Modulus III is an instrumental live electronica trio based in Bristol, UK, comprised of multi instrumentalists Dan Moore and Drew Morgan with drummer Matt Brown. The trio create music that is a mixture of dense, electronic soundscaping and dynamic, spontaneous live composition. Mixing minimal synthesizers, sweeping textures, energetic drums, haunting cello, driving Fender Rhodes – all woven together through engaging improvisations that might make you feel like dancing at one moment or like you’re lost in a retro-futurist nightmare the next. As cellist and synthist Drew Morgan says, “our aspiration for the band is to explore how repetition and phase can create complex and hypnotic rhythms, where improvisation is not divorced from harmony or melody, and where the audience is always privy to the musical conversation unfolding in front of them”.
Members of MIII also perform with kindred experimental ensembles such as award winning fellow musically innovative trailblazing Bristolians Get the Blessing, Massive Attack and Will Gregory’s Moog Ensemble. They’ve individually worked on soundtracks for films, games and TV shows with luminaries such as composers like Neil Davidge (Halo 4/Massive Attack), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Ana Calvi. Whilst all three are very much in demand instrumentalists, Drew also has a background in contemporary classical composition as a former Fellow of Composition at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London. The fittingly modernist cover art was created by acclaimed artist Jock, famed for his design work on mainstream sci fi blockbusters such as Batman, Star Wars and Ex Machina.
Despite having the chops of top level session instrumentalists, Modulus III’s musical manifesto is a reaction against the tendency for virtuosity for virtuosity’s sake in a lot of modern/nu jazz, them being more philosophically akin with the post Sun Ra-esque aspirations of fellow post-jazz electronica space cadets such as The Comet Is Coming and the use hypnotic, polyrhythmic explorations like Steve Reich or early 70’s Miles Davis.
“Making records like this (i.e. live and real-time) is a very brave and beautiful thing. Combining electronic and acoustic instruments has to be one of the frontiers that is providing one of the richest seams of musical possibilities still to be explored… and no one is doing it better than Dan, Drew and Matt in Modulus III” – Will Gregory (Goldfrapp)