Sundays at Glastonbury are always a struggle. Dirty, tired punters endeavour to push through until Monday morning when the great exodus from Worthy Farm begins. Often this state of exhaustion leads to some of the most euphoric, ecstatic crowd responses of the weekend. Moderat was the dose of jubilant techno the crowd needed.
Only the night before Solange had filled the same slot warming up for The Jacksons. On Sunday Moderat were tasked with playing before Justice. Kicking off with ‘Ghostmother’ from their most recent album III, the Berlin-based trio demonstrated just how many top-notch tracks they have amassed over the last eight years. Opting for quality over quantity, Moderat stretched each cut to around the 10 minute mark. ‘Running’, ‘Eating Hooks’, ‘Rusty Nails’, and ‘Reminder’ were all given a showing, each one feeling familiar yet alien given the setting and the group’s tendency to improvise live.
Apparat’s slender, gazelle-like form swayed at the front of the stage whilst Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary stood hunched over banks of equipment, subtly twisting the group’s well-known songs into strange new forms. During their closing track ‘Bad Kingdom’ a surging breakbeat ripped from KiNK’s ‘Pocket Piano (Breakbeat Mix)’ appeared underneath the original track’s sampled elephant noise. It was little touches like this and the genuine connection the group established with the crowd that illustrated just why Moderat deserved to be playing where they did - in front on thousands to a rapturous response.
Feeding off the screams of the crowd, Moderat had the West Holts stage moving in time to the their strange synthesis of pop and techno. It may not have been a headline set, but their hour-long performance was a masterclass in taking electronic music out of the club and into the sunlight.
You can watch back Moderat's performance via BBC iPlayer.
Alex Green is Mixmag's Weekend Editor. Follow him on Twitter here