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'Best thing about electronic music? You can make it anywhere in the world'

Largely an electronic music band, Modeselektor has been doing the mixing for over 10 years now. During a recent pit stop in the Capital, we caught up with Sebastian Szary -- one half of the two-member band. Read on.

music Updated: Dec 07, 2013 16:27 IST
Durga M Sengupta
Durga M Sengupta
Modeselektor,Modeselektor interview,Modeselektor in India

"Modeselektor emerged out of the tangle of post-wall Berlin, monkey men with beats clenched between their teeth and ideas that would soon force music journalists to make up new words: bastard dancehall, euro crunk, acid rap, big bass techno, labstyle, happy metal, psychedelic electro. Like a jungle, their music is dense, textured and rich with sounds never experienced before, drawn from a production ethos of 'create, distort, recycle'. Modeselektor's appreciation for the absurd engenders an attitude of levity towards their music, refreshing in a world where 'serious techno' has become a funny cliché.

The electronic production team of Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary came of age in Berlin shortly after the fall of the infamous Wall in 1989." -- Official website

Largely an electronic music band, Modeselektor has been doing the mixing for over 10 years now. Following their recent performance at LAP in the Capital, we caught up with Sebastian Szary for a quick word.

Modeselektor at their goofy best (Source: Facebook)

If you guys weren't Modeselektor, you would've been?

Two Monkeys in a Jungle!

Radiohead loves you, especially with the Monkeytown collab. Your favourite Radiohead song is?

15 Step

1992 to 2013. That's a long time you two have stayed together. How do you function?

The secret of how we work together is that we are very similar, especially when it comes to food. We never have to talk about what to order, we just know! We're synchronised. (laughs)

You mix a wide range of music. Ever considered mixing Indian music?
We've used some elements before, but we've never made the whole piece Indian sounding. Maybe a little taste. But yesterday, I heard a tanpura drone box and it was like magic. So yeah, we will try to do something.

One thing people don't know about you?
(silence) That's a very good question. (Mumbles something about not knowing who Gernot Bronsert is talking on the phone) Okay, I can't answer that, it's tricky.

Berlin as an inspiration?
It's an inspiration in some ways, some ways not. The inspiration often comes when we travel around, be it America, around Europe or India. But yes, we had a long cold winter last fall and there was no sun for long periods. It was grey and cold and so depressing that we stayed in the studio quite a lot.

I'd say winter is a good time to work on music. As it is, you have nothing better to do, like say going to the beach? Yeah, winter works.

The biggest risk you've taken? And did it work?
To start with our record label. (chuckles) No, but really, the music business was down, everybody was down, and we started it. Has to be the biggest risk, and it did work!

We Are Modeselektor was a film on your journey. How was the experience for you?
It was a really nice experience because the filmmakers came to us and said that they already had a lot of material from different publications. They had been interviewing us from the beginning and they had so much on them that they thought, "Okay, let's do a movie," but we thought, "Umm, is it time now to do a movie?" Because we've not been around so long for a retrospective, 15 years later sort of thing.

What's the best thing about electronic music?
You can make electronic music everywhere in the world.

What brings you to India again?
Well there's a growing electronic music community in India. We feel the difference from our last visit four years ago. I think there are a lot more people interested in what we're doing with our label and music from Germany in general.

First Published: Dec 07, 2013 16:06 IST