Incredibly, after nearly a decade releasing some of the world’s best and most popular liquid dancefloor tracks, his heavily anticipated Transformations LP, dropping on his Liquicity imprint next Friday, September 10 will be Maduk’s first in five years and first ever on his own Liquicity imprint. It stands to reason, really: if one is trying to launch and manage a successful label, one likely finds oneself occupied with business and A&R matters that would inevitably take cut into the time needed to produce a whole album. Add to that Liquicity’s status as the world’s premiere Liquid events promotion company, it’s a wonder Maduk has time to sleep, let alone dream up an album.
Despite sounding technically deceptively simple and having the most pop cachet of all D&B genres, liquid dancefloor is one of the most difficult subgenres to produce. Because there’s nowhere to hide in heavy bass or crunchy synths, every subtle point of liquid D&B has to be immaculate. It also requires literal miles more songwriting and than many other subgenres: multiple lines of melody, perfect tone on the sound design, snappy snares, ambient background that’s emotive and cinematic. And that’s all before the vocalists and engineering.
All this is to make the final product seem simple and effortless, so liquid is truly the ballet of D&B. Maduk is thus truly a principal performer, and Transformations solidifies his position as such;. Clean, emotive, theatrical and a thinly veiled commentary on the “transformations” we’ve gone through in the last 18 months or so, though it’s likely this album was also about a personal transformation for Maduk.
There’s a great deal of diversity of sound in Transformations, dispelling any ideas that liquid is a one-trick pony. Ranging in style from ravey, disco-inspired hardcore and breakbeat to modern, synthy dancefloor to soulful and minimal true liquid, the LP shows how much there is to Maduk’s range and to the melodically-driven subgenre he loves. For our premiere today, Your EDM managed to snag the final release before the album’s release. “Ready Now” featuring vocalist Anvy is the lead track on Transformations and announces its arrival in classic Maduk style. Flooded with expertly written synth melodies, snappy snares and a gorgeous ambient landscape, listeners will not have to check they clicked the right link to know it’s Maduk. It’s a perfect intro to the complex and hard-won journey of sound.
It takes a lot of time to create a big concept album like Transformations. Given his obvious perfectionism and all the other things he has going on at any given time, Maduk’s likely to be thrilled to finally debut this Swan Lake of an album. It goes without saying that his fans and the D&B community at large will be thrilled, too.
Transformations will drop September 10 on Liquicity Records. “Ready Now” will release individually on Beatport tomorrow, September 3 and can be pre-ordered here. To pre-order/pre-save both digital and vinyl copies of the album, click here.