Modeselektor at Metro / Deniz Kurtel, Gadi Mizrahi, Tanner Ross, and Future Kill at Smart Bar

Metro and Smart Bar have teamed up for several all-building affairs in recent months but none has been as disparate as Modeselektor and the Wolf + Lamb showcase. Fresh off the heels of their massive set at Coachella the previous weekend, the German IDM duo rolled into Chicago with a brand new stage design and plenty of tricks up their sleeves to keep the audience on their toes the entire evening. While they began their assault upstairs, Future Kill entertained the audience at Smart Bar until the Wolf + Lamb family took over. Needless to say, it was another memorable evening on Clark Street.

Drawing primarily from material off their most recent effort Monkeytown, Modeselektor weaved together a raucous set that ranged from techno to IDM, ¬†electro house to bass music. They were aggressive from the onset and kept the tempo relatively high throughout their entire show. They frequently blended genres and fed off of the energy of the audience, gauging their reaction and adjusting accordingly. Bass lines pulsated as they muttered random words and phrases into their microphones, often times with their voices augmented. There were several instances where they pitched their voices up so they sounded like little school girls, adding a humorous touch to the melee. Their new light show contained plenty of flashes and bright lights and accompanied the music fittingly, creating a very vibrant spectacle in the process. Some of the melodies contained irregular rhythms and patterns, making it difficult to dance. That wasn’t really the point though. This was more about soaking up a performance. If aggressive EDM is what you are into, you should have been there for this one. It was lights out.

By the time Modeselektor got out, Future Kill was just finishing up his set down below at Smart Bar. He created a smooth transition for Gadi Mizrahi and Tanner Ross and segued like he was one of them, closing his set out with some deep house tinged in “techy” overtones. Mizrahi and Ross took turns on the decks as they delivered their signature deep house and dsico fueled set. The music was cool, sexy, and very accessible. It didn’t take long before a party swept over the dance floor. As they winded it down, Deniz Kurtel stepped up and began prepping for her live set. She utilized several different controllers and kept her music in a minimal territory. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where it lies but the influences are evident as one can hear deep house, R&B, minimal, and tech house all in her own original productions. In this instance, her following Ross and Mizrahi created a sort of lull in the evening. Her set came off like it was building up to theirs, and the energy seemed to have fallen off instead of continuing to rise. It was two completely different styles and the order didn’t seem to fit. Nonetheless, she still delivered a chic and futuristic sounding set that was enjoyable. ¬†On this night, between both shows, there was something for everyone.

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Jeremy Frazier is the editor-in-chief of Soundfuse.