An exciting German techno mixtape
The mixtape Extended is the German electronic duo Modeselektor’s most recent release. Made up of members Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, this is their latest studio release since their 2019 album Who Else. Bronsert and Szary have given the electronic and techno scene a 27 track-long gift with Extended: it is intense, layered and most importantly, extremely fun to listen to.
Each song trails into the other through seamless transitions that complete the listening experience and allow for a neatly packaged hour-long soundbyte. The album features musicians like Paul St. Hilaire, as well as Jackson And His Computer Band; they contribute their distinct sound to individual tracks on Extended. This collaboration allows for two different songs that bear marks from both Modeselektor and their guest artists.
The mixtape, produced by Monkeytown Records, is heavily influenced by the steady pulse of UK Bass and German techno—the result is a pulsing soundscape that takes the listener to a packed club filled with a throng of dancing, moving people. Standout tracks include “Tacken,” a light, tingling beat that contains both suspenseful beat drops and a beautiful array of prancing high notes.
“Hood,” a collaboration with Jackson And His Computer Band, is characterized by a futuristic beat that would fit perfectly into an intense scene in the Tron franchise or a post-apocalyptic video game. Jackson And His Computer Band’s signature deep sub-bass frequencies elevate the song to a distinctly more gritty tone than the typical Modeselektor sound.
Other notable songs include “Kupfer,” a balanced beat overlaid by an angelic melodic electronic tune, and “Bangface,” a song that brings back electronic tones similar to the ones in Super Mario World. “Sekt um 12” is filled with syncopathic slow beats and trills that are amusingly eerie and fun to dance to, while “Movement,” which features Paul St. Hilaire, is a slower, more somber track that complements Hilaire’s gravelly deep voice.
The middle of the mixtape is filled with songs like “OHM,” an intense, steady dance beat with a flat tune that is similar to “Cthulhu Drums,” though the latter is characterized by the cadenced and hypnotic sound of handheld drums. The mixtape ended with the minute-long “Devotion Is Such a Strong Word,” a harp-based track that smoothes out the darkness of the preceding track “Lockdown,” a piece that mixes groaning organ-like noises with warped interjected beats that sound like cries of anguish or screams. Extended is a mixtape that does not disappoint: it is rhythmically complex, expertly mixed, and highly enjoyable.
Though Extended is similar in composition and style to Modeselektor’s previous work, no song follows a predictable formula, which allows for an unexpected listening experience filled with gems of sonority. In their earlier albums, Modeselektor has collaborated with European underground hip-hop artists such as the French-trio TTC, English FLOHIO, and German-based Puppetmastaz. This newer mixtape does not have any rap or hip-hop features and consists mainly of simpler techno beats.
Together since 1992, Modeselektor has been releasing music since the wake of the Berlin Fall in 1989. This is a period where the anarchy and chaos of the country’s situation produced a lot of new and exciting German music in the music scene. Today, Modeselektor’s music, with the techno and electronic piece Extended, is a part of a broader club scene that features music from and across the world—this mixtape is above all an entertaining piece that would fit perfectly in at a rave or in a European club.