Thursday, December 15, 2016

Introducing Modus Factor - debut album The Picasso Zone..ambient electro-groove

Based in Toronto, MODUS FACTOR, ­­under the leadership of in-­demand session drummer Chris Lesso, is an ambient electro-groove trio whose material is highly improvised.  Using loose frameworks as their starting point, and then improvising the structures of the tunes together in-studio, the collective consciousness of the trio is showcased throughout this recording. In contrast to their energized live shows this album is much more nuanced and textured employing a lot of intriguing electronics from all members.

This electric groove trio also features multiple National Jazz Award winning trumpet player Brownman Ali and Juno-winning Sisters Euclid bassist Ian De Souza. Deep interaction and collective musical interplay is the name of the game on “The Picasso Zone”.  With more than 75% of the recording being improvised, this album is an outstanding, high-minded example of the musical richness that can come from 3 kindred artists when they all create together and move in a singular direction as improvisers.  By making enough room for each other, the creations presented on this recording are greater than the sum of the individual parts.

You can check out selected tracks from the album on SoundCloud

You can also check out videos of the band performing live via this YouTube playlist.

“This is some of the realest, most mature music I've heard in the electric-jazz genre in recent accurate description of them would be 'OTHER world music'.  It's off-worldly and alien and weird and wonderful in all the best possible ways ...  There's always something new leaping out of the speakers for you to marvel at.  Most importantly, it is a testament to the community-minded creative process that this band encompasses. The depths of the individual identities of these high-end musicians always ring through the collective, making this a truly inspired album of palatial creative music making." -- Paul Delong, iconic Canadian drummer (from The Picasso Zone’s liner notes)

Modus Factor’s The Picasso Zone was also produced by Brooklyn / Toronto based jazz trumpet player from Guru's Jazzmatazz -- Brownman Ali (protege to Randy Brecker) and signed to Brownman's Browntasauras record label in 2015. The label is now widely regarded as a vanguard for new and visionary talent in the evolution of Jazz in Canada.

Marty's review: the theme of The Picasso Zone is an eclectic mixture of jazz-fusion-electro-funk in a (slightly) ambient groove with world music elements (how else could I describe it?!). Lots of creative energy here with sounds that bounce from left to right and a professionalism that shows in the crafty musicianship. I can hear hints of Chuck Mangione, Spyro Gyra and even a little Weather Report, but the overall production is totally original with a guarantee of repeated listens.

The Picasso Zone was released internationally on Friday, December 9th, 2016. 

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