Ear Peace headed to Germany for a boutique electronic music festival—Melt!—on the 18th to the 20th of July. For those who love house, techno, minimal, a bit of alternative and experimental, the line up was quite possibly one of the best of this summer. The incredible location, Ferropolis, fit perfectly to the vibe and the music of the weekend.
Ferropolis is called ‘an island far away from the everyday life, a spot full of energy’ making it one of the top venues for a festival. Previously an industrial site, the area was home to a brown coal open mine located next to the small lake of Gremmin. Huge dredgers and stackers still remain in the venue, providing a scenery that reminds one of underground warehouse parties. The difference, however, is that it’s open air with the lake just a 10 minute walk away to help you relax with a dip under the summer sun.
With 6 stages spanning across the arena, an electronic music lover could find anything they can imagine, and more! From up and coming artists to some long lived legends, Melt! provided a full range line up with never-ending music on the “Sleepless Floor”. The festival kicked off on Thursday with the “Intro Tent”, warming up the audience for the next 3 days with performances from Little Dragon and Bonaparte.
The music on Friday started in the afternoon, with a spectacular line up; Clean Bandit, Chet Faker, Haim, SBTRKT, Royksopp and Fritz Kalkbrenner were on the main stage, one after the other with amazing performances. Those searching for minimal techno headed to the Big Wheel Stage to listen to the likes of Mano Le Tough, Pantha du Prince (live) and Ame. Dixon came on at 3:00 for a two hour set followed by the UK hotshot Maya Jane Coles until 7 am. Gemini Stage was also host to great after party sessions with Brodinski, Baauer and Boys Noize. Our favourite was the experimental Darkside, performing in the Intro Tent. The collaboration between Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington reminds us of a 21st century electronic Pink Floyd. Friday was by far the best day of the festival, an unbelievable opening to a further 48 hours of non-stop music.
The sleepless floor continued on to Saturday with a session from 7 am until noon with Ruede Hagelstein & Marco Resmann & Matthias Meyer. Our highlights of the second day were Metronomy, Four Tet and Kolsch. Tiga and Seth Troxler were definitely in their element in a B2B session on the Gemini Stage. Breach, a peculiar DJ who was trained as a vocalist and cellist, performed a deep session beforehand, opening up with the famous song ‘Walking With Elephants’ from Ten Walls and playing his latest hits such as Jack. Other notable names from Saturday were DVS1 and Modeselektor.
A fully satisfying line up awaited us on our last day with the legendary Portishead and Gesaffelstein, along with tINI, S O H N, Moderat and Tensnake. Beware of another up and coming experimental duo—Jungle—performing live their fascinating songs ‘Drops’ and ‘The Heat’. After hour beasts as Ellen Allien, Monika Kruse and Kuriose Naturale ended the festival on the Sleepless Floor, closing off the doors of the festival until 2015.
Melt! is a green festival, encouraging habits of recycling and cleaning up after one’s self. The organisers were good at giving incentives to trigger recycling, such as giving 50 cents back for every beer bottle brought back to a bar. These customs contributed to the festival, providing an adventure that is not just about the music but about the communal, collaborative and green lifestyle sought out for nowadays.
The span of artists is enough to show you the excellence and the uniqueness of Melt! Festival—these acts are all electronic yet incredibly different from each other. The audience knows the music well and they are immersed in the culture of it. We were lucky to have so many acts to watch and experience but that is why, unfortunately, we were bound to miss some as well!
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