By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
After getting Richie Hawtin down here outside of Winter Music Conference for a packed-to-the-gills one-off last December, the local promoters of Future Mob have scored another seemingly impossible booking. The latest feather in their cap: an ultra-rare Miami appearance by the German duo Modeselektor, enticed to come down at the last minute thanks to a cancellation in Canada.
Mapping the unlikely intersections of grime, glitch, crunk, and other adorably named genres, the duo — Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary — balance pop-smart breeziness with bizarre sounds. Although their debut full-length album, Hello Mom!, appeared in 2005, they've been creating singles, remixes, and mixtapes since '94, and are famed for making music with software they designed themselves. It explains the oddball pleasures here in last year's followup, Happy Birthday!
On Happy Birthday!, guest stars of all stripes pop in, including Modeselektor's countrymen Puppetmastaz and Siriusmo. "2000007" dices French rappers TTC, who mention "discotheque" and "glowstick" amid rhythmic barrages in their native tongue. "Let Your Love Grow" sees Dominican-born dub star Paul St. Hillaire sing an unabashedly romantic serenade in English as whooshes of synth crest behind an R&B-ish foreground. The gorgeous "The White Flash," with Thom Yorke, could be a B-side from The Eraser.
And of course, "Hyper Hyper," a track stabbed with bass drum, features hometown anomaly Otto Von Schirach. Saturday's show will probably be the only chance most of the audience will get to see him join Modeselektor to perform it live.
Modeselektor doesn't need guests to keep our attention, though. Between the M83-gone-clubbing "Godspeed," the ambient drift of "Em Ocean," the springy IDM of "Black Block," and the Boards of Canada-worthy meditation "Edgar," there's plenty of dynamic energy bouncing between the two dudes. If some tracks wane, standouts such as the dimly lit "Sucker Pin" or the cartoonish "The First Rebirth" will bring back the loopy dance drive. And, of course, that's why we're here in the first place.