Modeselektor is an iconic German duo consisting of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary. They are the representation of Berlin’s electronic scene within the mainstream. The group are the best known from their collaborations with Thom Yorke and Sascha Ring aka. Apparat. Together they are Moderat – the group behind the iconic ‘A New Error’.
Who else? is Modeselektor’s 4th full-length solo album. It premiered on February 22nd 2019 - eight years after their last release. Only 8 tracks - 35 minutes of new music, after such a long wait. They definitely aimed for quality over quantity.
The opening ‘One United Power’, a very dynamic, varied track, combines all the iconic sounds, that a techno fan will surely recognise. As is the case with the whole album, Modeselektor challenged themselves to create something new out of some classic beats and current trends. It is visible especially on ‘Prügelknabe’, which means ‘whipping boy’ in German. Not only is it a return to their language, but also to the original topic matter: catharsis, expressed by dark sounds and crushing beats.
Even in such a short album, the duo managed to feature some fresh faces. On ‘Wealth’ they collaborated with Flohio – a female British rapper. They created an absolute banger, stumbling a bit into trap and grime. ‘I Am Your God’ featuring OVS is a very hard, intense track, even for Modeselektor. My absolute favourite is ‘Who’ featuring Tommy Cash. Hats off for combining the distinctive ‘Kanye East’ style with their instrumental so perfectly. The end result is something between an experimental hip hop and hard trance. Unfortunately, not all songs felt as exciting as this one.
Who else? is an excellent, bold, challenging album. It has much less pop appeal, instead, it relies on Modeselektor’s club roots. However, in the long run, the album has only 2 or 3 truly memorable tracks.