- "Linux / Ellipse" marks the halfway point in Modeselektor's quest to present 50 dance floor weapons to the world. Returning to the label after 2011's "Deluge" / "Duel," Marcel Dettmann seems the perfect choice for such a watershed moment—after all, who else has such an unerring knack for turning out combative techno of the highest pedigree?
If last year saw the Berghain resident sketching out the poles of his sound—greyscale clangour ("Iso") at one end, elegiac electro ("Landscape") at the other—then these two tracks sit more or less in the middle. The slowly evolving synth and periodic offbeat claps of "Linux" bear more than a passing resemblance to "Deluge," though Mills-esque sci-fi bleeps are replaced with a far less distinctive loop in this instance. "Ellipse" exhibits marginally more character, its muted pads concealing an oddly off-grid bleep pattern that surfaces briefly in the breakdown. Still—and in spite of a kick drum that splits the air with impressive force—it's hard to consider it much more than a palette cleanser. Dettmann has in the past found ingenious compromises between flair and function, but here he strays a little too far towards the latter.