A real-time, improvisational, and generative breakbeat project powered by Ableton Live and electronic drum triggers, producer and percussionist Rajeev Maddela aims to bring a refreshingly human approach to electronic music composition. Performed in the moment and without a click or backing tracks, with melodies being generated using controlled chance, the Humanism EP aims to highlight the expressive qualities of natural time, a widened dynamic range, one's reaction to chance events, and a deep obsession with late 90's breakbeat styles. Approaching them as a series of ‘photographs’, each track represents a start to finish MIDI percussion performance, applying minimal post production or editing. Currency is the state of being present.
All tracks were recorded in the moment, letting instinct drive each composition. Some general concepts I wanted to express across the EP are intimacy, honesty, minimalism, and the organic spirit of jungle music.
Performed late in the morning on September 10th, it was the first track I recorded for the EP. I wanted to represent my love for syncopated breakbeats, meditative atmospherics, and slower tempo jungle. I wanted to show how these elements can combine to be both relaxing yet stimulating.
Darren had asked for some non-dnb tracks, so I felt this would be a good opportunity to use one of my favorite ‘overly simple’ kick drum patterns (3 downbeats). I felt the EP needed some mysterious intensity, and this kick pattern always struck an intense primal energy for me, so I chose this suspended, not quite positive or negative chord cluster to pair it with.
The last track I recorded for the EP, the week of my birthday in November 2020. Darren was digging one of my instagram clips and asked for a full track based around it. Unfortunately, the atmospheric pad in that original clip was already used on the EP on the track Riverside, so I created a new one from scratch, kept the other elements, and a completely new, seductively severe atmosphere emerged which was honestly really overwhelming to play with at first. Mushin means 'no mind' in Japanese.
A cheeky homage to the seminal album by Photek, I wanted to capture my love for the long phrase, syncopated 'breakbeat science' cadences that jungle music birthed in the late 90s, as well as my love for the 'Lyn Collins - Think About It' drum break.
This track was truly a stream of consciousness exploration that was set in motion by the wistfully ambient pad and harmonic mode used in the track.
Rajeev Maddela is a drum set artist, electronic music composer, DJ, computer programmer, and rudimental percussion instructor based in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed with Karsh Kale, Anoushka Shankar, Jonathan Maron, Donny McCaslin, Tim Lefebvre, Priya Darshini, and many others from the world and live electronic music scenes.
Under the name Maddela, he has released a host of singles and ep's on labels such as Noisy Meditation, High Chai Recordings, and Reminiscence Audio (Serbia). His production work spans the genres of experimental drum and bass, future bass, and UK garage, with a focus on live performance elements and wide sonic palettes.
Rajeev holds a degree in Computer Science from New York University. His career as a software engineer spans nearly two decades, with expertise in enterprise level software solutions, performance optimisation, and generic design patterns. He is a dedicated music pedagogue, serving as an instructor at Msgr. Farrell High School's award winning Marching Percussion program since 1998. He continues in this role, specialising in developing students' technique, expression, and clarity.