Modeselektor, 'Monkeytown' (Monkeytown)

Critical Mass
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Label: Monkeytown

by Chris Martins

These simian-obsessed Berliners' approach to electronica has always been monkey see, monkey do very, very well. Infamous omnivores, they somehow fold Ibiza trance, noisy early-'80s electronic body music, and twitchy glitch-hop into each album. But Monkeytown imbues all this with a newly sourced warmth. Lacing 8-bit burble, buoyant bass, fizzy synths, and non-quantized rhythms, songs like "Blue Clouds" and "Shipwreck" (featuring Thom Yorke's disembodied coo) clearly seem to reference Los Angeles' beat scene. But Modeselektor sprinkle the Flying Lotus–style funk sparingly, melting their Teutonic cool just enough to reveal a previously missing musical link: soulfulness.

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