Getting to the 004th episode of Tanzgemeinschaft Nordic Distinct Radio, I’ve chosen to invite lovely Madura for a guest mix and an interview focusing on music and getting to know the music-scene in her resident city: Malmö! I discovered Madura in May 2019, when she visited Gothenburg to play at one of my favourite parties; RITUS. Since then I’ve been following her techy and deep musical path, discovering a flourishing woman who isn’t afraid to play around with different genres, “pushing the dancers into something different”. / EILLOM
Madura has been a part of the Malmö underground scene for several years and has set fire to countless dance floors along the way. Always bringing a solid selection of deep and driving house. Combined with her vibrant stage personality, she is known to create a musical connection with the crowds, making every one of her sets something special. Madura is also one of the creators and driving forces in Malmö based house collective ‘krux’ – focusing on promoting female artists and organizing top quality dance floor experiences.
Connect with Madura on Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram
So Madura; for those who aren’t familiar with you as much, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?
I’m a dancer at heart, above all else. The first time I stepped onto a dance floor I felt at home for the first time in my life. It’s where I feel the most confident, beautiful and that I fit in completely.
I’m a dancer at heart, above all else.
The experience of dancing is my focus as a DJ. Getting into the vibe, connecting with the floor and co-creating an experience is what it’s all about for me, and I never stand still when I play. Turns out, that vibe I send out as I’m dancing behind the booth, is one of the main things people appreciate about me as a DJ.
How would you describe your music style, and the key elements that define it?
House is my big love. I like deep, techy and slightly minimalistic sounds, and at the same time I’m not afraid to please the crowd. And then, to get the vibe to a point where I can push the dancers into something different. Those moments are insane. At the moment I like to mix in a breakbeat track, earlier I’ve played with flowy techno, weird, long breaks, and right now I’m sitting on a huge garage track that I can’t wait to drop when the pandemic is over.
I like deep, techy and slightly minimalistic sounds, and at the same time I’m not afraid to please the crowd.
How do you usually prepare for a gig? Mentally, emotionally and practically speaking.
The most important prep work I do is getting in the hours behind the mixer. In the upcoming weeks before I gig I’m determined to mix every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. That consistency really makes a difference, and is what makes it possible for me to just flow with the music when I’m at the club.
In the upcoming weeks before I gig I’m determined to mix every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
Right before my set I try to take five minutes alone, to disconnect from the social interactions and get centered. When I step to the decks I’ve already picked out my first and second track in advance, to get some time to feel the vibe and get comfortable with the sound and set up before having to decide which direction to take.
And I always bring an energy drink and a small chocolate bar to my gigs! I’m really sensitive to low blood sugar and if I get a dip right in the middle of a set I need that extra energy to stay in the zone, otherwise I get super cranky.
And tell us about your worst experience as a DJ!
Haha, oh, which one should I pick?
I once had a gig where a dude literally took over the decks to show me how to use the effects to make it sound cooler. (It didn’t).
And then there’s the first time I was going to play on CDJs. That was a painful experience. I started with Traktor back in the days and had started practicing beat matching, when I was asked to do a small gig on CDJs and decided to go for it.
I fucked up every transition. Then I cut mixed through the rest of my set, hoping for it all to be over as soon as possible, fighting back the tears.
That was the first time I had a really challenging gig, and since then I’ve learned that there will always be challenges. Technical difficulties, a tough crowd or just that it’s 7AM and I’m really, really tired. No matter what, it’s my job as a DJ to keep the vibe up. So when I feel challenged I’ve learned to put on a smile, start dancing again and push through until I’m feeling it again. Fake it ‘til you make it. It actually works most of the time, and even when it doesn’t, it always feels good afterwards to know that I handled it professionally.
Describe the scene in Malmö. What are some cool parties to check out?
When I moved to Malmö, in 2014, we had a flourishing underground scene. Sadly, it has been put under a lot of pressure from the police in the last year or two and it’s almost impossible to find any underground parties these days. There are still people working to keep the scene alive in other ways though. Like the crew behind the club X that opened up this winter. That’s a really great place that I’d recommend. A small space, with a Berlin vibe, and an amazing sound system.
I would also really recommend my all time favorite Malmö initiative – Kiloton. They’ve been running for almost 10 years now and never disappoint! It’s one of those were I never check out the line-up in advance, I trust that they’ve done a perfect job with the bookings.
It’s one of those were I never check out the line-up in advance, I trust that they’ve done a perfect job with the bookings.
Tell us a bit about the concept/collective Krux!
Krux is a collective that I co-founded with three beautiful, house-loving souls from Malmö. Our city is best known for our techno scene, and even though we love techno, we wanted more good house parties with good vibes, where we can dance just to have fun.
Other than booking skilled house DJs, we put a lot of love into our decorations to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
We book mostly, but not exclusively, female artists to be part in creating a more equal scene.
We had our first party right before coronavirus made its way to Sweden. Hopefully we can soon start planning the next one.
What’s the best and worst thing about living in Malmö?
Coming from the northern parts of Sweden I think most things about Malmö is great. You can take the train to Berlin, be in Copenhagen in 20 minutes, get a great falafel for almost no money at all and the summers are so amazing compared to what I’m used too! I also think Malmö has a kind of relaxed vibe to it. People are friendly and I feel like I can be exactly who I am here. Though it sucks that our underground scene is more or less dead. I really miss dancing until dawn.
People are friendly and I feel like I can be exactly who I am here.
What are some of your favourite up-and-coming DJs/producers/musicians bubbling up in Lund/Malmö right now?
ELLA, who’s also a part of krux, is a great DJ that I truly admire. Her taste is really refined and she’s great at picking out minimalistic tracks, with sick bass lines that just keep your feet moving.
Vincent Bahar is also someone you really need to check out. Her sound is mesmerizing. Poems turned into songs, with slow beats and Persian influences.
Name one track in your collection that gets the dance floor moving every time.
Mr Bargain Hunter by Josh Baker and Alfa, which I’ve also included in the mix for Tanzgemeinschaft. And one of my favorites from the year when I started raving, Hot Since 82’s remix of Bigger than Prince. I’ve started dropping it again this year and it always works. It’s such an experience to share that nostalgia with the crowd!
It’s such an experience to share that nostalgia with the crowd!
Last but not least; what can we expect from the mix you made for Tanzgemeinschaft?
It’s a very housy mix, with some really energetic sounds that I’d usually play at a peak hour set. I’ve included tracks from some of the producers I play the most – Diego Krause, Ray Mono and Alexis Cabrera to name a few. You’ll find some of my favorites that I’ve played a lot in the last year or so in it, and also a bunch of fresh releases from 2020, like a couple from Infuse who have been releasing such great music in 2020!