Modeselektor is two electro-house DJs from Germany; one wears a fedora and the other a beret. Music like theirs falls—among the annoyingly confusing surplus of genre labels for electronic music—under the title Intelligent Dance Music (IDM): Beats, progressions and experimentations that don’t follow a particular prototype for dance music, and that aren’t necessarily designed to make you dance (see: ambient, glitch beat, etc.) Keyword being “necessarily,” as this particular artist and this show at the Metro on April 21, 2012, spurred a successful Chicago/German haus party.
Trip hop samples, Baltic house interludes and brain-vibrating bass took track turns alongside an especially impressive neon light-beams show. The style frequently changed, but always ended up back on a techno train with hands up high. One crowd member waved a life-size German flag in front during the entire show.
Modeselektor’s excitement led to the spewing of champagne all over the audience’s heads. It was then officially a party.
Modeselektor is extremely big within the current German electro/IDM scene. In 2000, members Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary met Ellen Allien and signed with her German techno label BPitch Control, and have remained successful since. Their collaborations with Apparat (see: Moderat) closed the show with “A New Error”—echoing a minimal bliss akin to fellow German minimal/electronic legend Paul Kalkbrenner.
Much of the show seemed inspired by the euphoria that these down-tempo progressions create. Their set scaled through minimal pastures and bumping terrains and back again. Fans had their chilled smiles planted and their dancing moves running as the beats got bigger. It was a loud, full and entertaining show, partially facilitated by the Metro’s intimate space and further amped by the entertaining antics of Bronsert and Szary. They loved to talk themselves up to the audience, inciting an interesting I-think-you’re-too-cocky-but-I-admire-you-anyway reaction.
Winning tracks from the night include “Happy Birthday” and “Sucker Pin,” from their 2007 album Happy Birthday, as well as “Berlin” and “Pretentious Friends” from their 2011 release Monkeytown.