Trunkline is a duo formed by French producers Madben and Yann Lean. Both are key figures in the French techno scene and have been endorsed by giants in the industry, including Laurent Garnier, John Digweed, and Dave Clark. They bring together their shared love for Detroit techno, passion for experimenting with analog synthesizers, and mastery of fusing hard textures with emotional and atmospheric soundscapes, to create music that makes the crowds stomp hard with an everlasting smile.
Their new LP “Mercy”, encapsulates the essence of Trunkline. Freedom, spontaneity, and improvisation are at the core of their productions. The LP is an experimental blend of hard drumlines and heavy distortions. Each track is a playful celebration of techno’s rough and raw textures.
Below, they break down their live setup for the latest installment of our Do It Live series.
Words by Trunkline
In the following words, we are trying to explain how we built our live act and why we did it in this way…
First of all, we really enjoy to work with hardware synths when we are in the studio during our creative process, on top of the computer and all his vst’s possibilities. We composed our first tracks with Trunkline before having the idea to play a live act. Moreover, when we were thinking of how to manage our live act, we decided to remove the computer and to focus the whole setup on hardware gear, all of them are going into a hardware mixer, from Midas.
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With Trunkline, we are doing a 4-hands live act, each of us has his own setup and the mixer is placed between us. We just have a shared fx chain (Boss Tera Echo, Boss DD-7, and Cathedral Reverb from Electro Harmonix), an Elektron Analog heat, a compressor/limiter FMR Audio RNLA 7239, and a Behringer TD-3 in the bottom of the mixer.
On the left, Ben plays with a Roland TR-8S or an Elektron Analog Rytm, a Killpatrick’s Phenol banana’s modular, a Blofeld from Waldorf, and an Arturia Microfreak. All those synths are sequenced by an Arturia Beatstep pro. The drum machine sends a clock only to the whole setup.
On the right, Yann uses to play with a Roland TR-8S, an Elektron Octatrack, a Modor NF1-M, a Moog mother 32 on which he plug a DIY distortion pedal. In the same way as Ben does, all his synths are controlled by the Arturia Beatstep pro.
About the midi clock, two Kenton Thru-5 modules do the job.
After a few words on the global setup comes the funny part: how do we play with that?
Sometimes we perform some existing and already released tracks, in a special live version, sometimes we go for a music jam which means nothing is really prepared, and all is about spontaneous things. Playing our music live is something really insane, we never play a track in the same way we arranged it at the studio. We always try to add or to remove something and to be honest, each live is always different and depends on the mood of the crowd, on top of our own mood.
That’s what we love to do, and what we want to keep in our mind for the future and for always having fun on stage!