Modeselektor are Gernot and Sebastian Szary Bronset, an explosive duo that never stops creating tracks since, back in 1992, they met at an underground club in Berlin where Sebastian used to DJ. To say that this union was successful would be very modest. Hello Mom! (Bpitchcontrol, 2005), Happy Birthday! (BPitch Control, 2007) and Monkeytown (2011, released in their homonymous label) are examples of their brilliant electronic and hip hop music, Now they have released two albums that sound like heaven under the name of Moderat with three Modeselektion volumes, essential to understand who are their favorite artists. Modelselektor performed at Razzmatazz on the Modeselektion Nights and we interviewed them. We recommend you to press play here while reading the interview to enjoy a Good Fridays playlist with 12 tracks the band has given to Playmoss…
We are at Razzmatazz, where you will perform as a part of the tour to promote the launch of your Modeselektion 3 compilation, with features such diverse artists as Nosaj Thing and Omar Souleyman. What does an artist need to be in one of your compilations?
Gernot: We just have to meet them. Sometimes it’s people we know, and sometimes it’s people we look for, like in the case of Omar. We discovered Syrian music and found it very inspiring. We hadn’t listened to Arabian music before.
We love to sound different. The electronic scene is very boring and snooty and we try to add some color and break what’s already established.
Can we say that your Modeselektion series are a reflection of your music? A set of sounds that, even if they seem unrelated, is consistent all together?
G: Exactly. We love to sound different. The electronic scene is very boring and snooty and we try to add some color and break what’s already established.
S: We could compare our music to a fruit salad with kiwis, apples, oranges… Individually they’ve got different tastes, but all together is even better. And although you can have a favorite fruit, you like them all.
Modeselektor has always been closer to Sónar and Sascha Ring than to Primavera Sound.
What is the creative process with Pathfinder—the studio responsible for your vision—like? You’ve been working together since the beginning of your career…
G: We can’t give you a definite answer. There isn’t a specific concept, it’s more like a natural process. They are seven and there’s always someone who comes with us and are inspired by what they see and hear.
S: But the process is natural. We usually speak with them and tell them some of the ideas we have. Three days later they come with a proposal that we like. For us Modeselektor is a great crossover between music and the visuals Pathfinder understands perfectly. They speak our language and we speak theirs. We started making music with them and our language is music, it’s the way we communicate. Modeselektor has always been closer to Sónar and Sascha Ring than to Primavera Sound.
What are you working on now?
G: We’re in the studio with Sascha Ring (Apparat) to release another album Moderat album. In fact, he’s working on it now as we speak. We’ve also prepared a tour with Siriusmo for next summer.
How did you start working together?
G: We have very good relationship with him, we went to primary school together… We all live in Berlin and make music, so I guess that was part of the natural progression of our careers.
And now the big question: how did you get to play with Moderat at Sonar and at Primavera Sound in the same year?
G: Did anyone really noticed? (laughs). We have always had a very good relationship with Sonar, they are like our parents her. In fact, when we performed in Versus, Nitsa’s Off Sónar, the organization was a bit surprised. On the other hand, Sasha has always been closer to Primavera Sound and Nitsa, so let’s say we reached a good agreement with both festivals.
One of the most characteristic features of Modeselektor are the many collaborations that you do, especially Moderat with Sascha Ring. But any of your albums is full of names that are neither Gernot nor Sebastian, for example Thom Yorke. How’s that?
Usually they come to us, but there’s a little bit of everything. We think it’s a good way to enhance our music and it also brings us surprises, for example discovering that Thom Yorke is a fan of yours and that your work inspires him…
And when Gernot and Sebastian are alone in the studio, who does what?
G: The roles are continually changing, but it’s true that I’m more the operator of the studio and I make song arrangements. Sebastian mixes and deals with other details.
S: In fact, when Gernot takes a break, I clean all his mess and I welcome him with a red carpet.
Your favourite hotspots?
G: HardWax, a record store where I spend many hours.
S: Tegel Aiport. It hasn’t worked very well in the past three years, so we spend a lot of hours in this concrete block of brutalist architecture.
You can’t stop listening to…
G: Mr. Oizo’s new album.
E: I listen to the radio a lot, but I have been listening to Kindness’ new album a lot lately.
Being angry once in a while. It’s always good.