Another year has come to an end and it's time for us to rewind 2017 on Monkeytown...
We had some pretty cool releases on the schedule...
FJAAK – FJAAK (January)
In case you were wondering where all that recent talk about Spandau came from: In January, Berlin’s most blunted hands-on hardware mavericks Fjaak released their highly anticipated debut album, maintaining their reputation as one of techno’s most celebrated live act these days. This is what Resident Advisor said about the record: "As a collection of standalone tracks, FJAAK is impressive. It’s consistently fun, even at its darkest moments, and while the trio mess around with a lot of different forms, they still retain a sound of their own."
SHED – THE FINAL EXPERIMENT (March)
We’re pretty sure Shed’s fourth album "The Final Experiment", released in March, won’t be his very last effort. It would be a massive loss, since barely anyone else around matches his style and skill to churn out heavy yet emotive breakbeat and techno epics with a hint of hardcore. And most of all: Who else is capable of shaping tracks like these into a perfect home listening experience? This was recognized even outside the dance scene: "Shed’s fans should be delighted; lovers of the classic Warp Records sound will feel like they’ve discovered a lost gem, and casual listeners of electronic music should find much to enjoy. This is a great album." (AllMusic)
DARK SKY – OTHONA (April)
2017 marked the glorious return of our dear Londoners Matt and Thomas aka Dark Sky. Since their 2014 debut album, they shrank from trio to duo, but their sound stayed as captivating as ever.
Even the heads at Boomkat did appreciate the mellow and punchy vibes of "Othona": "Placed at the intersection of big room posh trance and more rugged, mongrel British and outernational bass musics, Othona does its thing with surefooted moves." (Boomkat)
MODERAT – LIVE (June)
"Like no other act before, Moderat turned big rave emotions into stagy songs that made sense even far beyond the club," said Groove Magazine. What better way to celebrate the arena-filling power of Monkeytown’s premier ambassadors than capturing the magic of their live shows on record? So if you missed the chance to wave goodbye to Moderat on their final tour, here’s a way to make up for it and relive the experience – all the hits, recorded live in Berlin and Milan in 2016.
SIRIUSMO – COMIC (September)
Siriusmo doesn’t like when we sing his praise too loud. But we can’t help it. In the unlikely case that you’re no fan yet, check out his latest album "Comic", released in September. Germany’s Musikexpress called it "an ultra eclectic patchwork touching all possible forms of electronic music and questioning a couple of dance music conventions: the anthem, the kick drum, the drop." It’s the definition of fun, no question about that.
GAJEK – ’17 (November)
November marked the release of a truly special record. On his second album, Gajek revisits the abstract clarity and improvisational adventures of 1970s electronics from a perspective firmly rooted in the digital now. The guys at Bleep were fairly amazed: "Not what we were expecting from something new on Modeselektor’s label if we’re honest! Proper Ash Ra meets Ekoplekz vibes on the opening two tracks. The rhythmical whirring of 'Trage es weit' is a stand out too, some seriously interesting sound design going on with that one."
But we also had some other highlights, that were hard to miss...
ALEX SOLMAN – DIE WELT IST EINE PUDEL
This beauty of a book collects the works of Hamburg-based illustrator Alex Solman, who has been designing flyers and posters for the beloved Golden Pudel club since 2004 as well as contributing the artwork to FACT’s weekly mix series. With its simple but highly idiosyncratic portraits and drawings, this book is a testament of underground music culture. Read more about Solman here
Moderat’s final show at Wuhlheide Berlin
"From the very start Moderat made absolutely clear that even a venue like Wuhlheide is not at all too big for them," said Der Tagesspiegel after the grand finale of Moderat’s 2017 tour in front of 17.000 people. Seems like the perfect moment for our rock stars to resign. It’s the end of an era – for now, because you never know. And the prospect of new music by Modeselektor and Apparat on their own seems like good compensation, doesn’t it?
Since 2010, Modeselektor have had the honor to curate the Melt!Selektor stage at Melt! Festival and put together a crazy array of artists. This years line-up was conceived together with RBMA and included Zebra Katz, Lorenzo Senni, Marie Davidson, Noga Erez and many more. Groove magazine liked this one: "As if Melt! Festival’s booking wasn’t well-chosen enough, Modeselektor outdid everything else with their Melt!Selektor stage, just like every year." So watch out for 2018!
Monkeytown @ ADE 2017
We teamed up with Intercell to host the first edition of a Monkeytown label night on October 18 in Amsterdam. For this huge gathering of the international dance music scene and industry, we brought along some of our best: FJAAK, Shed, Dark Sky, Siriusmo and Gajek. Gajek also joined Modeselektor for a panel discussion about "their legacy as cultural leaders in today’s modern electronic music sphere," as the organizers put it. Lots of knowledge has been dropped, thanks for having us!
Monkeytown at Ohm: see you in 2018!
We had a great time at our intimate label parties at Berlin’s Ohm club this year. Monkeytown affiliates and friends like Bambounou, Benjamin Damage, DJ Skate, Cosmin TRG, Dark Sky, DJ Pete, Gajek, Otto von Schirach, Mouse on Mars and of course Modeselektor themselves played outstanding sets, often those kinds that you wouldn’t hear at a regular gig. So if you have the chance, drop by on the next occasion!