There is as much hype surrounding the Moderat live experience as there is for any of their records or the founding projects that make up the group. The collaboration between Apparat and Modeselektor that originated in Berlin in the early 00s has become one of the most celebrated pillars in contemporary dance music. Their latest studio effort ‘ii’ reached the dizzy heights of number 18 on our LPs of 2013 and demonstrated arena-built melodies with a production value that still sounded like Berlin at every turn. The juxtaposition of grandiose ambition and songwriting against industrial leaning sound palettes made the Albert Hall a perfect setting for this one-off show courtesy of Warehouse Project’s Late Night Sessions. Unpolished surroundings with an overarching sense of grandeur that wasn't compromised by sound or setting. The meeting of this location with the underground etherealness of Moderat’s back catalogue made for a truly game changing live experience. In short, believe the hype.
Opening with the steady build and sporadic drops of ‘This Time’ from the latest record, Moderat set the backdrop for an evening of glorious crescendos and hypnotic respites. One highlight came in the form of the European shuffle of ‘Rusty Nails’ where Apparat’s vocals sat on top of the minimal production which translated flawlessly to the live platform. The light show and graphics saw their well-established aesthetic come to life with mesmerizing visuals and perfectly placed lighting.
It wasn’t all splendour and awe however- when the elephant screech gave way to the colossal beat of ‘Bad Kingdom’ the resurrected Mancunian chapel became a mecca for anthemic electronic mega-hits. The golden chorus was being belted by the crowd who were littered across the main floor and the upper balcony. Whilst this carried a feeling of classic nightlife, there was a sense of a bigger triumph at play- we were bearing witness to a victory lap from an outfit that have had a year of complications and setbacks finally being able to celebrate their work in front of fans that really, really love them.
For their encore, the three-piece closed the show with ‘Let In The Light’ then ‘Therapy’. By the end of the latter, the Albert Hall was full of the best kind of exhaustion. Fans have been waiting patiently for a Moderat live show and when the final synthesized throbs of ‘Therapy’ soundtracked their exit, they knew it was worth the delay. This was a show where everything that could be stretched was stretched, every detail was refined and the finished product was polished, engaging and worthy of all the hype in the fucking world.
Words: Louise Caldwell