Back in 2017, Moderat announced that they’d be taking an extended break following a final concert in front of 17.000 people in their hometown of Berlin. And now they return. MORE D4TA, the group’s fourth album, arrives more than six years after its predecessor (2016’s III).
Created largely during a time when touring (and most traveling) was off the table, MORE D4TA is an album that wrestles with feelings of isolation and information overload—issues that have become particularly pronounced over the past two years. The ten songs on MORE D4TA are rooted in collaboration, but long before any of its tracks were laid down, Moderat spent months hanging out and getting musically reacquainted, indulging in extended bouts of experimentation and slowly fleshing out ideas as they dove into modular composition, field recordings and other sonic oddities.
But no matter how far the band ventures into music’s outer realms, they always wind up back in their own unique soundworld, a place where emotive pop and fluttering electronic soundscapes walk hand in hand. Many of its lyrics are rooted in Ring’s frequent trips to Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie museum (often with his infant daughter in tow), where he’d seek refuge in the great paintings of the past while worrying about the future.
What they make isn’t necessarily dance music, but it is something that shines brightest in the dark of night, the group’s rich melodies and Ring’s ethereal vocals emitting a warm, almost bioluminescent glow. After spending the better part of two decades making music together, they’ve carved out a sound and aesthetic that are all their own, and MORE D4TA showcases a group that’s creatively recharged and fully dedicated to its craft.