Into the Pit: 038: Modulate – Live at tv21 Manchester – 18-March 2007

First on was Uberbyte, which is a very different proposition indeed from Rikky’s main band Killing Miranda. Hard industrial-electro in the vein of Suicide Commando and Leætherstrip, it all seemed to work rather well. Those tracks that I had heard before on various promo CDs were far more effective live (the beats, particularly, had far more power in the live environment), and it certainly made for an interesting half-hour. Final track Total War was the best of the set, and where it all came together. While the rest of the set was good, some of it seemed a bit rough ’round the edges, and perhaps in time these will be smoothed out. One to watch for the future, perhaps…

Live @ tv21, Manchester
18 March 2007

After a short break, it was then onto the Modulate live set. There of course has been real buzz about this artist over the past few months, especially with Skullfuck having been an industrial dancefloor fixture for seemingly ages now, and with a tour in Europe now imminent with VNV Nation, things are looking really rather rosy.

So it was a good thing that live, they don’t disappoint. Although only a short (30 minute) set, there was ample evidence that there is more to Modulate than just “that” song. Opener Das Bunker was great – the crunching, simple structure of the track has really grown on me over time, especially as originally I thought this was one of the weaker tracks. Kommune 1, from the new Skullfuck EP, is a cracking track and likely will give another dancefloor hit, while oddly Skullfuck itself didn’t quite work so well live – this mainly because the sound balance seemed to favour some of the effects rather than the beats and main synth line, thus drowning out some of the strongest bits of the tracks. Also worthy of note was closing track Revolution, which sounded outstanding as ever and must surely be a candidate for a future single?

Even with the odd sound difficulty, live Modulate sound very strong indeed. Some of the issues came out by being in such a small, low-ceiling venue – in the larger venues that the VNV tour will provide, this set will sound awesome. As for future gigs in the UK? Roll on Dark City

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