With Happy Birthday!, the follow up to their fantastic 2005 debut LP Hello Mom!, Germany’s dance music duo Modeselektor continue to perform their Euro-club hypnosis on electronica fans the world over.
Only this time, the songs are much less focused and in some cases
simply unexciting. This is mostly due to fact that Gernot Bronsert and
Sebastian Szary employ the same hackneyed synthesizer sounds used on
their first release as generously (and carelessly) as they do
exclamation points in their album titles. They could have taken
advantage of the unlimited possibilities their homemade equipment
affords them, but they opted to stick to a handful of tones that
instead of coming off as a “signature sound” end up being pretty
uninteresting the second time around.
Happy Birthday!’s saving grace is its variety of guest
performers, most notably Thom Yorke and Maximo Park (On ‘The White
Flash’ and ‘(I Can’t Sleep) Without Music’ respectively), who help
focus the Berliners’ beats into proper pieces of music. As a whole the
record is a tough listen, but the few successful tracks will make fine
additions to any DJs kickass club mix.