Imagine Can meets Mulatu Astatke at Adrian Sherwood’s place; and you’ll have a sense of what’s going on with London dance band Melt Yourself Down. Drawing on North African musical styles, post-punk, jazz, dub and industrial, the group’s apocalyptic second album Last Evenings On Earth, released earlier this year, sets up a dizzying continent hopping voyage “around a globe spinning ever more rapidly off its axis.”
Grab your passport again as their trop-industrial VF Mix mirrors the wild-eyed intensity of the record and their maniacal live show. It might span just nine tracks but it’s one heady experience that expertly unites and contrasts the nocturnal visions of Omar Souleyman, Golden Teacher, Sun City Girls, Iggy Pop and more.
Mixed by drummer Tom Skinner, listen below and keep scrolling for words on key moments from the selection plus the complete tracklist.
‘Never Is The Change (12” Take)’
(Deek Recordings, 2016)
Bullion’s LP Loop The Loop has to be one of the best records to come out so far this year! His productions are always on point and with that album he’s proved that he is a great songwriter and singer also. As a drummer I’ve always admired his drum programming with his attention to detail and subtle, unexpected intricacies. This extended 12” version is no exception. Pop-not-slop of the highest order!
‘Heli Yuweli (Rezzett Remix)’
(The Trilogy Tapes, 2015)
The Trilogy Tapes is one of my favourite labels, consistently putting out some of the most interesting and challenging music you’re likely to hear these days, always with amazing artwork and design from label boss Will Bankhead. This Omar Souleyman flip from TTT mainstays Rezzett just seemed to fit nicely with the MYD vibe.
(Golden Teacher, 2015)
So far I’ve not managed to catch these guys live which is a shame cos apparently they’re amazing! I love their records though and this track from their latest self-released EP is one of the hardest and rhythmically interesting dance tracks I’ve heard in a while. I don’t think any element of the track (except maybe the vocal) falls on beat 1 which gives it a real off kilter, wonky feel…at least that’s how I hear it! Pure sickness!
(On-U Sound, 1985)
The Circuit was the short lived production alias of On-U-Sound’s Adrian Sherwood and multiinstrumentalist
Steve Beresford during the mid 1980’s. Steve is a bit of a hero of mine; a ubiquitous presence on the London improv scene since the late 1970’s, his distinctively playful and singular musical approach can be heard on classic albums from the likes of The Flying Lizards, African Head Charge and Prince Far-I. He was a also a member of The Slits live band and features heavily on their second album Return Of The Giant Slits. This is one of only 2 or 3 tracks that ever got released by The Circuit. Apparently there was an album in the works back in the day so hopefully more material will resurface at some point.
Sun City Girls
‘Esoterica of Abyssinia’
The legendary Sun City Girls have been a pervading influence since first discovering them a few years ago. I love the way they operate in a sphere all their own with a general disdain and disregard for anything approaching the main stream. To call them niche-niche is an understatement! There is a strong Middle-Eastern and North African flavour that runs through their music (brothers Richard and Alan Bishop are of Lebanese heritage). Though far from being purists
of any particular style, they positively tear up the rule book and piss on it with joyous abandon! Often singing in made up language and incorporating mysticism and imagery of religious cultism in their lyrics and artwork, their gigs would verge on performance art, taking on a ritualistic atmosphere with audiences encouraged to be as much a part of the performance as mere spectators. This is definitely something we try and do with MYD also.
01. Normil Hawaiians – Sléibhte Macalla
02. Bullion – Never Is The Change (12″ Take)
03. Omar Souleyman – Heli Yuweli (Rezzett Remix)
04. Golden Teacher – Shatter
05. The Circuit – Loudspeaker
06. Aaron Dilloway – Psychic Driving Tapes (excerpt)
07. Iggy Pop – Life Of Work
08. Sun City Girls – Esoterica Of Abyssinia
09. Beau Wanzer – Groove’s No Zone
Lead image source: Elzo Durt, from La Femme’s ‘Psycho Tropical Berlin’