‘Boundary breaking' is a phrase that today almost every artist wants to claim; however Modeselektor's description as such does not come as an afterthought or marketing ploy. The idea of breaking boundaries permeates their music because this dissolution of cultural borders is ingrained in their very identities.
The electronic production team of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary came of age in Berlin shortly after the fall of the infamous Wall in 1989. It was a place and time where breaking down boundaries was not a convenient meme, but rather a literal description of what was going on outside their front doors. Germany was a stew of mixed emotions, high hopes and insecurity, all existing at the same time as the reunited populace attempted to right itself anew.
Thrust upon the unique cultural landscape of the newly liberated city, the two former East Berliners found themselves in the ultimate urban jungle, deep in the realm of the absurd. In this liminal state of upheaval and change, anything was possible. As cops and parents preoccupied themselves with other concerns, the youth took advantage of the obtuse authorities to throw wild underground acid house parties. And this is where Modeselektor met: in the midst of the chaos, swimming in the heady sense of freedom that only those once oppressed can truly understand. It was 1995.
Modeselektor emerged out of the tangle of post-wall Berlin, monkey men with beats clenched between their teeth and ideas that would soon force music journalists to make up new words: bastard dancehall, euro crunk, acid rap, big bass techno, labstyle, happy metal, psychedelic electro. Like a jungle, their music is dense, textured and rich with sounds never experienced before, drawn from a production ethos of "create, distort, recycle."
Modeselektor's appreciation for the absurd engenders an attitude of levity towards their music, refreshing in a world where "serious techno" has become a funny cliché. Read more