Unsurprisingly, Germany and the UK are the two most represented nations here, and Modeselektor takes us on a fairly calm tour around overlapping bass-driven soundscapes. There are few vocals and almost no beatmatching. It's meant to be as abstract as possible. Siriusmo's "Das Geheimnis" kicks things off with an off-kilter vaudeville overture, and we're subsequently flung from ambient broken beat, to deep house territory, to the wub-wub-wub of the "d word" to industrial Berghain headiness, to the sublime moments of Ikonika & Optimum's centrifugal windchimes on "Hum."
It won't convert anyone who doesn't already have a serious interest in some of the artists, as there's nothing hooky or catchy or individually standout enough to really serve as an easy entryway for the uninitiated. At the same time, I'm sure they're not trying to solicit mainstream viability or hook any youngsters. It's much more fun to imagine a bunch of German and English white guys just doing whatever they want and getting away with their own weirdness, a weirdness which is almost de rigeur and commonplace.
The album's pacing isn't as spastic or shocking as some of Modeselektor's previous mixes or their own productions. There's a steadier set of hands behind the scenes, pulling the strings, twiddling the knobs. Maybe that's because the world around them has started to bend to fit their vision. They no longer have to worry about grabbing people's attention; they already earned that. Now it seems they've gone into the mode of archivist or general diplomats of the concentric scenes. The duo recently finished a tour featuring many of the mix's contributors under the Modeselektions banner, cementing their vertical integration and, if anything, their place at the forefront of Intergalactic Bass Diplomacy.