Moderat – “II” Review

Moderat is the supergroup of Berlin electronic music. It combines the poetic atmosphere of Apparat and the dancefloor brawn of Modeselektor into something that’s not quite one, and not quite the other, but something new and wonderful in the space between them.

The album opener is a fitting metaphor for the collaboration. “The Mark” is one and a half minutes of a pleasant spatial drone that a dance floor synth wanders into and begins calling out, as if it was lost and wondering how it ended up in this strange “other side” of electronic music.

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The disparate genres quickly make peace and begin the aural assault with “Bad Kingdom,” a track that combines an aggressive bass line and breakbeats with airy pads and Apparat’s emotive singing. The album continues on to explore the rich musical ground that separates Apparat and Modeselektor’s separate projects, finding ways to simultaneously sway hearts and hips in catchy and surprising ways. II shows Moderat’s adeptness at creating varied textures that still relate to each other. To sample the variety of the album, check out “Milk,” “Ilona” and “Damage Done” – each standout tracks in their own right that create wildly different, yet related, sonic worlds.

To get the whole experience, though, one must listen to the album in its entirety. II carries listeners on an intense but beautiful journey, and, much like its creators, the sum is greater than the whole of its parts.

Berlin, Germany
Produced and Mixed by Moderat

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