Whether you look at the bratwurst and beer of Bavaria, the beats and bass of Berlin or the balls and boots of Bayern Munich, it’s immediately apparent that when Germany does something, it does it properly. It seems odd that precision, efficiency and coal mining machinery with built in flame-throwers aren’t commonly associated with fun; because these were all key to Melt’s success. It seems almost insulting to even mention the basics of such a well oiled affair, but with every Florian, Sven and Jonas (Tom, Dick and Harry to me and you) putting on events these days it’s actually less common to get an event with a great layout, little to no queueing, fair prices, crisp sound, and cleanliness that includes a great recycling effort, than it is to find an exemplar setup like Melt!.
Now the humdrum is out of the way let’s get back to the hot stuff. Chet Faker was on early at the Main Stage and it was unclear whether it was his sexy music, or the 35 degree heat, that had peeled the clothes off of those who were getting warmed up for a steamy night with some of the home support. Local men of the minute Dixon, Âme and Recondite showcased the German ideology perfectly. With slick motions they puppeteered the crowd like a Brazilian defence, at times playing deep and at others hitting hard. It was merciless. As Boys Noize then finished up at 7am the hardcore then moved onto sleepless stage which would remain open from then until Monday afternoon. Nestled just outside the main arena it felt like an illegal rave as campers happily slurped their booze bought from home without much of a security presence. The acts here weren’t second rate either. Lake People gave a live set that makes their future look extremely promising while Peter Dundov and Efdemin surely made a few people misplace their minds.
The only thing the festival could have done with was a bit more shade. Come morning time heads were hanging out of tents and people squeezed between trees to doze the early hours away. Those who weren’t snoozing refreshed themselves with a swim in the beautiful lake by the Melt! Selektor stage that, you guessed it, hosted heavy sets from Modeselektor and Monkeytown family and friends including Akkord, L-Vis 1990 and French Fries. The techno performance of the weekend however came from Jeff Mills. The man from the future seamlessly blended live 909 with a few decks, his virtuoso improvisations that had many questioning whether Jeff was in fact man or machine, whilst simultaneously screaming and dancing obviously.
Things began to wind down on Sunday but some of the best had been saved for last. As with his productions Ten Walls live performance set him head and shoulders above the competition. The whole thing flowed beautifully with unreleased tracks and B-sides such as Jol and Nochnoy Dozor being as well received as the steadily increasing selection of classics (Walking With Elephants, Gotham and Requiem in case your head’s been in the sand) that he seemingly effortlessly manifests. Moderat and Portishead then proceeded to bring things to an end with stunning performances of Gita and Machine Gun respectively pounding anyone that was still going into submission.
No we’re joking, there is no submission in Germany. 12 more hours at the sleepless stage before you even think about taking a break! Melt! Du Bist So Wunderbar!