One of the complaints commonly directed at dance music is that it can be repetitive and dull. While there are plenty of producers guilty of sending people to sleep on dance floors, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary aka Modeselektor have never been accused of this. Since their debut Hello Mom! in 2005 they have been making music drawing on aspects of electro, rap and techno which overflow with energy and ideas. Their live show, complete with gigantic blown up monkey mascots, is a testament that rave culture still exists, albeit indoors.
For the past year the duo have put Modeselektor on hold, focusing on their side project Moderat with Apparat , although they still had time to put out the excellent Body Language mix. While there might not be any new LPs on the horizon they have recently unveiled their new venture as label bosses on the newly formed Monkeytown Records which will be seeing them release tracks from their favourite producers. The label was officially launched late last year with Siriusmo’s The Uninvited Guest but it is this Modeselektion package which sees the label up its ante.
The tracklist, which reads like a who’s who of dance music in 2010, includes tunes from 2562, Shed, SBTRKT, Apparat, Ikonika and Optimum, Ramadanman, Mala as well as Modeselektor themselves. From the outset it’s clear this is no ordinary compilation as each of the tracks here are unreleased and exclusive. Another thing that stands out is the presence of dubstep on the anthology; something which shouldn’t be too surprising given the duos penchant for doing remixes for the likes of Headhunter and turning tracks like Alter Ego’s ‘Fuckingham Palace’ into stomping dubstep anthems. Don’t however let that put you off, as this release sees many of the genres big names step out of their comfort zone and experiment with new sounds.
In fact, all the artists here contribute something special and show off previously unheard sides of themselves. Ramadanman, who is often associated with percussive voyages goes off on a bass holiday with Pitter which alternates between funky worm and low end madness. Ed Banger Feadz delivers a trippy tech house work out that reminds of Four Tet and 2562 brings an animated track that twists and turns without losing the groove. Even Marcel Dettmann, the face of functional hard techno, presents a dubbier, more restrained sound than usual.
All through the album it is possible to hear the influence of Modeselektor – from the breakneck beats of SBTRKT’s ‘The Unspoken’ to the IDM crunk of Mulinex and Meteo’s ‘The Good Star’. There is simply too many great moments here to cover, like Apparat’s percussive waterfall in ‘King of Clubs’ and the false finish of Mala’s ‘Explorer’. From start to finish, Modeselektion is a fantastic journey into the future and possibly the best compilation of electronic music you’ll hear this year.