French techno titan Madben unveils his much anticipated ‘Troisième Sens’ LP on Maceo Plex’s Ellum Audio.
Madben started absorbing the techno of Jeff Mills, Dave Clarke and Speedy J in the 90s, growing up in Lille in northern France. He retains a passion for DIY culture and warehouse parties thanks to youthful raving at Brussels' Fuse, Gent's Kozzmozz or in abandoned factories in Courtrai. All this has shone through in his music, including a debut album on Astropolis in 2018 that featured a collaboration with Laurent Garnier and a recent EP for Garnier and Scan X’s label.
Over the last decade, he has become a European club and festival favourite playing places like Berghain and Awakenings. His studio boasts a fine array of machines utilised to full effect on this latest opus. ‘Troisième Sens’ perfectly reflects what the artist has always loved, listened to and played, keeping one eye on the dance floor but never at the expense of musical narrative. It’s a genuinely progressive, multi-genre body of work that allows listeners to fully immerse themselves in the seemingly limitless depths of the Frenchman’s sonic capabilities.
He says, “Over the years, I learned to have more fun with the gear in my studio, and this has been the result. The album took three years to finish; I started in an underground basement studio in Paris before moving to Nantes. Therefore, it may surprise listeners with such a diverse selection of moods. It's dark in places but happy in others.”
'Departure' kicks off with uplifting synth work and broken techno beats that have a celebratory feel. 'Addicted' is a lithe cut with steamy vocals and a more fulsome combo of drums and bass, while 'Circuit Breaker' cuts loose in the cosmos. Acid wobbles, smeared synths and metallic percussion all make for a bouncy cut before 'Fade In Fade Out' continues the cosmic trip with vastly oversized synth patterns that will light up a dark space with overwhelming euphoria.
The brilliant 'It's 1 am In A Rave' is a dark, heads-down banger with 'Lost Memories' then layering up melancholic synths and Plastikman-style drum loops into something full of deep thought. There is no let up with the superb acid techno gymnastics of 'No fear', and 'The March' is a turbulent mix of sheet metal synths that whip about over steel-plated drums. 'You Dance Like A Robot' is end-of-the-world electro with a menacing robot vocal, and the electro tip continues with expert drum programming and menacing leads on 'Deep In The Jungle'. 'Meta' is a flailing rhythmic workout that sounds like the machines are in meltdown, and 'I Made A Dream During This Nightmare' is a serene techno soundscape for ruminating about the future of the human race.
Intelligent yet immediate, impactful but emotional, ‘Troisième Sens’ is another standout techno record from Madben.
Published: 30th March 2023