2015 is shaping up to be quite the vintage for Amsterdam-based Maduk.
Fresh from winning Best Newcomer Producer at last year’s Drum&BassArena Awards, Maduk has immersed himself even deeper this year with releases on the likes of Hospital and Viper as well Liquicity, which he co-owns with Maris Goudzwaard.
Currently working on Liquicity’s first ever festival, his debut album and a brand new Liquicity album project, this week he’s also released of Maduk – Summer Remixes EP. We copped the hands-up vocal roller that is his remix of Misun’s Eli Eli so we thought we’d call him up to tell him how good it is.
Read on to find out exactly why Maduk loves drum & bass so much, when you can expect to hear his album and how UKF played a role in his musical make-up…
It’s the thing that only drum & bass could give me; that feeling you are bigger than you are. That feeling that you can take on any challenge. Especially with melodic drum & bass; it just made me feel so energised.
Let’s kick off the chats with that Misun remix!
Yes! They’re an American band and a friend of mine was making a bootleg of their song. I was mastering it for him and fell in love with the song. I could imagine a drum & bass mix so I asked him for the stems. A day later I finished the remix! I got in touch with the band and offered to put it out on Liquicity and they were really happy about it.
It’s part of a two track EP – Maduk – Summer Remixes – release, right?
Yes. The other track is by a Dutch and German duo Low5 and T:Base. They sent in a track that we loved but I wanted to develop its production so I jumped on the remix. It all came together really nicely as I wanted a vinyl release for the summer. The Eli Eli remix is totally summer; when I finished the remix I thought ‘yes, this is the perfect summer vibe’.
What else are you working on? You’ve been busy this year with Memoirs and releases on Hospital and Viper…
I’ve been working on my album for about a year or so. I’m making singles and putting them out but the main thing has been the album, which I have a core of now. I’ve done a lot of work but I think it will be out next year now… These things take time. A good release takes time and I’m not one to rush things.
Would it come out on Liquicity?
Probably not; I released a lot of tracks on Liquicity (22) and I always will be part of the family, but as Maduk I feel like my album project is ready for a new challenge. Where that will be? Time will tell…
Timelessness is paramount when you’re writing for a future-focused project isn’t it?
Always. Not just with an album but with everything I write. I try not to write music with anything on my mind and just focus on one emotion. It’s about keeping a smile on my face. I never think ‘is this track right for this time?’ or ‘is this right for these type of people?’ It’s just about what makes me happy, because I’ve found if it makes me happy then it makes other people happy.
So what does put a smile on your face?
The main word for me is euphoria. It’s the thing that only drum & bass could give me; that feeling you are bigger than you are. That feeling that you can take on any challenge. Especially with melodic drum & bass; it just made me feel so energised. I still remember cycling through the city with drum & bass on my headphones and that feeling that was so overwhelming. So I put that feeling into my tracks. And people have come back to me and described the same feeling I had when I first started listening to tracks riding my bike…
Riding your bike around Amsterdam with headphones on? You mad, bro?
Ha! It’s quite dangerous so I don’t ride with my headphones on all the time; just parks and quiet streets. But the roads aren’t quite so scary when you’ve grown up here.
You know the language of the roads! So was there a particular track or tracks that first gave you that sensation?
Yes, the Dexcell remix of Ellie Goulding. Early Camo & Krooked, Danny Byrd… Lots of big UKF tracks had a big impact on me.
Oh cool! Let’s talk about your DJing now… You’ve just toured South Africa, right?
Yes. It was one of the best weeks of my life! The parties were insane. The people knew all my tracks, were singing along, asking for more Maduk tracks with their phone screens, intense! The energy of the shows was insane. They were pretty small shows but size doesn’t matter when the energy and passion is there.
Epic festival shows and those crazy club moments are two very separate entities… But which one is your favourite?
They’re both too special for me to choose! Whether it’s 6000 people in a packed arena at Lowlands or a 300 capacity club in Cape Town with everyone going nuts, I love it all. I couldn’t choose.
You’ve got Liquicity Festival coming up, right?
Yes. In less than two months time! It’s very exciting. We’ve been doing club parties for three years now and we wanted to take it to the next level. We were hitting a roof with each event selling out so we’ve put together this festival. I’m very proud of it; it’s the first 100 per cent drum & bass festival in the Netherlands, which is really cool. The drum & bass scene is steady and growing here but it’s not too big.
It’s crazy because there are loads of great Dutch D&B acts… Noisia, Nymfo, Black Sun Empire, Lenzman and many more…. But still the country isn’t famed for its quality drum & bass exponents.
You’re right… But it’s picking up every year. Noisia are noticing that as well, I think. What is really important for all of us is that the fans here are really passionate; they’re there for the music. They come for the music and the vibe. That’s what makes the parties incredible and I think all the artists from the UK who play here can agree.
People who know their shit and aren’t there because they feel it’s ‘cool’ or anything like that…
The Netherlands is known for its EDM and your Hardwells and Tiestos… I wonder if EDM continues to get cheesier and more and more commercial, the more real and authentic the other scenes get in Holland? Both worlds need that balance and contrast to exist…
Yeah maybe. I’ve not thought about it like that because we’re busy just focusing on what we do. But the EDM stuff is the gatekeeper isn’t it? People get into that and then they start to explore the other scenes and, hopefully, find drum & bass.
Amen. So you’re playing for UKF at Sea Dance Festival. Round two after you smashed it at our London show!
Yes. That was actually my first London show. I love the city, everyone made me feel at home and there’s lots of good vibes. It was nice to meet a lot of people in the scene because being in Amsterdam means I’m a bit removed from the scene and the action, so it’s nice to catch up with friends and peers. I’m looking forward to playing with you guys again in the sun!
Can we expect a slightly different Maduk set from the blinder you played at Building 6? Something more festival ready?
It all depends on the time I play and who’s played after me. I have a few blocks of tracks that I know I’ll play and I move around between them. I play mostly my own music with bits of jungle, bits of neuro, all kinds of drum & bass.
Anything out at the moment that’s really taken you aback?
Dimension is smashing it up! Every single tune he’s done recently is killing it. Mefjus remix of Sunday Crunk is very sick. But everyone is playing these tunes; I try and stay away from the big ones and focus on my own tracks.
What else are you working on? I’m guessing it’s all about the Liquicity Festival at the moment?
Yes. There’s still a lot of work to do on that! But we’re also working on a new Liquicity album for release in September. It’s comparable to the Galaxy Of Dreams albums but I can’t say any more than that right now…