Berlin techno and breakbeat trio Moderat are back in business. After about four years of radio silence since their eponymous debut record, they’re on the road promoting a new album. Simply titled II, it was released on August 8 via Mute USA and is pretty damn great.
There's something about their approach to electronic music, rendering it both cerebral and visceral, that straight up makes me want to use fancy-ish words and crank the bass up just so. II sounds a little like Thom Yorke, and of course a bit like Apparat and Modeselektor, the two bands from which Moderat's members collide every few years to make a new record as a three-piece. In the pic above, that's Apparat's Sascha Ring (whom I Skyped a while ago for Don't Panic Online mag) looking all sullen in the middle, flanked by Modeselektor's Sebastian Szary's (cigarette in his mouth on the left), and Gernot Bronsert.
A couple of weeks ago, I called up Sebastian and we chatted about the record while he sped down the Autobahn on his way back to Berlin from north Germany. The band had just kicked off the first show of this new record's promo tour, at Eastern Electrics Festival in Knebworth, and Sebastian oozed the kind of giddy excitement that I can only hope they'll be bringing to their Electric Zoo New York set at the end of this month. And yes, it is totally weird that Moderat are playing E-Zoo, but Sebastian's looking forward to seeing some of the neon American "teatime ravers" he giggled about with me.