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'We Are Modeselektor' Documentary Now Free To Stream
Groundbreaking German electronic duo Modeselektor gave their fans a special gift this week, releasing the fascinating feature-length documentary We Are Modeselektor in its entirety for free to Electronic Beats TV's (EB.tv) YouTube channel.
Originally shot in 2013 in collaboration with EB.tv, the 75-minute film chronicles Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary's early years as outlaw DJs in the 1990s East Berlin underground electronic scene. Speaking to now-defunct indie music blog The Red Alert in 2007, Szary explained, "After the Wall came down, everywhere in Germany and especially East Germany there was a lot of chaos, anarchy, … So [the authorities] didn't interfere when someone put up a pair of speakers in an abandoned building …and threw a party."
Equal parts dark, inviting, abrasive, melodic, and absurd, Modeselektor's signature sound has always paid equal respect to the pair's underground heritage and iconoclastic obsession with defying genre classification.
This resistance to categorization is undoubtedly informed by the social upheaval that permeated East Germany during Szary's and Bronsert's formative years.
"You wanted to be different, to have your own style," the pair explained to The Red Alert's Adam McKibbin. "Sometimes you had the feeling that you could build your own society. Everywhere was a feeling of breakup and a feeling of depression at the same time. Mixed feelings, insecurity and big hopes everywhere."
We Are Modeselektor traces these formative years against a backdrop of found footage and personal stories Szary and Bronsert share as they tour their childhood neighborhoods and adolescent stomping grounds, cracking jokes with family and friends all along the way in their characteristic absurdist humor.
In more recent years, Szary and Bronsert have partnered with longtime friend and collaborator Sascha Ring, aka Apparat, touring as the avant-garde electronic supergroup Moderat, which readers of respected underground blog and club calendar aggregator Resident Advisor voted the "No. 1 Live Act Of The Year" in 2009. (Modeselektor themselves also made that list, at No. 7.)
Following an extensive world tour in support of their third studio album, 2016's III, Moderat announced in September that they would be taking a hiatus and return to separately performing as Modeselektor and Apparat for the foreseeable future.
We Are Modeslektor is also available on DVD & Blu-Ray via Szary and Bronsert's independent label Monkeytown Records.