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Modeselektor is a Berlin-based electronic duo whose disregard for stylistic boundaries is matched by their cheeky, absurdist sense of humor. First emerging with a series of early-2000s EPs consisting of glitchy IDM, but refreshingly lacking the self-importance common to that scene, they made their full-length debut with 2005′s Hello Mom!, a glittering fusion of electro, hip-hop, dub, and other influences. From there, Modeselektor grew more ambitious; 2007 follow-up Happy Birthday! featured guests ranging from Thom Yorke and Maxïmo Park to Otto Von Schirach and Siriusmo, alternating between atmospheric pieces and punchy club tracks. The duo established the short-lived 50 Weapons imprint in order to release dancefloor ammo by themselves and their peers, as well as the more eclectic label Monkeytown, which shared the name of their 2011 full-length. Additionally, the pair have reached a greater audience with Moderat, their pop-influenced collaboration with Apparat (Sascha Ring). After releasing a series of Modeselektion compilations throughout the 2010s, the duo issued their fourth full-length, Who Else, in 2019, followed by a mixtape of original productions, Extended, in 2021. Selections from the mixtape and accompanying EPs were shaped into the album EXTLP.
Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary first met in 1992, following the fall of the Berlin Wall, and began making music under the name Fundamental Knowledge, releasing an EP of acid techno and electro in 1994. The duo changed their moniker to Modeselektor, after a function on an analog delay effects unit, in 1996. They started playing live sets in Berlin, and eventually began working with design collective Pfadfinderei. The two met Ellen Allien in 2000, signing with her esteemed BPitch Control label and releasing a series of EPs beginning with In Loving Memory in 2002. The duo also kept busy on the remix front, taking on tracks by Miss Kittin, Knifehandchop, and Allien herself.
Modeselektor’s well-received debut, Hello Mom!, appeared in 2005, featuring guest appearances by TTC, Paul St. Hilaire, and Sasha Perera (Jahcoozi). The ambitious, celebratory Happy Birthday! followed in 2007, including the Thom Yorke collaboration “The White Flash” and an Otto Von Schirach-assisted cover of Scooter’s “Hyper Hyper.” The duo also released their first mix CD, the third volume of BPitch’s Boogybytes series, followed by Body Language Vol. 8 on Get Physical Music two years later.
In 2009, Modeselektor and Apparat released Moderat, the self-titled debut album from a collaboration that had previously produced a 2003 EP. More accessible as well as more club-driven than much of either artists’ material, the set proved to be a crossover hit with indie and dubstep audiences, and the group became a popular live act. 2009 was also the year Modeselektor launched their Monkeytown label; in addition, they kicked club imprint 50 Weapons into gear, having issued an anonymous white-label 12” several years prior. Two compilations, Modeselektion, Vol. 1 and 50 Weapons of Choice #2-9, were issued through the respective labels in 2010. Third Modeselektor full-length Monkeytown, featuring previous collaborators Yorke and Von Schirach in addition to others such as Busdriver and PVT, arrived in 2011. Moderat’s II, featuring the hit single “Bad Kingdom,” appeared in 2013, with American distribution handled by Mute. Following two additional Modeselektion volumes and the 2015 closure of 50 Weapons, Moderat’s II and Live were both released in 2016. Moderat announced their indefinite hiatus following the conclusion of their 2017 world tour.
Modeselektion, Vol. 4 appeared in 2018, and Modeselektor’s concise fourth full-length, Who Else, surfaced in 2019. The album’s guests included Flohio and Tommy Cash. Extended, a continuous mixtape of 27 tracks including appearances from Paul St. Hilaire and Jackson & His Computer Band, was released in 2021. The set was followed by a series of EPs based around selected tracks from the mixtape. The full-length EXTLP contained unmixed and lengthier versions of tracks from the mixtape and EPs, including “Komm,” featuring Blixa Bargeld. Moderat’s More D4ta appeared in 2022, and Modeselektor guested on Catnapp’s “in my closet.” ~ Paul Simpson