Last month’s Cellular EP was the start of something big…. Data 3 are in the thick of releasing their debut album right now.
Emerging five years ago on labels such as Soulvent, Flexout, Addictive Behaviour, Soul Trader and Subtitles, Data 3 comprises Harry Bryson (of Pola & Bryson) Dan Hartly (aka Mark Dinimal) and Alex Kostyakov (the man behind Manchester’s Kodiak night and the Flyr organisation) Pre-dating all three members’ other projects, Data 3 is where their collective lives entrenched in drum & bass began… And it’s where they continue to cook up some of their most beguiling pieces.
Pieces like the ones on their Flexout-released Cellular EP. Dark, rolling and rough around the edges, it marks the start of a three-part series called Matter which will eventually culminate in a full album. The next EP is expected to drop in a few month’s time and they’re working on a whole other stack of projects too. If they’re not dodging death on midnight woodland trips, that is….
I’m seeing the words three-part-vinyl-series but I’m hearing the word album. Talk to me…
Dan: Yeah it is. This seems to be the best way to do an album. The way things go so fast nowadays, rather than spending time working on a body of work, not releasing anything for ages then releasing it all in one go seems crazy because after a month everyone’s forgotten about it. So we thought we’d do it in three parts.
Alex: You see these massive albums come out and there’s loads of hype but then it’s forgotten about after a month. All that time you’ve put in when you’re not releasing is dead space.
Harry: It also means you can work on other stuff while releasing the album.
Alex: Which helps to keep you relevant
That’s what Calyx & Teebee told us recently too
Harry: Yeah it’s cool and it’s allowed us to change between each project and theme and keep ourselves interested.
Alex: Especially when we’re changing each track at least 20 times.
You mentioned a theme…
Dan: Yeah. The first one is Cellular and it’s working its way down in size so the next one is Molecular and the final one is Atomic.
Are you naturally scientific gentlemen? You look the part in that video….
Harry: Definitely. We’re not super academic about it but we do appreciate a good bit of science.
Alex: We’re all space geeks. Well me more than them two…
What level of space geek are we chatting here?
Alex: I just love the universe, the stars and the planets.
I love how the vastness of space makes you feel insignificant
Dan: You’re nothing but a spec
Alex: A subatomic spec
How often do the Data 3 stars align? I imagine that takes some planning with you all busy with solo things and living in different places too?
Dan: Well me and Harry are both in London
Alex: But I’m in Manchester. We don’t get together in one space as often as we’d like. And the problem is when we do gigs I’ll come down and we play and then the next day we all feel like shit which isn’t helpful for a studio session. So it’s finding the excuse to come down when you haven’t got a gig.
Dan: But we do get a few days a year guaranteed; we book a little cabin somewhere for four days and just make music solidly.
Sick! Like a retreat where you shut yourselves away from the outside world?
Dan: Exactly. And last time we went on a big scary walk at midnight didn’t we boys? We’re nearly died…
Tell us more….
Alex: Yeah we nearly died. Dan decided we should go on this walk after we’d drunk a bottle of vodka. He was egging us all on, so we went into these creepy woods and were all looking at something before it suddenly moved. It was like this streak of white light
Dan: We went back the next day and realised we were looking at a road. It was just a car driving past. But at that point it was every man for himself. Harry pushed me over as we all made a run for it.
Brilliant. Did you turn on your DAWs straight away when you got back and channel this anxiety into a tune? Or did you run in and hide under the covers?
Alex: Yeah we got straight on it. I think we made a pretty dark tune.
Dan: Maybe we were trying to calm ourselves down with it.
Any of this Cellular EP written on one of these trips?
Harry: I think most of them were made before the last trip
Alex: I think we did more mixing down there. It was our tune with Pastry Maker we were focusing on during that trip.
Dan: It’s a great thing to do though; just get away for a few days and work out what we want to do.
Do you just pick a place at random in the UK?
Harry: Yeah but Alex isn’t picking it again!
Alex: Haha, yeah I fucked up. I thought it was in the Midlands, but it was in north Yorkshire and the guys had to travel for seven hours. The time before that we booked a place with a hot tub and spent too much time in that but the time before that was sick. Just this little cottage in Wales and it pissed it down so we didn’t leave. We had three Macs on the go and were hot-seating and jumping between tunes.
Like a proper factory of vibes!
Alex: It really was a proper factory
Let’s just focus on your solo lives too. Harry, we know you’re smashing it as half of Pola & Bryson but Alex, you’re a promoter, right?
Alex: Yeah I put the Kodiak nights on in Manchester, we’re trying to bring a liquid and more minimal side to the city. It’s mainly jump-up and neurofunk everywhere which is fine but not a big enough scene for Manchester so that’s what we’re trying to do.
How long have you been doing that for?
Alex: We started in September and we’ve had Pola & Bryson, Document One, Kyrist among others. We’ve done eight events so far and we’re kicking off a live series with special guests to do intimate venues. We just had a party with Amoss in an abandoned mill.
Dan. Obviously you’re also Mark Dinimal, props on the Fabric residency!
Dan: Nice one, thanks. I’m excited to get started with that. Pack London sorted it out through I did a mix for a Fabriclive mix for Program. They heard it in the office and got me on board.
So the three of you are busy as hell. We’re lucky to hear any tracks from you at all aren’t we?
Harry: We all just write music all of the time so eventually a Data 3 track comes out.
Do you stash ideas that are suitable for Data 3?
Dan: We’ve got a Dropbox and put things and ideas in there. If they get picked up and developed then we roll with it.
Alex: It can get messy or long stemming things up so we do work better together. We’re quite convoluted on our DAWs.
Dan: That’s why there are no collabs on this EP besides Koherent. Stemming things up so much takes the love and fun out of it.
Alex: The only reason Koherent collaborate with us is because they’re so persistent asking for the stems so we eventually give in.
Ha. When’s the next EP coming out, then?
Dan: We’ve got a remix coming out on Hyperactivity, a sick little label in France. We’ve just dropped a remix of Something by Gunston.
Alex: Then we need to finish the next EP. We wanted there to be three or four months between the releases max.
Dan: But we’re also working on something else in parallel with that which we’re excited about.
There’s a lot going on then! Let’s wrap up with a bit more science. Give me your favourite breakthroughs…
Dan: My favourite one is Nikola Tesla’s free energy for people. He made loads of breakthroughs but some of the things he wrote about over 100 years ago are still on point now. He understood the issues of consumption right at the start and wanted to combat that right from the beginning with wireless electricity for the people.
Alex: But Tomas Edison wasn’t having any of it because he could sell the wires, so no one got it for free.
What a jerk!
Dan: Edison was a massive jerk.
Alex: That’s why we named a track Nikola on the EP. Fuck Edison.
Nikola is a persy. It’s a very trippy record. Give us more scientific breakthroughs…
Alex: Mine’s got to be Space X. I really want to get into space before I die and the only way of that is if the cost comes down and this is the first step in that direction. A man can dream….
Harry… Science. Talk to me.
Harry: There are many to choose from but I think the invention of the telescope changed everything. We wouldn’t know anything about space without one.
Truth! Anything else to add?
Alex: We’re playing our first international festival set together at Hospitality On The Beach which is sick. So see you there!