Ahead of the release of his new track ‘Paralyzed’, Viper Recordings’ very own Madface chats to Ilan Rubens about his highlights of 2021 – what he describes as his ‘best year yet’ – as well as his plans for 2022, and working with one of the biggest labels in drum and bass.
Thank you for taking the time to speak! Firstly, how was the end of your 2021? Did you keep up with your projects over the Christmas and New Year’s period, or did you take some time off?
I’m very well thank you! I always enjoy Christmas, and I usually play a lot of gigs during the holidays, but this year and last Christmas I chilled out and spent the festive period with my family. It was great! I spent all this time just relaxing and eating. For me it’s good to sometimes take a break from producing, it allows me to come up with new ideas and then I feel fresh when I jump back into it.
What would you say were your highlights for 2021?
It may sound strange but despite coronavirus being everywhere, 2021 was actually an amazing year for me. I would go as far as to say it was my best year yet. I released a collaboration with my friend Symplex ‘Call On You’ and then my own single ‘Escape’. Despite many cancelled events I was lucky enough to play at Beats For Love in July, which was even more special as it was in my hometown of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. I also had the pleasure of playing at Let It Roll: SAVE THE RAVE in August, which was a wild experience due to the heavy weather. Those were my two biggest gigs of the year. I also did a few livestreams and started working on many new tracks. But above all of this, my biggest highlight of 2021 is that me and my partner are expecting a baby! So both professionally and personally, 2021 has been a productive year.
Well congratulations, that is very exciting news! And now for 2022, you are kicking off the year with your new release ‘Paralyzed’?
Yes this is my new track, which will be released on Viper Recordings on January 28th. I first started production courses in my hometown during the pandemic, and the idea for Paralyzed came up during one of these sessions. I wanted to showcase how I use sidechaining in my drum and bass productions, so when the idea came to me I quickly wrote it down. I continued to work on this project during the course, but then after a few days I ended up catching Covid! As I was isolating I had a lot of time on my hands, so decided to carry on working on the intro. Soon enough I was in the final stages of the track. It wasn’t my typical procedure for making music, but that’s why this track is so special to me. I’m happy that I am starting the year off with this tune and can’t wait for it to be released!
As you mentioned, this song is being released on Viper Recordings, a label you were exclusively signed to in 2020. Can you just tell us more about your time with Viper? And how does it feel being a part of one of the most established labels in drum and bass?
2020?! Wow, time really flies when you are having fun! I’ve always wanted to be part of a label like Viper Recordings, so it’s a dream come true for me. Viper is a perfect team, they always help me when I need it. Before being signed, I was writing almost daily to vocalists, often without ever receiving an answer. So many tracks were sitting there unfinished, and were never signed. The label has made life much easier. One aspect I love is the consultation, I can look to people for advice or insight – not just on the music, but for things like the artwork as well. There are many aspects that are positive for an artist who is signed to a label, but the most important thing is to work with good people, and Viper Recordings is full of good people
Now looking ahead to 2022, what can we expect from Madface?
So I’ve just finished another track with Symplex, which will come out later this year. I am also in the final stages of two other tracks, so make sure to keep an ear out for those! On top of this I am recording a mix for Viper Radio – which should air later this month I believe. I am planning to do a livestream in a special location in the summer, but because of Covid we will have to see how this plays out. This goes for gigs too, as I am still yet to play a few rescheduled events. One of them is the High Tea night in Amsterdam. I really hope it happens this year, as the date has been moved three times already, I’ve been looking forward to it for almost two years! I will also be playing at Roxy in Prague alongside Camo & Krooked at the end of January, which I am very excited for. There are many more events on the horizon as well, so overall I have got a lot cooking in the Madface camp!
As an artist, do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2022?
I am just planning to keep doing what I do, release music, play events and make my mark in the drum and bass scene. I just hope that the next year is going to be better than the past two years, and soon we will be able to do all the things we used to before the pandemic. So fingers crossed, and we will see what happens!