Hello Mom!

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Any album that has its promotional version (at least) start off with a nerdish radio DJ voice insisting that his station plays the finest in Eurocrunk has its heart in the right if weird place, and thus does German duo Modeselektor enter the world of full-length albums with Hello Mom! One of the many techno acts of recent years that takes modern pop radio's own reworkings of more obscure electronic forebears as a source of inspiration, Modeselektor sound fantastic as a result -- unafraid of being slick and immediate, but at the same time not exactly "normal" either, if that term even applies these days. A comparison point here and there might be the peerless Basement Jaxx, but Modeselektor are less insanely hyperactive, though the collage of beats on songs like "Die Clubnummer" pack in a similar amount of hooks per second. Many of the songs feel like Modeselektor happily dipping into styles just to see if they work (in one of the most interesting examples, the solitary piano sound of "Hasir" almost sounds like a kiddie version of RZA's classic Wu-Tang work). "Silikon" tweaks with grime, "Kill Bill Vol. 4" plays around with the neo-industrial beat approach of Black Strobe, while the more stentorian pace of "Earth [UPS Edit]" and "In Loving Memory" suggest a slightly older industrial approach, though spiked with glitch. Then there's the open Depeche Mode-meets-Aphex Twin homage of "Vote or Die," suggesting a way that those two pioneers might have sounded if they had collaborated in 1997 but working just fine on its own in the present. Meanwhile, the astringent chill of the keyboards and crisp '80s beat on "The Rap Anthem" -- which doesn't feature any rapping at all, as best can be told -- actually does live up to the Eurocrunk claim as much as anything else.

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