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Modeselektor – Art & Cash remixes review

These faultless Berlin techno/dubstep merchants are on very fine form at the moment, having recently announced Modeselektion Vol 1, a bumper compilation that features a heavyweight cast of international producers currently entrenched in the post dubstep sound. Their label 50 Weapons is gushing out all kinds of goodness at present, they never fail to retain their trademark sense of humour, and now they have released this excellent set of Art & Cash remixes. This Mdslktr classic from last year was perfect enough in a taut, funky motorik way but here we see Bok Bok, Roska, SBTRKT and Phon.o really expand the horizons.

Nightslugs’ star Bok Bok transfers the original’s sinuous synthlines to a way lower register, riding a huge bassline that’s embellished with some raw snares, claps and cash register sound effects, a nice sonic pun on the tune’s title. It’s prime UK bass material, and is yet another excellent Bok Bok version. Roska is someone else who’s simply unable to turn in a bad mix – staggering given the amount of stuff he’s been knocking out of late. Using his trademark kit of organic percussion (with a nice eastern flavour this time around) layered into powerfully funky sequences, he keeps the original’s booty-slapping electro snares and loosely follows the chord structure with some shivering synthlines. It’s prime Roska, even if it’s hard to spot the original Modeselektor in the mix.

SBTRKT keeps closer to the spirit of the original, using glitchy chords and bleeps in his version, but he really makes it his own with a chord sequence that tugs hard at the heartstrings and an added vocal that sounds as though it’s being dredged out of the sea. It’s a real beauty, almost like Boards of Canada on a house tip, with crisp snares that don’t over-complicate the tune. Whereas the other three mixes are pretty radical makeovers, Phon.o’s mix is possibly the one hardcore Modeselektor fans will pounce on. Upping the tempo slightly, he keeps the huge tech-riffs of “Art & Cash” in place, but adds a whole set of minimal hits in a Bmore-meets-Radioclit style, and filters sections up for maximum rinse potential. Don’t make us pick our favourite – these are all absolute gold.

Oliver Keens