Where the Berlin underground meets the main stage.
Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary first met in primary school in the early '80s; more than 30 years later, they live only walking distance from each other. This closeness is central to their success as Modeselektor, one of the most popular and original acts to emerge from the Berlin techno underground. The relationship with their native city is also fundamental to their story, beginning in the early '90s on the dance floors of seminal clubs like E-Werk and WMF. Within a few years, they were running their own party, Labstyle, which is where the Modeselektor aesthetic—goofy visuals, hardware-heavy live sets, anything-goes music policy—begins to take shape. The next two decades are a blur of crossover albums, global tours, cult labels (50 Weapons), high-profile collaborations (Thom Yorke) and arena bands (Moderat). The secret to their longevity? Balancing mass appeal with underground credibility.
Earlier this week, Bronsert and Szary, accompanied by Ilona the dog, swung by RA's Berlin office to discuss all of the above, their new album, Who Else, and what it’s like to be back on the road as Modeselektor after eight years away.