Flowing freely between styles and tempos, Monkeytown experiments with the edges and extremes, exploring fresh sonic territory from a solid base of beats located deep within the groove. With massive drums, minced vocals and a mastery of mounting tension, Modeselektor creates a new animal out of dance music, a mutating chimera with body parts of left-field hip hop, soulful R&B, punk rap and playful surprises. Contributing to the album is an exciting palette of guest vocalists and musicians, including Thom Yorke, Busdriver, PVT, Anti Pop Consortium, Miss Platnum, Sascha Ring (aka Apparat), Pillow Talk, Gordon Boerger, Siriusmo and Otto von Schirach.
Monkeytown immediately sets the stage on a higher level with intro track “Blue Clouds,” which loosens limbs from the start with a deep and sparkling hook. “Pretentious Friends” is a full-throttle experience whose beats bump like elephants between Busdriver’s scratched-up, screwed-down vocals. Thom Yorke collaborates on two tracks, contributing his production finesse and haunting falsetto to the dark tension of “Shipwreck” and to the psychedelic caverns of “This,” where pixelated vocals echo from the shadows with ominous overtones.
Trashy dance floor rocker “Evil Twin” is drenched in metal and concrete, like the demented industrial offspring “Kill Bill Vol. 4” and “The Black Book.” Modeselektor pulls out hidden drawers of bass in the funky “German Clap,” a steaming monster that grabs with gasping urgency. Miss Platnum rides low and slow into “Berlin,” smoothly spreading vocals over the chunk-ridden rhythm, a luscious R&B offering to lap up like cream. The album breaks open entirely and monkeys run wild in “Grillwalker,” a slamming club behemoth fashioned from mutilated 8-bits and a delirious bassline. PVT shines on “Green Light Go,” a poignant, off-kilter track that shuffles forward between loose drums before lifting off into the ether.
Beneath Monkeytown’s exquisite orchestration and eclectic sound, pure energy is at the core of the release, vibrating with an emotional vivacity that dares to escape its sonic cage and fling itself upon the world. Joining the heavy ranks of Hello Mom! and Happy Birthday!, Monkeytown will light up the club and the cerebrum with Modeselektor’s incredible abilities to move the body, melt the mind and gather disparate genres and their listeners together in one monkey-filled, musical metropolis.