Girish Mahajan (Editor)

Modular Recordings

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Location  Sydney
Parent organization  Universal Music Australia
Founded  1998
Official website
Founder  Steve Pavlovic
Country of origin  Australia
Modular Recordings httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen336Mod
Parent company  Universal Music Australia
Distributor(s)  Universal Music Australia
Genre  Rock, electronica, electropop, neo-psychedelia, psychedelic rock
Artists  Tame Impala, Kevin Parker, Cut Copy, The Avalanches, The Presets
Albums  Lonerism, Innerspeaker, Wildflower, Since I Left You, Zonoscope

Modular Recordings (often simply Modular) is an Australian record label, founded in 1998 by Steve Pavlovic and owned by Universal Music Australia. It has released content from local artists such as Eskimo Joe, Ben Lee, The Avalanches, Wolfmother, Cut Copy, The Bumblebeez, Van She, Rocket Science, Ghostwood, The Presets, Pond and Tame Impala, and local releases of international artists including Dom, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chromeo, Colder, Klaxons (The EP Xan Valleys), Ladyhawke, NYPC, MSTRKRFT, and Softlightes.


After its establishment, the label was first recognized by the successful releases of The Living End's eponymous debut and Ben Lee's Breathing Tornados, with the former becoming the highest-selling rock debut and the latter nominated for the ARIA Award for Album of the Year. It then grew during the early 2000s, defining itself through its assortment of parties, artists such as Cut Copy, The Bumblebeez and The Presets and the 'electronic, rock-leaning dance music' that became known as the 'Modular sound'. However, in 2015, a lawsuit filed by BMG Rights Management pitied the label against UMA, with UMA originally winning in July against owner Pavlovic but overturned the decision in October towards Pavlovic's favor. Thereafter, Pavlovic resigned on March 2016, leaving the label under renovations.


Modular Recordings was founded in 1998 by Steve Pavlovic, first recognized with The Living End's eponymous debut album and Ben Lee's Breathing Tornados. Both were successful, The Living End became the second highest-selling debut rock album in Australian music history at the time; Breathing Tornados was nominated for the "Album of the Year" ARIA Award. The Avalanches's Since I Left You (2000) was also another critical success, earning the group nine ARIA Award nominations.

In 2004, with the emergence of Cut Copy, The Presets and The Bumblebeez and the development of regular Modular parties and tours, the label began to grow, defining its 'electronic, rock-leaning dance music' the "Modular sound". Dan Whitford of Cut Copy described it as 'discovering dance music played live with a more musical aesthetic, rather than just a DJ on stage'. In 2004, an office was established in New York, followed by London in 2005. Van She, a new wave electropop four piece from Sydney were signed in August 2005, as well as NYPC in mid-2006. An office in Los Angeles opened in 2007, along with the signing of Ghostwood, Plug-In City and The Whitest Boy Alive.

In June 2015, Modular and Universal Music Australia were sued by BMG Rights Management for failing to honor an agreement made over $1 million worth in royalties from Tame Impala recordings, including Innerspeaker and Lonerism and the group's self-titled EP. Frontman Kevin Parker himself claimed in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) that 'Someone high up spent the money', and that he 'may never get that money'. UMA claimed that on December 24, 2014, Pavlovic agreed to sign a separation deal, giving half of Modular to UMA, together with music, trademarks, websites and other assets, but refused to and claimed the deal wasn't binding and is owed $32,500 in holiday pay. UMA initially won the lawsuit against Pavlovic in June at the New South Wales Court of Appeal, but the court overturned the decision in favor of Pavlovic in October, stating that Pavlovic did comply and recognized the deal, which was technically non-official since it wasn't signed. However, he resigned from Modular on March 11 and most of the roster of musicians have since been signed within Universal labe group.

Selected discography

  • Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind (2005)
  • Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 2 (2007)
  • Modular Presents: Leave Them All Behind 3 (2009)
  • References

    Modular Recordings Wikipedia

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