The Year That Was: Modeselektor
The German electronica duo recap their year through the best music, gigs and internet finds
The first thing Sebastian Szary, one half of Berlin-based electronica duo Modeselektor, says about the year 2013 is that it’s been strange. From the launch of their collaborative album II with fellow German producer Sascha Ring aka Apparat [together known as Moderat] to pushing back nearly 40 Moderat tour dates owing to Ring’s motorbike accident in September this year. Says Gernot Bronsert, the other half of Modeselektor, “This was the big shock and it just brought so much chaos. That’s why I’m happy the year is over, because it was just so much work.” Szary chips in to remind his bandmate, “But if the accident didn’t happen, we wouldn’t be here.” Ahead of their two shows in Mumbai and Delhi, the duo summed up their year.
Best Show This Year
Sebastian Szary: It was four weeks ago, in Georgia at an arena in Tsibilisi, where we played a DJ set. We didn’t expect it, but there were more than 2,000 people. We recognized that there was a really hot fan base for Modeselektor, so that was really nice.
Gernot Bronsert: I would say Fuji Rock in Japan. We played a really good show. They all went mental. We had all these dancers. Bjork was playing at the same festival and she came with a girl troupe, from Iceland. They came on stage and danced during our set. It was freestyle.
Best Music This Year
Sebastian: Oneohtrix Point Seven’s R Plus Seven.
Gernot: Jon Hopkins.
Gear Acquired This Year
Sebastian: It [acquiring gear] is like a sport. Those little Korg Volca series things.
Gernot: They released just pocket-sized drum machines and synthesizers, and they’re called Volca series. They’re affordable and are really good quality and offer really good sound. It’s amazing.
Best Thing You Heard On The Radio This Year
Gernot: Moderat’s “Bad Kingdom” [laughs] We released this record [Moderat II] and had such good success with it. Every radio station was playing it, so…
Sebastian: For example, at primetime, if you’re sitting and eating breakfast in the morning, then the radio is playing your track and you go, ”˜Oh nice’.
Best Thing On TV This Year
Gernot: It was not Breaking Bad.
Sebastian: I don’t watch much TV at home. Sometimes, I watch TV on Demand, sometimes on the internet.
Gernot: We watched the Metallica concert here [in India] on YouTube pretty often. The one which ended up with riots.
Sebastian: Was that Chennai or Mumbai? Oh, it was Delhi.
Gernot: [mimicking video] ”˜Guys, please take a giant step back. Please come back tomorrow.’ And then the crowd goes, ”˜Fuck you!’ I think it’s still on my best-watched list. It’s two years old now, though.
Best Show This Year
Sebastian: I watched a concert of Bjork at Berlin Festival. That was pretty good. They had this huge electromagnetic thing, Tesla Box? I don’t know. They used it as a music instrument. The high voltage flashes ”“ they put it into the sound system and made it part of the music.
Gernot: Did it work?
Sebastian: Yes, it worked. Playing different frequencies with it. That was good.
Best Thing You Found On The Internet
Gernot: Man, there are so many things, I can’t remember.
Sebastian: That’s pretty complex.
Best Boiler Room Set
Gernot: We played two Boiler Room sets this year. The one we played for Vans in Berlin, in Winter was insane.
Gernot: This maybe very funny to write down, but it’s one of the funniest things I can give you and it will also answer your previous question. Look on YouTube for ”˜Boiler Room Being Boiled’. There are these guys who just make extracts out of boiler room sets of DJs and replace the sound. So if you have a techno DJ playing there, there’s just this crappy Mickey Mouse techno behind it. And when they show people screaming, they’ve put in noises from cows and sheep. This is cool. This is best Boiler Room I saw this year.
Best Music From Berlin This Year
Gernot: Yeah, there is good music [in Berlin], but most of the guys are not from Berlin.
Best Hip Hop Album This Year
Gernot: Jay Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail.
Sebastian: I agree.
Gernot: I can’t listen to Kanye [West]. Maybe the music is cool, but the rest of the whole thing ”“ I don’t know what he wants to say.
Modeselektor performs at Club LAP, Delhi on December 6th, 2013, from 9 pm onwards. Event details here.