the opening of ‘Dancing Box’
pumps out of the speakerbox, you realise for once that your daft and clumsy flatmate
seems to have gotten it just right for once! By the time the laser hits the track and
results in ‘Tetris Pack.’ The smile that’s been tugging at the corners of your mouth
prevails and as your flatmate opens the door to check what all the commotion is about,
she finds you dancing mercilessly around the room and exits with a knowing smile and
hint of a giggle.

It was from this night that you’ve been in love with the
Berlin based duo’s movements, their sample-a-delic style and their sound relevance to
any given situation or mood. Hello Mom is a colourful and textured canvas, that shows
glints of everything you’ve ever loved, from every different genre and time imaginable,
all tossed into one amazingly varied mix of flavours!

This weekend is set
to see Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary taking their debut steps in Australia, to give
our minds a good old school cleanout, as they blow them to Kingdom Come! In the lead
up to their shows, ITM’s Vocal Assault managed to catch up with the
hard-to approach duo to kick a few questions their way.

First of all, now that
the boys have unleashed the hotpot of musical mayhem, that is Hello Mom! upon the
world, how do they feel about the way it’s been received by such a wide audience? Was
that the plan or was this just a fluke of their varied range of influences?

“We
don’t really have any musical borders and never had. For us it has never been appealing
to dedicate ourselves to one specific genre. Music is music. And when one tune rocks
then it rocks, no matter if it’s breakcore or minimal” they explain.

But to have
such a wide range of different sounds and genres to slip through on the album, was it
difficult for them to switch their mind off from one, before beginning the next, without
dipping into the same musical pot again? “That was kind of easy for us because “Hello
Mom” didn’t got produced in one piece but over a longer period of time. This is why
every track has its own characteristic. You can see every track kind of like a sponge that
sucks up all the impressions and the time of its emerging.”

The main ethics the
boys try to subscribe to when creating under the Modeselektor moniker are to create,
distort and recycle their sounds into a warped jungle of overlaid beats and synths. “We
don’t really sample but produce all of our material ourselves. We then cut and distort and
recycle anything from that to keep it original.”

Even though the band manage to
come off so appealing on record, as if in their natural element working from the studio,
they still prefer themselves more as a live outfit. Preferring to keep their attentions on
the road and keeping audiences both at home and abroad happy with their tantalising
live act. “Just this year (2006) we already played like 30 times. Most of the tracks we
already tested live from the very beginning of their production. In general, we are more
a live act than studio musicians.”

Coming from the humble and arty creative
haven that is Berlin, it’s easy for the duo to be caught under the great big wave of hype
surrounding their hometown right now. But it’s something the guys try to remain very
separated from and even frown a little upon. “Both of us have been born in the suburbs
of Berlin so it’s kind of hard for us to follow the hype. We are really cautious with that –
where is light, there is shadow. Beside all the really cool stuff that’s happing here there is
also a lot of bullshit being produced by people who just want to hop on the hip train. If
you want to be mean you could call Berlin a student town without big universities.
Everyone is somehow creative, does art or music. But in the end only now and then
something really cool comes out of that.”

Although they try to retain distance
from the current hype of their hometown scene, it a little hard to dodge when you’ve got
not only one, but two super hot studio projects going on. Especially since one of them is
a team effort with Apparat, who’s been causing a commotion with Ellen Allien of late. The
project goes under the Moderat moniker and has been another stellar creative outlet for
the boys “The last one [musician] who really impressed us is Apparat. We’ve known him
for years now, but he still blows our minds with his creativity.”

A project the
boys are looking forward to getting busy on soon, for a future release, which will
hopefully see the light of day sometime early next year.

At the moment the
guys are looking forward to cutting their forthcoming single with Sirius Mo and Sasha
Perera, as for the next epic release from Modeselektor, I’m warned that we can expect
that sometime in the fall of 07.


Tour
Dates
Melbourne
Playchook in association with bergang tours presents
“FUKDUPP” Modeselektor [Live] (Bpitch Control [Berlin]) @ Dancehall, The Mercat X
Hotel, Fri May 12th.

Sydney
Frigid & High-Jinks present MODESELEKTOR
(Bpitch
Control [Berlin]) @ Hermann’s – Sydney Uni, Sat May 13th.
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