THE MUSICAL WORLD OF ELECTRIC M.E.L.T.

 

Electric Melt is a sub label born out of the collaborative work of a group of distinguished World Music- and Jazz artists to be found on the M.E.L.T. 2000 website. Electric Melt is responsible for some of the earliest remix projects involving mainly European and South African artists and producers going back to the mid 90's. Projects include names like Music With No Name, Bushmen of the Kalahari, Sanscapes, Busi Mhlongo, Black Coffee, Culoe da Song, Frederic Galliano, Gabriel Le Mar, Flora Purim, Fourth World Roni Size, Smith & Mighty, Changuito,, Juno Reactor, Mabi Thobejane, Madala Kunene, Madosini, Greg Hunter, Kalahari Surfers, Castro B, Monde Mkhizwana, Square Window, Alien Soap Opera, Eyedentity, Tony Thorpe,  Smith & Mighty,  Roni Size, Mario Cee, Alan Gubby, Martin McHale, Henrik Schwarz,Soothsayers,Maga Bo,Teba Shumba ,Jung Collective,Eyedentity,A Guy Called Gerald,Attica Blues,Blaqsoul,Juno Reactor,Saafi Brothers, Gabriel Le Mar, Total Eclipse, Lungiswa, Pops Mohamed, & Flora Purim.



"Musical Energy & Loud Truth"

Robert TrunzA unique recording label set up by Swiss born Robert Trunz. The seeds for MELT 2000 were sown in September '93 in a mixed-race music bar in Durban KwaZulu Natal - James & Son. Brazilian percussionist, Airto Moreira, was playing his first ever gig in Africa with Flora Purim, guitarist José Neto and their band, Fourth World. After the show, Airto and Robert visited the bar to be greeted by the owner with wise and prophetic words: 'Nobody comes to South Africa without a mission'.
That night, Robert and Airto met the legendary bass player and founder of Sakhile, Sipho Gumede. The encounter, and others with such extraordinary musicians as Pops Mohamed, persuaded the pair that they had to return to South Africa. Gradually, it became clear that their mission was to offer their new musical friends an opportunity for a free exchange of culture and musical ideas; to facilitate the creative collaboration that had been denied to them throughout the cultural boycott. In October '94, this process began with a group of artists travelling to South Africa meeting up and jam with more than 50 local musicians under the banner, 'Outernational Meltdown'. For Trunz this adventure was a step into the unknown - with the help of Airto's creative direction he started to take a more global approach to the label's repertoire. This grew from Robert's view that a mixture of different cultural and ethnic styles both informs and enhances playing styles and works particularly effectively in a jazz-infused world music context. It was his firm belief that, as a purveyor of loudspeakers, which are only animated - given life and soul - by the music played through them, he must pay his dues to those who create the (soul) music.
Another factor that shapes M.E.L.T.2000 is Mr Trunz's predilection for percussion-based music, which has led him to work with some of the world's greatest percussionists. There's Airto Moreira, of course and Changuito - José Luis Quintana - from Cuba. From Africa he was joined by Brice Wassy, Mabi Gabriel Thobejane, his nephew Thabang Tabane, Amampondo and more recently L.A.P. (Live African Percussion) from Soweto. Add to this a catalogue that contains unique recordings of some of the finest jazz, traditional and indigenous musicians like the late pianist Moses Taiwa Molelekwa , Madala Kunene, Madosini, trumpeter Byron Wallen (who stands comparison with the mighty Miles and Dizzy), Flora Purim, Busi Mhlongo,Deepak Ram,, Pops Mohamed, Juno Reactor, Greg Hunter and the traditional music and remixes of the Bushmen of the Kalahari (San people) and you have one of the most exciting and innovative musical choices around. In 2002 MELT 2000 in the UK closed down and Trunz moved to South Africa where he continues to release a carefully selected choice of unreleased- and new recordings from the African continent. Gwen Ansell, prominent journalist and musical expert in Johannesburg wrote in June 2005. "MELT 2000 has relaunched from a permanent South African base, under the imprint Melt Music Phase Two. Its first two releases, launched at the Newtown Music Hall last Saturday, appropriately feature some of those names from the past. Kunene presents Uxolo, a series of duets and ensemble pieces - some remastered; some, new originals - with bassist Bernard Mndaweni. Madala is as much the outlaw as ever: though his music fits the shape of a standard maskandi track with its opening flourish and social-message narrative lyrics, his playing rarely stays within the lines. His improvisations, like Ali Farka Toure or Phillip Tabane, add spices from jazz and the blues and discords and dazzling runs straight from his own eccentric imagination. As usual with this label, sound quality and engineering are superb, and sleeve notes attractive and informative. It is good to have Trunz's baby back, providing its always-original viewpoint on the South African scene. By Gwen Ansell A vast library of video recordings spanning more than a decade is being transferred and edited for DVD release commencing Christmas 2005, please check the DVD section for releaes.