It was said that Berlin’s legendary electronic group, Modeselektor had been talking about writing their fourth studio album back in 2017, but nothing ever happened. After two years of many conversations and debates, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary began the initial writing process four weeks prior to its actual release. Within a month, they wrote, collaborated, produced, and recorded their phenomenal new album entitled Who Else? The uninhibited approach allowed Modeselektor to assemble an intoxicating techno record that embodies instinctive feel rather than a systemic formation. Using fast creativity to demonstrate the power of confident decision making, these two mad scientists display the control they have over their craft.
Dispelling the anxiety of writing a record, Gernot and Szary said in an interview in March 2019 that they just wanted to have fun. Collaborating with several artists such as Flohio, Tommy Cash, and Otto Von Schirach to capture their techno vision by bringing back party-house vibes within their dark-ambience. Also, the lyrical content is provocative as it questions identity and status within a socio-political theme. The song “I Am Your God,” is an eerie depiction of a transformative one-line song that uses the lyrics to identify religion or inner-fascism. Inevitably, the lyrics provide a significant amount of substance that it makes this record more than a dance jam.
Who Else? is a 90s revival of hard-banging warehouse techno that meets trap-house and hip hop. In the first song, “One United Power,” the siren smacking sequences is matched with their combination of 808 and 909 drum to build the intensity in the climatic bass-break. Eventually, the energy settles into the down tempo step that creates a cohesive sensation of Dub and trap.
Modeselektor showcases their love for hip hop in the song “Wealth.” MC/Singer, Flohio fearlessly embraces her individuality with the hit track as they step back from traditional Techno BPMs and drop it down to Hip Hop standards – 85 to 95. Flohio sends us a direct message about going after what you want in life. Reigniting the spirit of the underground EDM, the smooth halftime beat keeps us afloat as Modeselektor adds their signature pipe-melting sawtooth arpregiators.
Collaborating with the Estonian rapper and conceptional artist, Tommy Cash, for the single, “Who?” Stating that they found him “in the corner of instagram,” Gernot was fond his unique monotone vocals. Additionally, the filtered sequence is an unforgettable melody that fashions a mature party essence. However, it is lyrics that make this song very strong. T. Cash’s memorable lines question authority and identity as he ends his verses with “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Noting that titles and positions can lack substance and certainty. The power of striping identity and taking a look inward in order to find a personal humanity. Both Modeselektor and T. Cash see eye to eye with this socio-political view, which helped cultivate their techno-anthem.
Who Else? is a diverse agglomeration of traditional warehouse techno with a raw new-age sound. Modeselektor continues their originality as their unconventional approach to music is the antithesis of most common electronic artist. Typically, artist take years to write an album, and the over consumption of thought can distort an organic production. This band does the complete opposite and manages to maintain their prolific reputation. The pressure and panic of time and talent was used in a productive manner that helped uncover their authentic mood. Furthermore, Gernot explained how they had trouble finding a name for the album up until they showed their record to one of their friends. The unnamed friend had said, “Guys, this is so diverse, someone has to do it. Who else?” The spontaneous event of naming the album is natural parallel to the creation of the music. Modeselektor are pioneers of unpredictable energy that is forward thinking and impressive. Their genuine technique is a message the implies that music should always be exciting and fun.