- It feels like ages since we've been treated to a proper Modeselektor release. While the duo's spent the past few years focused on Moderat and its more melodically driven aesthetic, they've been noticeably absent from the bass scene. Maybe it's due to sheer volume. As more and more of these hybridized productions come spidering out of dubstep's wake, their comparatively smaller stream of new material makes it seem as though they aren't that directly involved. However, if you've checked out any of their DJ sets or the remixes they've commissioned as of late, it's obvious that they've been keenly aware of these new sounds welling up around them all along. That being the case, the first offering in their new Modeselektion series solidifies their place in the current scene by hosting exclusives from some of the biggest names around, and, in turn, serves as a very serious display of curatorial muscle.
Modeselektor are at the helm of the first single with "VW Jetta," a delightfully sinister track that succeeds in bringing back some of the menace they shelved as part of Moderat. The tune's progression seems deceptively simple—just heavy, lumbering drums plowing through murky synth blots—but the devil is in the details. Listen closely and you'll hear an entire ecology of faint oddities, from rave whistle bird calls to the writhing of nocturnal creatures, all massing together just beyond earshot.
Night Slugs head honcho, Bok Bok, delivers one of his best efforts in recent memory with "Say Stupid Things." Relying heavily on shifting 808 patterns and minimal space, the track builds around a detuned synth pattern that has become a recurring theme of sorts amongst like-minded producers (previously creeping up in songs like Jan Driver's "Rat Alert" or Girl Unit's "IRL"). As it stands, this is probably the most stripped down iteration of this trend that I've heard yet. Coupled with Bok Bok's intricate drum work, it's also the most effective.
Even so, the most groundbreaking production on here has to be Ramadanman's "Pitter," which, surprisingly enough, sounds a good deal like Modeselektor themselves. The main synth line seems lifted right out of one of their more emotive offerings, but Ramadanman eschews melody, instead using familiar textures to tap out separate directives for your head, body and feet. The result is, again, somewhat of a sonic epiphany, like a morse code message you can dance to, and should serve as another touchstone in this current explosion of rhythmic innovation.
A Modeselektor - VW Jetta
B1 Bok Bok - Say Stupid Things
B2 Ramadanman - Pitter