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FOLLOWING the release of their third studio album, the aptly named ‘III’, German electronic heavyweights Moderat returned to Manchester’s Albert Hall, exhibiting the final chapter of their trilogy in a thrilling live show.
The gig, organised in partnership with the Warehouse Project, saw ‘III’ performed live for the first time in the UK, with special guest Lone, AKA Matt Cutler, warming the decks beforehand.
As one of my favourite current producers, Lone’s addition to the bill was incredibly enticing to say the least.
On the back of his seventh studio album, ‘Levitate’, his third on R&S Records, a whole hour of old school house and hardcore breakbeat was expected, limbs sprawling everywhere, that sort of thing.
Instead, he was put in the heavens with faulty headphones, a terrible soundsystem and a graveyard of a dancefloor.
Nobody actually knew where he was for the first 15 minutes; it was obvious the organisers had spent all day setting Moderat’s equipment up and thought ‘no chance moving all that, we’ll just stick him up there out of the way’.
To be fair to Lone, he played a good set, it was just a shame he was playing for a bunch of zombies.
Not hearing personal favourites ‘Backtail Was Heavy’ and ‘Vapour Trail’ was also a little disappointing, but under the circumstances he constructed an enjoyable mix.
At 9:00pm sharp, Gernot Bronsert and Seb Szary of Modeselektor entered the arena, with Sascha Ring (Apparat) taking centre stage.
Since 2002, the Berlin-based trio have worked on the collaborative ‘Moderat’ project, fusing Modeselektor’s experimental techno origins with Apparat’s expressionist electronic pop, producing some of the strangest, most heartfelt tracks to grace the dance scene in recent years.
Three years on from their first studio album, the trilogy is complete, and now was the time to showcase its undoubted magnificence.
The show got under way in style through ‘Ghostmother’, a track which sums the Moderat project up perfectly; heavy, experimental bass and head-nodding breaks complemented by Apparat’s spellbinding voice.
Blistering with emotion, the crowd had most certainly woken from the dead.
Following suit in making the hairs on everyone’s neck stand up was May 2016 single ‘Running’.
Again, this time accompanied by the distorted male vocal chords, Apparat’s voice generated a sense of euphoria around Albert Hall; that was, until all three of the musketeers went crazy on their drum machines and nearly made the building implode; a dark, enthralling twist on the original, which highlighted the freedom of performing live.
As the show progressed, the trio restored order with another tear-jerker, the first single from the new LP, ‘Reminder’, which was released back in February.
Hearing this track live was something different; filled with so much emotion and ambition that it’s surprising Nike haven’t nicked it for one of their adverts yet because I wanted to run a marathon, climb Kilimanjaro and swim the channel after hearing it blasting through the soundsystem.
Ended up getting a kebab and going home in the end but at the time put you get the picture.
After receiving rapturous applause as ‘Reminder’ came to a halt, the trio must have looked at eachother and said: “Right, it’s time to melt some head” because for the last 20 minutes they went all out.
Hard hitting 4×4 Berlin techno infused with typical Modeselektor weirdness resulted in sheer bedlam inside the Albert Hall.
After a shaky start to the night, the goods were ultimately delivered; the crowd eventually woke and were receptive of Moderat’s expertise, resulting in an overall exceptional gig.
Talk about signing off in style.