With a critically lauded debut album (2005's Hello Mom!) and high-profile remixes (Miss Kittin, Thom Yorke), they've spent their time bubbling up from a crowded scene of similar hopefuls. If they've been looking for a break, this fall's release of their second album, Happy Birthday! should establish them as one of the more notable electronic acts to emerge from a bumper-crop year.
Happy Birthday! is a culmination of everything they do best. Like the Wighnomy Brothers, they have a knack for finding a track's pressure points and turning them up. The new album's title track rocks an infectious dancehall shuffle that has been the staple of their recent live shows, while the standout TTC collaboration, "2000007," fuses futuristic hip-hop with a stomping IDM kick reminiscent of fellow Berliner Apparat, with whom they sometimes play as Moderat. And yet on "Sucker Pin" and "The Black Book," they drop the fusions altogether in favour of banging three a.m. techno tracks that could be played in their home city's famed Watergate club.
Then there's the Thom Yorke factor. The Radiohead singer admires Modeselektor enough to collaborate on "The White Flash," a tip of the hat to the caustic electronic experiments Radiohead dabbled with on Kid A's "Idioteque." "He really is a Modeselektor fan, which is still amazing to us!" writes Szarzy via email. "He mentioned us in 2003, on a German TV show, telling the interviewer that we are one of his favourite acts."
Yorke's not the only one taking back the duo's phone calls these days. French rappers Maximo Park, Otto Von Schirach, Gonzales' Puppetmastaz, and Paul St. Hilaire all chime in to make Happy Birthday! a fantastically varied album.
FeaturesJul 02, 2015
Hudson MohawkeSound + Vision
Six years can go by quickly when you're as busy as Glaswegian producer Hudson Mohawke is. Since releasing his Warp debut, Butter, in 200...
FeaturesMay 27, 2015
Jamie xxDancing On His Own
Whether alone or on tour with his critically acclaimed band the xx, Jamie xx is in his own world. "On tour, most of the time, Jamie is ju...
FeaturesMar 18, 2015
Purity RingCome Together
"Begin again, begin again, begin again." Megan James's words float overtop brooding washes of synths crafted by her musical partner Cori...
FeaturesFeb 05, 2015
John CarpenterThe Exclaim! Questionnaire
For 40 years, filmmaker John Carpenter has been called the "master of horror" for directing such spine-chilling classics as Halloween, The F...
FeaturesOct 07, 2014
It has taken Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) a lifetime to find a sound he can happily call his own. From his early work as Manitoba to the psych r...
FeaturesJul 29, 2015
Titus AndronicusAmbition In Five Acts
Since Patrick Stickles rose up with fists held high in July 2005 as frontman for Titus Andronicus, he and the band have done nothing half-as...
NewsJul 22, 2015
Omar Souleyman Talks 'Bahdeni Nami,' Working with Four Tet
There is a certain cool-as-fuck mystique around Syrian singer Omar Souleyman. From an auspicious start as a frequently requested wedding sin...
FeaturesJul 06, 2015
BullyYouth and the Old School
Ask any musician who grew up listening to Nirvana, the Breeders or PJ Harvey what studio they'd love to record their debut album in, and cha...