Every now and then you like a film so much you take it with you pretty much everywhere- in one such development, whenever I listen to German electronic music of the Kraftwerk variety, I have a, well, let’s call it acid flashback of The Dude in the Coen brother’s Big Lebowski distrustfully staring at a record cover for the imaginary album Nagelbett. The look on his face gives us a hint he’s doubtful about the piece, to say the least, and the name of the album itself is thought up to suggest something carefully crafted but ultimately pretty damn uncomfortable.
The imaginary band is of course called Autobahn, an open reference to Kraftwerk, whose perhaps most popular track bears that name and is taken from the album Man Machine-it all relentlessly leads to the point that these are beautiful artifacts to be admired for the technical skill with which they are crafted, but ultimately, of course, machine music has no soul.
Moderat come in the picture pretty nicely then: they are a ’super trio’ of European electronic music, hailing from Berlin, Germany, crafted from the members of Apparat (German for appliance, right) and Modeselektor and going as far as to have a song titled Rusty Nails– a bed of rusty nails, well that’s the epitome of uncomfortable, right there.
So the really amazing thing about them is that, in the middle of the pixel and cable wilderness, their music makes you feel something. I might go as far as saying that that is actually the border between crap electro and good electro- the degree to which it elicits a response in the listener, going beyond jumping up and down and flailing your arms to a beat.
The show is visually impressive too- I really can’t fathom why you would squish yourself in the front row with the sweatiest vandals of the crowd instead of taking in the whole stage from the back, but that’s material for another post. It isn’t however, a gimmick, it’s not there to compensate for the fact that the music itself is empty- it’s there to compliment it and make sense of it. Machine music this may be- but it has both brains and a heart.