Text: Aimee Cliff
Photography: Sophia Whitfield Photography
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Modeselektor’s live set is, on this Friday night in London as much it always is, an all or nothing experience from the very start. Known for their seamless, no-punches-pulled live shows, the duo take the audience from total blinding darkness and silence to a lurch of bass and and audiovisual crescendo right from the moment they take the stage at Camden’s Roundhouse.
I’ve seen Modeselektor twice now, and this time, at their only UK show of 2013, if anything they seemed even more exuberant and assured than they have been before. Whether it was the unrelenting intensity of their music – mostly taken from their 2011 album ‘Monkeytown’ – or the fact that they choreographed a champagne spray (exactly on the drop) onto the front row in their set (something I’ve been unable to see without thinking of Illum Sphere since reading this interview), they seem like they, and this particular run of live shows, are at their peak.
The set was a swarm of constantly rising energy, peppered with teasing snippets of anthems like Evil Twin and a screwed-up sample of Thom Yorke bemoaning “You KNOW you should, / But you don’t” from Morning Mr Magpie. The visuals, too – ranging from a Facebook status saying “Pretentious” racking up millions of “likes” to fuzzy, wafting lightning bolts reminiscent of the insides of the plasma balls you see in science museums – were reliably well-suited enough that they added sparkle and stimulation to the experience while being tongue-in-cheek and simple enough not to captivate you. It was definitely a disappointment that the set hadn’t transformed all that much since the last time I caught it in 2012 – but when the performers are so dependably fun, and the show is so hyperbolically good, it’s difficult to deny that you’d be happy to watch it again.