China Calling at Melt Festival, Germany's incredible electronic festival in an enormous open-air City of Iron.
The iron city of Ferropolis lies on a small peninsula. Smattered with mechanic giants, some up to 30 meters high, it still pays testament to an era of days long gone by. What looks like a scene from Transformers is actually the site of a former strip mining operation located hour and half south of Berlin, but now host to one of Germany's most acclaimed and longest running electronic music festivals, Melt.
The stunning environment, a beautiful lake beside huge excavation, has certainly helped cement the festival's reputation as one of the best of its kind. But this is also due to more then a 20 year-long history of fusing together both well known alternative bands and pop stars as well an impressive array of electronic headliners and credible house and techno acts.
So even for the die-hard clubber with a sole interest in electronic dance music, the Melt is well worth a visit. Also notable is the generally chilled out vibe. With 20,000 visitors spreading out to see acts over stages spreading from the beach to the woods one might expect hectic crowds pushing against each other. But at Melt everybody seems unstressed, taking their time to wander around, so much so that many ignore the shuttle busses going between the camp and festival sites in favor of an unhurried half-hour stroll along the lake.
Traditional indie rock sounds were barely visible in the festival line-up as Hip Hop and Rap took over and were more present, especially strong female representatives like Princess Nokia, IAMDDB and Catnapp. Besides that pop and electronic dance music dominated the line-up. Personal highlights from the ‘discovery’ section where the catchy and soulful pop vibes of Kali Uchis, the charming lo-fi indie/soul of Yellow Days, the neo glam-pop approach of Rex Orange County and Jon Hopkins who was massive as expected.
Other personal highlights include Florence and the Machine, the hypnotic sound of Russian underground star Kedr Livanskiy, the craziness of Estonian rap madman Tommy Cash, German entertainment treasure Erobique and the late night sets by Modeselektor.
For a full review of MELT FESTIVAL tune into China Calling radio this week Saturday at 8pm.