Modeselektor, Shed | Smart Bar | Dance | Chicago Reader

Modeselektor, Shed Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Feb. 6, 10 p.m. 2016

For 20 years Berlin duo Modeselektor have been busting dance’s genre barriers in the pursuit of engrossing, hard-to-pin-down cuts. Theirs is the kind of slippery music some might inelegantly refer to as EDM, but Modeselektor offer far more nuanced, innovative, and gratifying sounds than the Michael Bay-size exploits associated with that vague tag. On their last album, 2011’s Monkeytown (Monkeytown), tracks burble and froth even as they grow at glacial paces and hover at a low volumes—they thrum with the energy of muted dancehall rhythms, frazzled glitch synths, or rubber-band hip-hop beats stretched to cartoonish proportions. Modeselektor make music fit for both the dexterity of Flubber-mouthed LA rapper Busdriver and the whispery witching-hour coo of Thom Yorke, who appear separately on Monkeytown on consecutive tracks. And though the transition from the big-footed “Pretentious Friends” to the crackling “Shipwreck” appears jarring on paper, Modeselektor handle the stylistic changes with an intuitive flair. The dark mix of house and early-2000s dubstep boils with an ecstatic tension on their 2015 single “Trees” b/w “50 Trees” (50Weapons), and that’s just a fraction of the duo’s multicolored melange. Tonight’s a precursor to Modeselektor’s upcoming trek with electronic artist Apparat—their side project Moderat hits Concord Music Hall in May.

Leor Galil

Price: $25, $20 before midnight

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