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You can call them a supergroup, but Moderat understands that it’s the group aspect that makes them interesting. Gernot Bronsert, Sebastian Szary (aka Modeselektor) and Sascha Ring (aka Apparat) have been working together as a trio almost as long as their two separate projects have existed. We’ve seen their collaboration grow from laptop boy-band (as Ring playfully puts it) in 2003—with computers synched using software Ring himself had written, because at the time, there was just no live performance software around.
Ring confesses that Moderat wasn’t really meant to be a recording act, with Bronsert agreeing that, it was really just about fun. This maybe explains the six-year break that followed Moderat’s first EP before they finally returned in 2009 with their self-titled debut album. Intent on creating something that contrasted with their own projects, the group started the cycle which blossoms on their second album, aptly titled II, culminating now in the trilogy’s completion, III. Whereas I was the combination of two separate entities, II brought the members closer together, and in III, the final chapter in the trilogy, Moderat sounds like one band.
Moderat’s third album is their most mature work to date, it deals with the global breakbeat continuum to aesser extent. They direct their gaze inward, wondering: Where do we stand as humans, as men, as artists, as dads (in the case of Sebastian and Gernot). In the lyrics, Apparat gives an unfiltered insight into his personal take on the journey we call life. Inspiring us with his inexhaustible creativity and his visions, he is opening up, discussing his shadow, his fears and doubts as well. Modeselektor reach another level, developing an intoxicating energy with their unique rhythmical textures. Movie people say that contradictions create believable characters, and you will find a lot of contradictions in the music of Moderat: fun and profoundness, ecstasy and melancholy.
Within the frenzy of the strobe lights, Moderat do not only make you sweat. They might make you shed a tear as well. Contradictions.