Thursday 26 Jan
Preview: Melt Festival Presents
Thursday 26 Jan
The creation of Melt! Festival has been one of nomadic beginnings. In 1997, town of Velten claims the birth of the much-loved German festival, starting from humble beginnings with 1,000 festival-goers much derived from Berlin’s techno movement. Two years later, and not before a stint at Larz Airport, Melt! found it’s home in the city of Iron, also known as Ferropolis. In this time the picturesque and imposing setting has unearthed culture and art, bringing together an abundance of history, heritage and life from around the world.
A new level of international festival quality has been set over the past 20 years. A cluster of high calibre names over this time has included Oasis, The Streets, Richie Hawtin (none other than Kylie Minogue) to name a few. Celebrating it’s 20th birthday this year, Melt! is bringing it’s melting pot of talent and experience over to the capital to pioneer a blockbuster of an event at Printworks – London’s new 5,000 capacity, industrial setting. We caught up with Melt!’s artistic Director, Stefan Lehmkuhl, to share some insight on the party celebrations in store this year.
Why did you want to get involved with the Printworks London project and what do you think it is about venues like this that makes them so special?
Printworks feels like the perfect match, the venue is very industrial. It will be used for the first time and it’s a day-time party; we have this rather a lot in Berlin and as Melt! Festival is very much linked with the Berlin Techno-Scene. It feels great to bring a similar vibe to London.
As a Berlin based Festival, why are now taking your first steps into London? Is this part of a larger plan to do more in the UK?
Melt is a very international festival with an audience from all over the world. London is actually the Top 3 cities of our visitors, and of course London itself has had a musical influence on Melt ever since. So it was time to give something back and finally get involved in similar projects outside of Germany. For the record, more Londoners are very welcome at Melt as we also offer the Melt Festival ticket package including the Printworks party for free.
Melt Festival celebrates a fantastic milestone next year as it celebrates it’s impressive 20th anniversary, how has the event evolved over the years? Can we expect a unique Melt experience in London on March 18?
Melt started out as a small stronghold for rave lovers and Berlin Techno enthusiasts and became a major force on the international festival circuit. Even in the early days, Berlin key-players like Ellen Allien, Dixon, Ben Klock, Richie Hawtin and many more got behind the decks. To this day they still have a strong connection to the festival.
In 2004 the program was extended by many more influences beyond electronic music and the infamous Sleepless Floor became the heart of the festival, boasting non-stop directional electronic beats. Apart from the most important artists from electronic music of this time, bands and acts like Phoenix, The Streets or Pet Shop Boys appeared.
In 2008, the festival was extended to three days with Björk taking the stage on Melt!’s very first Sunday festival. In the years to come, Oasis, Atoms For Peace, Portishead, Disclosure, Kylie Minogue and others took over the Sunday slot and made sure the festival would go out with a bang.
Today, Melt! and it’s eight stages make sure you could only hope to see even half of the artists playing at the festival, blurring the lines between genres all together and creating the very unique and infamous Melt! vibe which we will bring to London on March 18!
What have been your Top 5 Melt performances of the last two decades?
– Björk headlining the very first Melt Sunday in 2008
– Lana Del Rey at Melt 2012, playing the infamous Matinee’-Slot when she just released her first single.
– The Yo Sissy! Queer stage takeover at Melt 2016
– Ellen Alliens annual Sleeplessfloor Closing set – every year !
– Kings of Convenience in 2010
As strong supporters of breakthrough and emerging talent, who are your ones to watch for 2017?
We are very happy to already have artists like Nao or Honne on the bill for Melt 2017. On the other hand there are a lot of upcoming names in electronic music like Aurora Halal, Tijana T, rRoxymore or Julia Govor, who is also playing at our Printworks show. We can not tell just yet, but we have a lot in mind for 2017.
The Melt Printworks line-up is one of the biggest of the series, what was the inspiration behind selecting these artists to play for you?
We tried to show a taste of Melt’s past, present and future and our connection to the electronic music scene in Berlin. We have Ellen Allien who has been playing almost 20 years as resident at Melt. The upcoming Techno-Queen Julia Govor or Berlin’s infamous Recondite with his live-set. Exciting times are ahead!
An explosion of talent awaits with techno innovator Chris Liebing stepping up to the plate on March 18. Italian giants Mind Against will feature as well as Recondite set to steam roller al those in front of him for an uncompromised live set, packed with plenty of low end punch and drone sounds.
MARCH 18 FULL LINE UP
Room 1: Melt Festival Presents
Kiasmos (DJ Set)
Room 2: Superstition
Tommy Four Seven
Pathworks (CSGRV + Jamie Haus)
Ossa Di Mare (Live)