Moderat
II


3.5
great

Review

by Polyethylene USER (14 Reviews)
August 8th, 2013 | 48 replies


Release Date: 08/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More masterful beats from the electronic supergroup.

Moderat is a portmanteau, both in name and personnel, of Berlin-based electronic acts Modeselektor and Apparat. As its title suggests, II is the supergroup's second album together, following their eponymous 2009 debut. Like its predecessor, II sees the two outfits marrying their distinct styles together – Modeselektor's glitchy, stereo-shredding breakbeats with Apparat's airier, more pensive style of techno. However, the creative symbiosis between the groups has matured significantly. It is still obvious in a Moderat song which party is responsible for each sound, but these sounds sit alongside one another more comfortably than before.

Besides the triumvirate of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary (Modeselektor) and Sascha Ring (Apparat), II features a number of guest vocalists. Incidentally, the strongest tracks on the album are the ones without vocals. Whereas Modeselektor's finest tracks all feature guest singers – “Dancingbox” with Parisian rappers TTC, “Evil Twin” with basscadet Otto von Schirach, “This” with Radiohead's Thom Yorke – Moderat simply push them too far to the fore, stifling the rest of the song. “Bad Kingdom” is the most frustrating example, its mouthwatering bassline relegated to the background the moment the singer arrives.

Free from such distractions, the instrumentals allow Moderat's songcrafting abilities to shine. And I mean really, really shine. At its best, II is as good as anything in the two groups' separate or shared discographies. “Versions” is an absolute treat, Apparat's skylines of synth accented by Modeselektor's gloomy, Burial-like percussion. Equally fantastic is “Milk”, a 10-minute epic of textural and hypnotic house. Built around a slowly-evolving bass pulse, it exudes the same sense of precision and restraint that made Jon Hopkin's recent album Immunity such a classic. It is arguably the best track here, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact it barely resembles Modeselektor or Apparat.

Though not quite perfect, II is the sound of two electronic giants working together to wondrous effect. Both halves of Moderat compliment the other, Modeselektor's brawn enriching Apparat's ethereality and vice versa. If not for the overemphasized vocals on a handful of its tracks, II would have been impeccable. But we'll forgive it that. II will both delight existing fans of Modeselektor and Apparat, and serve as a worthy initiation for newcomers. You should check it out either way.



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user ratings (99)
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3.7
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other reviews of this album
Jacob R. STAFF (3.9)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Polyethylene
August 8th 2013


3090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unts unts unts

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2013


6448 Comments


I somehow haven't got around to checking this out. Gonna have to change that asap.

Good review.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Polyethylene
August 8th 2013


3090 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well worth ya time. Thanks!

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2013


6448 Comments


Yeah hope so. The debut had some smashing tunes on it.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 8th 2013


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this fucking album.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

RuanCSC
August 8th 2013


131 Comments


I thought this was really boring.

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

zakalwe
August 8th 2013


8141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review
Loved the first album this is possibly even better

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2013


7026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's like the elements that draw me to electronic music fused together. true love

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

severelyharshedvibe
August 8th 2013


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was phenomenal. II is just really good.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2013


7338 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There's nothing wrong with this record, but the vast majority of it is doing nothing to draw me in at all.

Excellent review.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
August 8th 2013


7026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Milk is so so good

Sleaper
August 8th 2013


3374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

rad review man. Milk is just out of this world.

Digging: Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love

scissorlocked
August 9th 2013


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review

album's good

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
August 9th 2013


2714 Comments


album's sweet as

SpritzSpritz
August 9th 2013


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is chill as fuck. nice review.

SpritzSpritz
August 9th 2013


528 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is chill as fuck. nice review.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2013


31174 Comments


Yeah, still prefer I but this is nice as well

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Sleaper
August 9th 2013


3374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Whats 1 like? here i really like the tracks without vox... and really really dislike the tracks with vox lol.

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 10th 2013


6448 Comments


Debut was about the same, re: vox. Rusty Nails is still an awesome track, even though it has Sasha's vocals as well.

ShitsofRain
August 10th 2013


5898 Comments


recommendations make me wanna check this out

Digging: Anthony Shakir - Frictionalism 1994-2009



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