MADBEN

 

From his youth in the North of France, Madben kept a fondness for DIY culture and a nickname that still smells of the warehouse! The Lille native experienced techno from its beginnings. In the 90s, he followed this new scene via the flyers he collected in record shops. With his buddies, he spent nights in Belgium, in Brussels’ Fuse, at Gand’s Kozzmozz parties, or in abandoned factories in Courtrai. A perfect, and free territory to hear the best sound of that era. This lifestyle pushed him, and other activists to run their parties, in Lille, and surrounding areas.

Benjamin rushed in after hearing and seeing big names on the stage such as Dave Clarke, Speedy J Lives, or alien mixes by Jeff Mills, or Green Velvet. In his bedroom, he shared his first Technic MKII turntables with other friends spending hours trying to assemble records as they did in Detroit. Golden rule: the lack of money encouraged sharing and ideas. At the beginning of the millennium, 2004 marked a turning point for Madben and his city, Lille, named the cultural capital of Europe. Techno settled in the town and influenced numerous youngsters when renowned artists came by to play: The Hacker, Ivan Smagghe, Optimo, and Superpitcher. Later that decade, Madben started to produce his stuff, a natural step after years of DJing and interactions.

In 2010, he put his savings in a rudimentary studio: a pair of speakers, a monitor, a MIDI keyboard, and a computer with Reason and Ableton. Passionate about Blueprint, Purpose Maker, Axis Records sonorities, and blown away by the technique of techno craftsmen like James Ruskin and Surgeon, Madben honed his music and spread it on a real-time basis on Soundcloud. Motivated by his friends, he sent some demos to Laurent Garnier. He instantly answered him, Killer!. Garnier aired one of these tracks during his radio program, Le MouvIt is What It Is. Shortly after, the Madben counters went wild, and Astropolis Festival, a french electronic institution, approached him when they planned to launch their music label. The race had just begun.

Madben moved to Paris in 2012, released some maxis on English labels, and even composed music for television via Cézame. All’s good when in a good mood. Before he got madder, his first productions were melodic and progressive. For him, techno’s always been an interplay between beating and smiling. He learned surrounded with machines, assembling his work station piece by piece, combining vintage with modernity. The good recipe? Two-thirds hardware, and one-third plug-ins. Madben is not scared or impressed by technology. He plays with it taming it. He could speak for hours about his favorite instruments (Electron Analog Rytm Drum Machine, the Kill Patrick Phenol Synthesizer, Moog, or Modor, a Belgian one!). 

Total techno man, at ease in a DJ booth, in his studio or during a pure live performance, still Madben needed an album: Fréquence(s), released in 2018 on Astropolis Records. 

With this definitive full-length, he consolidated his chiaroscuro techno. Mentors Laurent Garnier and Manu Le Malin were invited to collaborate, offering a feat to artist Rebeka Warrior. In the process, doors of festivals and European clubs opened for him. He has done more than 50 gigs last year and met his new international allies, Maceo Plex recruited him in his team at Ellum Records. Madben just signed an EP for Anja Schneider’s platform. With a successful first gig at Berghain in 2019, Madben got great new perspectives for the future. His ardor, ambition, and all-ages audience prove this music has always been and still is for everyone. Techno is alive and kicking.  

 

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