Modeselektion Vol. 2

Review: Modeselektion Vol. 2

Published on August 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

This latest showcase of talents from and associated with Modeselektor‘s Monkeytown label works surprisingly well as an album, each of the sixteen featured artists seemingly united in their belief that electronic music should be multi-faceted, multi-textured, multi-coloured and – last but not least – mind-blowingly bonkers. Fortunately Rocksucker agrees, so we relished the chance to immerse ourselves in this sensationally confounding collection and let the music bring the words to our fingertips. We were going to formulate a cohesive review out of this but presenting you with our track-by-track notes works just as well so here goes…

“Levitate” – Egyptrixx: grumbling, pulsating bass – jarring, shuddering interjections of noise – oddly shaped beat – ends with faint parps over soft pounding, then evaporates

“Hitting the Surface (Electric Indigo Edit)” by Monolake: crinkly, splashy ‘found sounds’ – hitting the spot, more like – gong-y sort of muted bell thing going on – quick-stepping, syncopated beat

“Manic Miner” – Addison Groove: popping, tick tocking groove with felty blasts of synth – manic it most certainly is – goes on to throw whistles and beeps into its already berserk mix

“Pixel” – Bambounou: clappy, disorientingly ravey, excitable thing – psychedelically Balearic – welcomes rubbery 8-bit loops to its clockwork party

“Nordic Wilt” – Clark: frantic in a bloody good way, so many different elements lined up, like a mad parade of alien sounds – vaguely recalls last few minutes of Super Furry Animals’ “No Sympathy”, although not quite as malevolent

“Humoslab” – Mouse on Mars: starts out sounding a bit like “Metrotopy” off their recent Parastrophics album but proceeds to carve out more of a mentalist sound collage – eruptions of contrasting yet somehow complementary (!) lights, as masterful as we’ve come to expect from these genuine greats of electronic music – almost forces itself into the realms of normality but can’t seem to decide which melodic refrain to follow, so just piles them all on top of each other

“Landscape” – Lazer Sword: cranking, nocturnal nuttiness with wispy snatches of sampled female rave vocals and sci-fi synth – pokey, bleepy brain-frazzler (mind you, they’re all brain-frazzlers here – a normal song that walked in through the saloon doors would run away screaming from all the manically grinning stares it would attract)

“Fukushima” – Phon.o: vocal sample of “save me!” – compelling, lunging rhythm underpinning bleepy menace

“Activate” – Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team: velcro-y rhythm section (listen to it to see what we mean!) – most vocally thing on the compilation so far – still mind-bending, pitch-raised vocal snippets sounding like the Chipmunks freaking out on acid

“Ruk” – Dark Sky: – stuttery, pounding minimalism – well, it’s very busy of rhythm section, but it eschews melodic flourishes – stabby synth bass

“Mode Operator (Beispiel A)” – Diamond Version: – fizzes up like electronic cola before going on to brandish an abrasively buzzing darksaber (as opposed to lightsaber) – industrial blare-a-thon – swings a rubber shot put overhead

“Death By Barber pt.1 (Haircut Zero)” – Prefuse 73: begins suitably with sound of electric razor, leads into a bizarrely lolloping swagger carrying a bundle of colourful dissonance over its head like a washer woman with a pale of water, somehow managing not to drop it despite its strange gait – whirs and glitches satisfyingly

“Sudaka Invasor” – Frikstailers: almost cartoonish with its array of weird/wired ‘n’ wonderful sounds, like those gulpy scratches, but not like any cartoon we can think of – deliriously nutty, farty, octave-jumping synth and what sounds like like a rhythm section played on pots and pans – this is the sound that a South American kitchen makes at night when there are no people around and all the appliances want to party

“Modern Talk” – Siriusmo: fire-cracker synth, screechy swipes and almost eastern-sounding melodic hook – totally off its rocker, marvellous! – throws in a mad pitch-raised “doo doo doo” rendition of that strange melody

“Distortione for Strings” – Jan Driver: feels like squishy glass (not to be confused with The Flaming Lips song “Squishy Glass”), with fantastically busy rhythm section that breaks out into a fuzzy stomp as monotone yet musical foghorn blares over it – takes on filmic strings and phased synth pads – stunning

“Observing the Patterns” – Anstam: suitably hallucinatory cap on proceedings – steady clunky pulse with two-tone cymbal and subtle combinations of melodic elements

Rocksucker says: Four and a Half Quails out of Five!

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Modeselektion Vol. 2 is out now on Monkeytown Records

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About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.