With his emergence on the scene, French producer Joan Mael Péneau has branded a new type of club sound – an aptly titled maelstrom of electro-hypnotic techno under his artist name, Maelstrom. Releasing on labels such as Dirtybird, Boys Noize Records, ZONE Recordings, and Sound Pellegrino since 2011, Péneau defines his work as “bass music with a techno aesthetic.”
Raised and living in Nantes, France, Péneau describes his architectural environment as being pervasive in the quality of his sound – the formerly industrial harbor hub slowly slipped into an abandoned industry playground for the youth, identifying with the darker elements in his tracks. It’s not Detroit, but Péneau does claim his influences stem from the techno of Derrick May and Juan Atkins, from the earlier IDM brainwash of Warp artist Autechre, and even from the gabber-like hardcore of acts like Manu Le Malin.
With the Elektron Analog 4 sequencer as his go-to production tool, Péneau’s most recent release is the Discord EP on Zone Records, a label founded in 2009 by The Hacker and friends. Fusing elemental electro and punchy acid synths, the EP goes from hard floor pounder to darker bass, cycling out majestically with a sentimental Model-500esque melody. His collaboration with Paris-based Louisahhh!!! have been signed to Brodinski’s Bromance since 2013.