Synths, danceable disco punk beats and powerful new rave-like baselines mark Modex’ music out from the rest. Their humorous lyrics, led by song titles ‘Materialize’, ‘Mental Mass Destruction’ and ‘The Art of Hating’ etc. have attracted signing from PIAS. And their raucous DJ club nights, Safari – run in conjunction with Andii Diedishei from Eh!Music – are hailed as some of the best in the city.
Gaby and Martin make up the Modex pair who formed in 2003, smashed into Buenos Aires with their Talking Heads-inspired modern electro punk and are now recognised as one of the most exciting, must-see live acts in Argentina.
With their new album, ‘Laberintos’, ready for release this year and a worldwide tour on the cards, we figured it the perfect time to get the Buenos Aires musical low-down from these two acclaimed acts.
You’re set to release two albums in 2012, including Laberintos – your first in Spanish. Did producing music in your mother tongue require a different approach?
Yes, it’s a little bit different but we like them both – Spanish for writing some verses or feelings; you have to use more words than in English, so the metric and the harmony of the song will change in some way..
Buenos Aires has changed rapidly over the years – what would you say is driving this expansion from street level? What are people spending their money on?
Art & music is very important, everyone is doing something and using every channel they have in hand (streets, internet, clubs, warehouses, art galleries, etc) to express themselves. I think that this is happening in all of Latin America. Of course, they spend money on clothes and eating but also on culture.
You’ve toured the world – where are your favourite places to party?
Yes! There are many places where we have lots of fun while touring…we remember specially some of the places where we played like 16 Tons in Moscow, Club Evol in Liverpool, Sala Apolo in Barcelona, White Trash in Berlin. Mexico is also great – we played several festivals there. El Coq in Colombia is great too. And every time in Chile is also fun.
And for live music in Buenos Aires – where would you recommend?
I think the best place today for live music for me now is MSTRPLN at Studio Crobar in Palermo. The bands that play there are great (International bands and national bands), the club is shiny and you can dance with the DJs too.
Which up-and-coming Argentinian, or even South American musicians should be on our radar?
Well there are many that we like – Capri (Arg), Cosmo (Arg), Les Mentettes (Arg), Garbo (Chile), Thomass Jackson (Arg), Get Nuts (Arg), Toomy Disco (Arg), LSCFJ (Colombia), Fantasmagoria (Arg), Alto Peru (Arg), El Reino del Mar (Colombia), Jorge Ciccioli (Arg). They’re not all the same style, some are pop, rock, electronic, disco, folk, etc. but, well, we are music lovers first and we like a lot of different styles.
Imagine you had a friend coming to stay for a weekend – what places would be on your itinerary?
Well I’d take them to buy some records (vinyl of course) at Vertigo, a record store in Belgrano. Eat at Rondinella, a classic restaurant in Palermo. Drinks at Caracas Bar in Palermo. On a Friday night we could go to MSTRPLN Crobar, Palermo and on Saturday night Safari Club at Shamrock Basement (Recoleta) – both for party and dance till dawn!
You’ve shared the stage (The Presets, CSS, Calle 13, Zoe and Lee Scratch Perry) and worked in the studio (Paul Mogg) with some incredible talents over the years. What are the standout highlights of your career so far?
Well, we love everything that we do and have many highlights. Like releasing the album ‘Materialize’ through PIAS – one of the world’s most important, where artist like 2ManyDJs, Soulwax, Felix da Housecat and Franz Ferdinand are part of. Touring Russia or England, playing ing Liverpool with The Klaxons, or touring all Mexico with Marvin Maggazine.
‘Remixalize’, a remix and rework project from the ‘Materialize’ EP, released by PIAS, featuring some of the most innovative artists in Argentina, Chile and Mexico (KRMPCK, The Louder Lads, Modex, Jorge Ciccioli, Get Nuts, Thomass Jackson, Garbo, Manta Raya, Argerax, Monopolar) is available for free download, HERE.