Watch ‘CORNERBOY’, a film in which a Moderat track is used

March 2007, Hansa studios, Berlin.
Sebastian Szary, Sascha Ring and Gernot Bronsert are tinkering with a sonic sketch that doesn’t yet have a form of its own, just a structure where rhythm and tempo work concomitantly. Two tracks keep floating to the surface in their collective minds: ‘A Forest‘ and ‘All Cats Are Grey‘ by The Cure. “In the original sketch we were working on, there were no real drums, no bass guitar or electric guitar, recalls Sebastian Szary, “as always, this sketch remained in abeyance for a very long time and was only rediscovered in the spring of 2008”. “Moderat’s working method was, and still is, to exchange song outlines and to allow creative freedom each time”, Szary continues.

At the time, the group had only released a 4-track EP, ‘Auf Kosten Der Gesundheit‘, five years earlier, but their eponymous debut album had been simmering for many years, the trio skilfully combining their many creative ideas into a strong statement of intent.

Thus, the demo influenced by two The Cure classics slowly emerged – a recorded guitar melody somewhere between lead and bass alongside a new rhythm that moved away from digital-computer-based sounds/instruments and towards real/de-sampled drums, then shifting into a second section with vocals and a completely contextless ending in the form of an acid house bassline. This would be the starting point for tracks 8 and 9 of their debut, Porc #1 and #2.

Sixteen years after those initial sketches of Porc #1 and #2, their final versions and the thunderous success of Moderat’s first album, CORNERBOY, a new video project directed by Berlin’s Kai Kurve using track Porc #1 would be released.

The story follows a drug dealer, played by Polish artist and dancer Piotr Simba Abramowicz, who spends his days in a crack house. One day, a fly, interpreted by Emerald Imogen‘s voice-over, lands on the back of his neck, takes over his body and mind and commands his movements. Caught up in a powerful trip of pessimistic determinism with his free will stolen, the cornerboy has nothing left but his body, reduced to a dancing puppet to the rhythm of Porc #1 dominated by a vampiric insect to attest to his struggle and suffering.

The use of a track born of random studio manipulations in 2007 in an audiovisual project by an acknowledged director of the profession in 2023 testifies to Moderat’s influence beyond music. What began as mere snippets of ideas over time became cornerstones of the trio’s foundational projects.

Kai Kurve lived in Berlin for 23 years, and when asked why he chose a Moderat track for his film, he elaborates on the trio’s influence on his work: “everything that they do has something visually to me”, highlighting the synaesthetic nature of Moderat’s music. He admits he only hesitated when it came to deciding between two tracks for CORNERBOY, the monster ‘A New Error’ and ‘Porc #1’. “Porc #1 turned out to be the track that combines a lot of positive elements. It has a great organic impulsive build up, which was fantastic to let peak the story emotionally. It has a beautiful darkness” explains Kurve.

Still sounding just as electrifying today as it did on its initial release, rediscover Moderat’s classic track ‘Porc #1’ via CORNERBOY now.

Production – Kurve Entertainment
Director – Kai Kurve
Actor Dancer – Piotr Simba Abramowicz
Dop – Julian C. Steiner
Music – Moderat
The Fly – Emerald Imogen
Executive Producer – Karina Kirschner
Creative Executive Producer – Kai Kurve
Edit – Hannes Andresen
Production Assistant – Malter Saher

Editor’s note: if anyone’s wondering why tracks 8 and 9 on Moderat are called Porc #1 and #2, these words from Sebastian Szary may shed some light: “The name ‘Porc’ had already been given at the very beginning of the tracks’ production, and it’s hard to know whether it was a clerical error (porc or perc) or whether there was something with pork to eat that day… But most of the time, the titles had nothing to do with anything, they were just words that spontaneously came to mind“.