For light to stream in, there must be darkness.
It’s a credo indie producer/multi-instrumentalist Patrick Kleven lives and creates by through the dream funk project Down On Maddy. To produce this cryptic and cathartic music, Patrick has had to confront loneliness, demons, and his tumultuous past. With Down On Maddy’s debut, he brings listeners light by sharing the passage through darkness.
“I hope the vulnerability in this music helps others accept and transcend their shadow sides,” says the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based artist.
Down On Maddy mines enigmatic groove music swathed in majestic synth ambience, funky guitar, rugged beats, and infectious rubbery basslines. The project’s name exudes a mysteriousness that conjures images of the high school “it” girl (Maddy), while it also alludes to the madness in our world. Down On Maddy evokes the immersive qualities and ambitious arrangements of Pink Floyd, Yeasayer, The Doors, and MGMT.
In 2016, Patrick quit his job and the busy world and headed out to an isolated lake house in the North Woods of Wisconsin to put down in music what had been swirling in his head. There alone, in profound introspection, he fought the siren of perfectionism. “It was a grind. I pushed through by embracing the extreme clarity and stillness of the surroundings,” shares Patrick.
The eponymous album traverses funk, reggae, new wave, dub, and trippy psychedelic textures. Throughout the album, Patrick’s vocals shift from hip-hop tinged flow to mellowed-out soulful singing.
The album opens with a frenetic palette cleanser for your mind. It helps you prepare for the album’s first official track, the electro-tinged soul of “Wake Yourself.” “That song is a message to myself to stay away from the darkness closing in and stay awake and aware of my inner light and the hopeful message that was struggling to emerge,” shares Patrick.
From that song, the album has almost a backwards flow, revealing the shadowy sides of Patrick’s life prior to his transformation. The slinky “Rendezvous” reflects on complexities of being the other man in an infidelity tryst. The rugged urban bump of “Too Fast, Too Slow” is a sensual party anthem. On “Perfect Future,” Patrick is obtusely autobiographical with his message about the justice system.
Down On Maddy will release a new single “Be Love” in October 2020. Next year, Patrick will reconvene at the lake house to tackle Down On Maddy’s follow-up album which he promises will be conceptual and theatrical. Reflecting back on the lessons Down On Maddy has taught him thus far, Patrick says: “I’ve learned waking yourself up takes a lot of hard work. This album is part of my search and my truth. I hope by sharing it with people I can spread happiness.”