Tea & Biscuits With: Maduk
The pseudonym of Dutch producer Mark van der Schoot, Maduk first came to prominence via the YouTube channel Liquicity Drum & Bass in 2011. Mark had started producing just a year before and had given his friend Maris Goudzwaard (who ran Liquicity) a copy of the track ‘Avalon’ which was promptly uploaded. The Liquid Drum & Bass sound was the perfect fit for the burgeoning channel and was released on their new label of the same name.
Joining forces with Goudzwaard in 2013 to setup the label and their Amsterdam-based club nights, Mark continued to release on Liquicity and multiple other labels. With his brand of Drum & Bass becoming popular and winning both best newcomer DJ and Producer at the Drum&Bass Awards 2014 & 2015, Maduk released his debut album ‘Never Give Up’ on U.K based label Hospital Records in 2016.
The years after the album release Maduk focussed mainly on his label and events, Liquicity Festival (now is one of the biggest Drum & Bass festivals in the world) and the Liquicity community is steadily growing with sold out club shows all over Europe. Early in 2019 Maduk announced to be back on the Liquicity roster and released his first new album single ‘Go / Coming Down’ soon after.
Fast forward to 2021 and we’ve now been gifted with his second album ‘Transformations’ which dropped on 10th September via Liquicity and has been lauded by seasoned professionals and aficianados!
Already supported by the likes of UKF and Radio 1, ‘Transformations’ is looking to add to the previous success of Maduk‘s journey. His live streams over lockdown, where he premiered various album exclusives, garnered over a million plays, whilst his DJ set over New Years Eve amassed 22k viewers alone. Anticipation grew massively around the release of ‘Transformations’, something which can be seen through the peaked interest around his appearance on Dutch radio station 3FM, one of the first times in recent history where the station played a mix of 100% Drum & Bass on national airwaves!
Although, whilst he’s the genre’s most streamed artist in the Netherlands, he’s seeping his influence across the world, with extended all night Maduk sets on the horizon across Europe’s major cities around the album’s release. There’s more to come from Maduk in 2021 and ‘Transformations’ only stands as a marker for his exploding profile.
We caught up with Maduk to have a quick chat about ‘Transformations’, lockdown, livestreams and more…
Hey Maduk! Great to be in touch. How does it feel to come full circle back to Liqucity for your sophomore album ‘Transformations’?
Hey! It feels extra special to me coming back as Maduk to the place where it all started. Of course as a person I never left, Liquicity is my company and even though as an artist I was signed at Hospital Records, I still worked on the Liquicity Events and label. It makes me proud to self release this second album with our amazing team at Liquicity.
How did you approach this album in comparison to your debut ‘Never Give Up’ on Hospital? What do you think are the main differences between the two albums?
I think both albums represent my sound very well and I still like all tracks on Never Give Up. However, I do feel Transformations is more Maduk 2.0. Sonically it sounds a bit stronger, and I also think the level of the vocalists and songwriting increased.
Have you felt like writing an album over lockdown has helped distract you from what’s currently happening in the world?
The lockdown definitely has been a big factor in finishing the album! I said to myself: there isn’t a better time to finish this project, do it before all the shows and organising starts again!
You amassed hundreds of thousands of streams for your New Year’s Eve set; I imagine this was a surreal experience?
It was very nice to be physically back at one of the venues we normally organise Liquicity events, walking in a club after a year of nothing was like coming home. It’s cool to see the set is doing so well, but same goes for the DJ liveset pt1 and 2! So many people have enjoyed those sets all over the world, it gives me an amazing feeling.
Tell us about your single ‘New Beginning’. How did you decide the album’s running order and how do you think this particular track stands out against the rest of the album?
It was a lot of fun making this track with Lexurus and RIENK, both Dutchies like me! Can’t wait to play this one in my sets either, I have a feeling it will work very well in a club. I made the album running order keeping in mind how it sounds when you listen to it from start to finish. A nice flow and diversity between the dancefloor and mellow tracks, vocal and instrumental.
Do you have any favourites from the album? Or particular memories associated with tracks, even from pre-pandemic raves?
The track ‘Back to Life’ takes me straight back to the first lockdown in March 2020. It’s funny how certain songs can be linked so strongly to certain events or periods in your life. Honestly, I like all 18 tracks a lot, it’s hard to pick a favourite. If I have to pick one, I’d say ‘Transformations’. It is a collab with my younger brother, who also happens to be my best friend. It is his debut release as well, so that makes it extra special.
What have been your top Liquicity releases from the six months? And are there any artists we should check out?
Too many to name, but I’m extra keen for Lexurus, Andromedik and Edlan lately. Three upcoming names from The Netherlands and Belgium, all in their own sound area. One thing that I love about the past few years is to see how many new talents are popping up and breaking through via Liquicity. To me it’s a sign that the Drum & Bass scene is healthy! When I started 10 years ago “new names” were rare, it didn’t happen that often.