A five-hour drive from Cologne is ‘The City of Iron’, a once active industrial mining belt now turned open museum. Beside the artificial lake, Gremmin See, gargantuan metallic skeletons reach up to a discordant sky; the remaining hollow carcasses of a once efficacious industry. Thirty meters high, one hundred and twenty long, and near on 2000 tonnes, these testaments to the technological mastery of humanity now provide the backdrop for some of the most infamous names electronic music has to offer. A soundscape once filled by the monstrously vivacious screechings of production plays host to abrading synthetic bass-lines, penetrating snare-drums and a whole world of tones whose origins could just as easily be the soaring iron instruments which surround the speaker cones.
Melt! Festival brings the overlords of techno together to provide a hedonistic, audio simulation of a once lively mining site. Drumcode boss Adam Beyer, BPitch Control founder Ellen Allien and Magda, queen of Minus, are but a few of the names to bring their own blend’s of mechanically inspired melodies to this event. And if that wasn’t enough, some of the biggest international names including Richie Hawtin, Claude VonStroke and Josh Wink bless the stages of Melt! Festival with their musically defied presence. Hell, even Madonna’s former personal DJ and multi-faceted music-man-extraordinaire Stuart Pierce appears for a performance as Jacques Lu Cont, one of the musical master’s many aliases. And if this list of electro-warriors fills you with dread, fear, or just straight-up means nothing, then perhaps indie superstars Bloc Party, electroclash ensemble Justice, indietronica duo Nikki and The Dove, or London’s very own insensitive badman Plan B can provide the inspiration and incentive.