Music

Modeselektor: Boogy Bytes Vol. 3

Let there be no doubt, this is an extremely fun disc.


Modeselektor

Boogy Bytes Vol. 3

Label: BPitch Control
US Release Date: 2007-05-15
UK Release Date: 2007-04-23
Amazon
iTunes

Modeselektor do seem to be enjoying a moment in the spotlight. 2005's Hello Mom! apparently made inroads with all the right kinds of critics, because here we are two years later and we're still talking about the German duo of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, and all the hi-jinks to which they've been up to these past few years. Time flies pretty quickly: I didn't even realize it had been exactly two years since Hello Mom! was first released. It seems like only yesterday....

But here we are, and the duo have made enough of an impact to be asked to compile the third disc in Bpitch Control's excellent Boogy Bytes series (don't worry, that's not a typo). Bpitch Control are themselves something of an upstart label, positioned as the rowdy, ill-behaved country mouse to Kompakt's discrete, well-mannered cosmopolitan city mouse. Techno has had a renaissance these last few years, as has been abundantly stated by myself and others, and Germany is ground zero. So it's good to see that while the intellectually stimulating minimal house will always be well represented, there's room for something a bit rowdier as well.

And let there be no doubt, this is an extremely fun disc. I can definitely admire the assiduousness with which Modeselektor have designed their mix with the goal of having a good time. There's not a lot in the way of overarching thematic content, but the disc is never dumb. There's a lot of smart music here -- they finish the set with a Radiohead track, for goodness' sake ("Ideotheque") -- but it's not presented simply for the sake of being smart. What we have instead is a great party mix put together by folks with discerning tastes, in such a way as manages to neither insult the listener's intelligence nor float over their heads when they're just trying to have a good time. I mean, "Ideotheque" is actually a pretty crunk track. I'm serious!

The mix begins on a sleazy note, with Siriusmo's "Wow" coming on like the Warren G. dubplate you never heard, before getting spacey with the Detroit Experiment's "Vernors" and Spank Rock's delectable "Rick Rubin". Before getting too stupid, however, they are careful to swerve downwards a bit, dropping into something a bit more minimal -- the Audiojack remix of Bobby Peru's "Erotic Discourse" manages to slow the tempo down while somehow spreading a heap of filthy sweat across the turntables. Things get rather dense as the duo mix up a number of different tracks, getting dubbier and more intense with every measure, before passing into the Carl Craig remix of "Poor People Must Work" by Rhythm & Sound feat. Bobbo Shanti. I haven't heard a bad Carl Craig mix in...well, probably ever, and this is no exception to the rule: dark, dense, compelling, and absolutely gorgeous. Probably the highlight of the set.

But they know when to lighten the mood, too. Before long, we're back with Sirisumo and the light-hearted "Discosau", before segueing into TTC's "Une Bande de Mec Sympha". The mere presence alone of TTC is enough to put a smile on my face -- imagine a French 2 Live Crew by way of Goldie Lookin' Chain. The Modeselektor boys have collaborated with TTC a number of times, so their presence is not as unusual as you might think (I don't know, if you don't like TTC it still might not make sense). They manage to squeeze in a Mr. Oizo track ("Half a Scissor") as well as a μ-Ziq number ("μ-Ziq Theme"), contributing to a slightly spacey IDM-esque home stretch before alighting on the aforementioned Radiohead track. Cut, print.

It's a good mix, well put-together and expertly balanced. It's definitely a promising sign from one of the most lauded acts in modern electronic music -- and bodes well for their forthcoming sophomore album. Here's hoping that in the future they manage to preserve this delicate balance between stupid and smart.

7

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image