It’s a shame in some ways that the members of Moderat are so busy as Modeselektor and Apparat – because if they had been working full-time on this project since Moderat’s debut album in 2009, we’re pretty certain they’d be a globe-conquering, festival-headlining phenomenon by now. There can’t be any other reason for it, because the potential mass appeal of this album, not to mention their live shows, is vast.
There’s pretty much something for everyone in Moderat’s sound. Their basic mode is “stadium Burial” – that is taking the skippy 2-step beats and melancholic atmospheres of Hyperdub’s reclusive genius and magnifying them to epic scale, with Sascha Ring (aka Apparat)’s pure and keening vocals pushing it somewhere towards Coldplay territory without ever quite hitting their levels of crass self-pity. If it was just that, it would be a pretty fruitful formula, but they use this as a platform to build much more on.
There are helpings of classic 2000s Kompakt sound, a kind of ultra-sophisticated trance/techno fusion, in the slow builds and intense peaks of 10-minute epic ‘Milk’. There are downtempo excursions, too, as on the almost beatless, Depeche Mode-style ballad ‘Damage Done’ and the beautiful ‘Let In The Light’ which Moby would kill to have written. As with anything this ambitious, it occasionally over-reaches itself – but the highlights are magical, and should see Moderat reach ever bigger audiences.
File under Stadium electronica
Download ‘Let In The Light’, ‘Bad Kingdom’, ‘Ilona’
Like this? Try Ellen Allien & Apparat ‘Orchestra of Bubbles’ (Bpitch Control)