Thor De Force
Sounds Of The Mansion is a cinematic musical excursion into an urban landscape of music, art and late night hangs. In the absence of vocals, the listener is free to travel the music by his or hers own imagination. Themes pop out of nowhere and the music is often developing in surprising ways, taking unexpected turns.
The album is rich in flavours and explores opposites like dense-spares, hard-soft and static-moving. There is a good deal of blues, funk, jazz, soul and electronica involved all though none of the 11 tracks can be said to fall in any specific genre.
Madsens guitar- and bass playing runs like a red thread thru the album. Backed by the subtle drumming of Abdullah S there is a great deal of attention to rhythm and swing. Sometimes in a straight forward funky fashion and at other times in more adventures ways.
“The album is my attempt to really do my own music, my own style, my own story. There is a little of everything I like in it. I have tried to create an open kind of music where all the things that inspire me can coexist and feed off each other, in a possibly vain attempt to reconcile everything I love”.
Thor De Force is the solo project of guitarist and producer Thor Madsen. In 2008 Madsen adopted the name Thor De Force coined by the late, great writer John Farris, an important character around the club Nublu in East Village, NY. The debut EP Big City Abyss on Nublu Records from 2009 was a dancefloor oriented banger featuring TK Wonder on the track Not Invincible.
Following a handful of remixes for the Nublu label of Hess Is More and Calibro 35 among others, Thor De Force as a solo project was set on hold for a couple of years while Madsen was busy with Wazzabi, his duo with drummer Anders Hentze. The band released three albums with different guests. Na Farofa was recorded in Sao Paulo and featured up- and coming brazilian artists like Leo Cavalcanti and Iara Renno.
When Thor De Force returned in 2017 with the EP Sundays In September, the focus had shifted from straight EDM to a more organic sound bringing the guitar playing and a more dynamic approach into the picture.
This sound has been further developed on the upcoming Sounds Of The Mansion, the first full album from Thor De Force and also the first release on Ropeadope. As was the case for Sundays In September, Madsen teams up with singer and multi-instrumentalist Abdullah S, who laid down the drums on 8 of the 11 tracks.
Now residing in Copenhagen, Madsen has a long and ongoing connection with New York after moving to the city in the late 90s. Madsen was a keyplayer in developing the ‘Nublu-sound’ and was a longtime member of bands like Wax Poetic, Butch Morris conducts the Nublu Orchestra and The Real Live Show. He has doubled as a producer and guitar-player on several releases for Ultra Music, Nublu Records, Doublemoon and Om Records.
The music of Thor De Force draws on a patchwork of musical experiences and inspirations. Madsen picked up the guitar at the age of seven. Thru his teens he led several bands active on the Danish music scene of the time. From being self taught Madsen went on to complete a Masters at The Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen and subsequently moved to New York. He emerged himself in the jazz scene to begin with but quickly strayed to other related forms of music.
Up until the closing of legendary club Izzy Bar on 1st avenue, Madsen was a part of the hip hop collective The Real Live with the two rappers Dionysis and Stimulus backed by Eric Revis, James Hurt and fellow Ropeadope artist Dana Murray. Later with the emergence of Nublu on Ave. C Madsen’s focus shifted towards blending jazz with electronic genres, resulting in several releases on the Nublu imprint and frequent touring in the US, Europe and Brazil with Wax Poetic (w. Norah Jones), Butch Morris Conducts The Nublu Orchestra and Our Theory feat. Ilhan Ersahin & Erik Truffaz among others.
Already before moving to New York Madsen had been serious about learning the studio craft as both a producer and engineer. In New York he was introduced to Danny Wyatt and Charles Stella at the Temple of Soul studio and soon began working there as an associate producer, writing, producing and performing on several albums and for major networks and documentaries.
The feature documentary Word Wars, for which Madsen wrote the score was Emmy nominated and won several prices around the world. It was thru Temple of Soul Madsen got to know DJ Logic, shortly after his release of Project Logic and they collaborated on a couple of projects thru the studio.
Currently Madsen is running his studio Mazza Mansion, touring with various bands and artists and recently became an adjunct professor at The Danish Academy of Music.
As a member of both Jazz Explorer Trio and RagaJazz with violin virtuoso Kala Ramnath he has toured Europe and India. Purple Twilight, the debut album of RagaJazz was released in 2018 and the Jazz Explorer Trio debut in 2017. Both albums were produced and recorded by Madsen at Mazza Mansion. Mazza Mansion is located in the state-of-the-art facility MillFactory in Copenhagen.
The studio is center not only for Madsens own projects, but also a wide range of related projects spanning jazz, neo soul, fusion, hip hop, trap and afrobeat.
Composed, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Thor Madsen at
Mazza Mansion, Copenhagen
Drums and percussion on track 3 recorded at Puma Studios, Copenhagen
Thor Madsen: Guitar / Bass / Synths / Piano / Wurlitzer / Percussion / Programming
Abdullah S: Drums on tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 10 / Percussion on tracks 3 & 6 / Keyboard solo track on track 7 / Keys on tracks 1 & 3 / Vocal Sample and Claps on track 1
Cover photo by Sarit Dhabani
Cover art by Kaya Marks
Sounds Of The Mansion
Release Date: March 29, 2019