- Every time a commercial mix is released that audiences are expected to pay for, you've got to go Old Testament route, asking yourself "How is tonight different from every other night?" and "Can't I download ten comparable mixes in the same vein?" For Modeselektions Vol. 1, the answer to the former is "not much," but the latter is "not in this case." Modeselektor has invited a bunch of its friends to share new, unreleased material for this compilation, which is the main draw (you can get the SD card version, with 24 Bit / 48 kHz wav files) if you're into guys like Ramadanman, Shed or Housemeister.
Unsurprisingly, Germany and the UK are the two most represented nations here, and Modeselektor takes us on a fairly calm tour around overlapping bass-driven soundscapes. There are few vocals and almost no beatmatching. It's meant to be as abstract as possible. Siriusmo's "Das Geheimnis" kicks things off with an off-kilter vaudeville overture, and we're subsequently flung from ambient broken beat, to deep house territory, to the wub-wub-wub of the "d word" to industrial Berghain headiness, to the sublime moments of Ikonika & Optimum's centrifugal windchimes on "Hum."
It won't convert anyone who doesn't already have a serious interest in some of the artists, as there's nothing hooky or catchy or individually standout enough to really serve as an easy entryway for the uninitiated. At the same time, I'm sure they're not trying to solicit mainstream viability or hook any youngsters. It's much more fun to imagine a bunch of German and English white guys just doing whatever they want and getting away with their own weirdness, a weirdness which is almost de rigeur and commonplace.
The album's pacing isn't as spastic or shocking as some of Modeselektor's previous mixes or their own productions. There's a steadier set of hands behind the scenes, pulling the strings, twiddling the knobs. Maybe that's because the world around them has started to bend to fit their vision. They no longer have to worry about grabbing people's attention; they already earned that. Now it seems they've gone into the mode of archivist or general diplomats of the concentric scenes. The duo recently finished a tour featuring many of the mix's contributors under the Modeselektions banner, cementing their vertical integration and, if anything, their place at the forefront of Intergalactic Bass Diplomacy.
01. Siriusmo - Das Geheimnis
02. SBTRKT - The Unspoken
03. Feadz - The Assistant Manager
04. Tadd Mulinix & Daniel Meteo - The Good Star
05. Robag Wruhme - Bierholer
06. 2562 - The Wind Up
07. eLan - Pussy Posse
08. Cosmin TRG - Space Station Love Affair
09. Shed - With Bag And Baggage
10. Apparat - King Of Clubs
11. Marcel Dettmann - Lyrate
12. Ikonika & Optimum - Hum
13. Modeselektor - VW Jetta
14. Ramadanman - Pitter
15. Digital Mystikz-Mala - Explorer
16. Bok Bok - Say Stupid Things
17. Housemeister - Kristall
18. Cylob - Pepper Spray (Capsicum Edit)