Since their inception in the early 2000s when Sascha Ring (Apparat) and Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary (of Modeselektor) united to create something new, Moderat have never disappointed. Their third album, the aptly titled III, doesn’t change that one iota.
III commences with the shimmering “Eating Hooks,” a melancholy opening that sets things off nicely. It is somber for sure but this feeling is combined with a soulful vibe and passionate vocals that take the track higher than the initial sorrowful feel would have you believe. In fact, the song transcends into something ultimately more positive. This positivity continues with the euphoric “Running” in which an energetic beat floats over a bed of glorious soul that explodes at the end of the song with a burst of power. The song has a lot of common with its title and it is this soulful energy and the conflicting mournful nature previous that defines III.
The gorgeous minimalism of “Finder” is a standout that defines the euphoric nature of the album. It makes you feel like summer has arrived thanks to its warm beat that has a Calypso vibe. Elsewhere on this eclectic album “Ghostmother” sounds in turn remorseful and hopeful in a conflicting nature, ending on a funereal and heartbreaking note. “The Fool” sounds like a melancholy version of Kraftwerk while the anthemic “Reminder” soars high with its joyous and free spirited. All of these tracks show the differing sides of Moderat.
The moody “Intruder” and “Animal Trails,” a track that is packed full of off-kilter glitchy beats, showcase an edgier side. Yet it’s one that fits in with the overall feel of things. The fact that III ends with a track called “Ethereal” is entirely fitting. This song is a perfect way to round things off — it’s the epitome of everything that has preceded it.
With so many different emotions coursing through III, it feels like a very human album. The mixture of upbeat and downbeat songs, and the fact that songs can go from down to up and vice versa in a matter of moments, is the mark of something very real. Moderat have proved themselves to be masters of their craft again with an album that will break your heart but lift your spirits too.