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Melt Review Part 1: Free Blow Jobs

First off, lets get one thing straight. Melt is a festival all right, in that you have to pay for your ticket and they’ve security, food stands and proper toilets, but it’s not much more than a polished version of a dirty rave in the countryside. During the day there is precious little to do except sleep it off or wait for sunny spells to take a dip in the lake. If you spent your whole weekend mad out of it, then maybe these things wouldn’t bother you so much. There was a 24-hour area after all, so you could have conceivably danced for 72-hours straight. But, one thing the festival organisers couldn’t have foreseen, something potentially worse than headliner Bjork not turning up or the main stage collapsing backwards into the lake, was the absence of any available drugs on the site. The Dutch and the Berliners have to take the blame. Cars were stopped and searched coming over the border from Holland. If they caught you the drugs were confiscated and you were let on through. The Berliners are normally relied upon to sort everyone else out; they didn’t. So the Becks tents did exceedingly well, but apart from a hundred-odd kids who turned shades paler each passing hour without sleep, the rest of the crowd managed to do the impossible at a festival and actually get some rest. Northern Germany has been hit with some ridiculous weather this summer. Three months of fry-an-egg-on-the-footpath stuff was followed by a month of storms and squalls. This meant that if you were in one tent when the next storm started, you’d end up staying there for a lot longer than you intended and consequentially end up seeing groups like the Teenagers or local rockers Klee (the Scorpions fronted by a woman). The highlight of the first night had to be Supermayer. On at the ridiculously early time of eleven ‘o clock (most of the stages don’t shut up shop until seven in the morning), Supermayer played the most fun DJ set of the weekend, mixing kazoos, harps, triangles and tambourines with techno. Gui Boratto was boring in comparison afterwards. Modeselektor played a house set before label mate Ellen Alien came on to bring the night to an end. Across town in the next tent Booka Shade were doing their usual high-drama stage show, and the Editors were doing their best to convince people that their poor-mans-Interpol act was worth standing under the rain for. For a festival that has, or at least had, progression at its core right from the start, it’s a little strange that they have a drum ‘n’ bass area. Drum ‘n’ bass is the monster at the end of the computer game who keeps on taking hits to the head but refuses to go down. Musically it’s a dinosaur that hasn’t changed or seen any point in changing for the last fifteen years. If you’re not Brazilian or Roni Size shouldn’t you just leave it alone? Nagging synths, MCs rhyming bassline with waistline and Goldie – the man they couldn’t kill. He gets to play twice at Melt. On the first night, he had an assistant beside him on a laptop. Maybe Goldie doesn’t understand computers? Goldie stands behind the decks like a bored general operative. Drum ‘n’ bass is often the preserve of bad dancers and crustys. It’s also the preserve of the uninspired and over-hyped. Day one is over. A few tents have been robbed, the place is badly in need of a rubbish incinerator but man is it ever impressive looking. Giant cranes, once used for dragging tonnes of coal out of the lake and keeping the old East German economy going, are hooked up to wild pyrotechnics. Strong spotlights fire out into the clouds above us. You could be deaf and enjoy one of the best nights of your life at Melt.

First off, lets get one thing straight. Melt is a festival all right, in that you have to pay for your ticket and they’ve security, food stands and proper toilets, but it’s not much more than a polished version of a dirty rave in the countryside. During the day there is precious little to do except sleep it off or wait for sunny spells to take a dip in the lake. If you spent your whole weekend mad out of it, then maybe these things wouldn’t bother you so much. There was a 24-hour area after all, so you could have conceivably danced for 72-hours straight. But, one thing the festival organisers couldn’t have foreseen, something potentially worse than headliner Bjork not turning up or the main stage collapsing backwards into the lake, was the absence of any available drugs on the site.

The Dutch and the Berliners have to take the blame. Cars were stopped and searched coming over the border from Holland. If they caught you the drugs were confiscated and you were let on through. The Berliners are normally relied upon to sort everyone else out; they didn’t. So the Becks tents did exceedingly well, but apart from a hundred-odd kids who turned shades paler each passing hour without sleep, the rest of the crowd managed to do the impossible at a festival and actually get some rest.

Northern Germany has been hit with some ridiculous weather this summer. Three months of fry-an-egg-on-the-footpath stuff was followed by a month of storms and squalls. This meant that if you were in one tent when the next storm started, you’d end up staying there for a lot longer than you intended and consequentially end up seeing groups like the Teenagers or local rockers Klee (the Scorpions fronted by a woman).

The highlight of the first night had to be Supermayer. On at the ridiculously early time of eleven ‘o clock (most of the stages don’t shut up shop until seven in the morning), Supermayer played the most fun DJ set of the weekend, mixing kazoos, harps, triangles and tambourines with techno. Gui Boratto was boring in comparison afterwards. Modeselektor played a house set before label mate Ellen Alien came on to bring the night to an end. Across town in the next tent Booka Shade were doing their usual high-drama stage show, and the Editors were doing their best to convince people that their poor-mans-Interpol act was worth standing under the rain for.

For a festival that has, or at least had, progression at its core right from the start, it’s a little strange that they have a drum ‘n’ bass area. Drum ‘n’ bass is the monster at the end of the computer game who keeps on taking hits to the head but refuses to go down. Musically it’s a dinosaur that hasn’t changed or seen any point in changing for the last fifteen years. If you’re not Brazilian or Roni Size shouldn’t you just leave it alone? Nagging synths, MCs rhyming bassline with waistline and Goldie – the man they couldn’t kill. He gets to play twice at Melt. On the first night, he had an assistant beside him on a laptop. Maybe Goldie doesn’t understand computers? Goldie stands behind the decks like a bored general operative. Drum ‘n’ bass is often the preserve of bad dancers and crustys. It’s also the preserve of the uninspired and over-hyped.

Day one is over. A few tents have been robbed, the place is badly in need of a rubbish incinerator but man is it ever impressive looking. Giant cranes, once used for dragging tonnes of coal out of the lake and keeping the old East German economy going, are hooked up to wild pyrotechnics. Strong spotlights fire out into the clouds above us. You could be deaf and enjoy one of the best nights of your life at Melt.

Check out part two of this review For more news

Comments

  • gaganggang @ 21 Jul 2008 14:14

    Rain and no drugs? Stinger.

  • brown @ 21 Jul 2008 14:52

    Glad we didnt go then gangang!

  • Shock @ 21 Jul 2008 15:45

    it was tough, very very tough, very tough

  • crispybacon @ 21 Jul 2008 18:02

    Wow, it sounds throughly unlike what i experienced two years ago (apart from the lack of drugs, that appears to be a regular occurrence at it). All we did was sit by the lake and swim. The festival was only the evenings entertainment after the bliss full days. The camp sight was also immaculate and there wasn't any crime whatsoeva.

  • paul-m @ 21 Jul 2008 19:40

    This year was my second at melt and the two years seemed like two totally different festivals. I don't know if it was the weather that brought out the worst in people but this year they couldn't have got it more wrong. Last year the place was swimming with drugs at mega low prices but this year there was f*ck all to be had even though we did get lucky on the second day. We cut our losses early yesterday morning and headed back to Belrin with our sights on Bar 25 which was probably the best party of a frustratingly wet, muddy and messy festival.

  • conzo @ 21 Jul 2008 20:15

    We split Sunday morning too. And there were a lot of people doing likewise. It says a lot about a festival if people can't be bothered to stick around and see Bjork playing on the night of a full moon.

  • Shock @ 22 Jul 2008 8:58

    Yeah, got outa there on Sunday afternoon, missed Neon Neon, Whitest Boy Alive, Bjork, everything. Only really enjoyed Jape who were fantastic

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