Virginia will really make you Melt
Making the crowd Melt…
Words: George Pearse
So they say when something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And with Melt 5 having taken the night cosmic, ‘more of the same’ was understandably order of the day. After the elation that the guest-slots of Nick Hoeppner and Tama Sumo gifted those present back in May, the 6th of Melt’s bi-monthly parties needed some heavy DJ artillery. Their call to arms was answered once more by a deadly male/female dynamic. First up was Frenchman Zadig, both playing a live set, and making his debut in London clubland. With him in the trenches on a soggy July night was Virginia, the acclaimed Panorama bar virtuoso, in town for her first UK show since rocking Fabric last December.
Punters were asked to flock to the heart of London’s east end, where a suitably urban basement lay ready and willing. Having tentatively navigated my way to the right door, and gingerly made my way past some almighty looking door-staff, it was high time to hit the floor. That now familiar red hue spilled out across the well-proportioned space, hinting at a naughtiness that was to come. First up on the night were Monika Ross and Maura, graciously playing b2b. There’s a real joy in watching these good time girls, their bouncy, energetic playing styles complement each other perfectly. By the time Doubtingthomas’ “The Long Way Round” played out around 1am, I couldn’t help but find myself well in the mood.
Stepping things up just a notch was Melt’s other resident in chief, Arnaud Le Texier. Having checked out his June chart ahead of the night, you really get the feeling you’re in safe hands with this guy. And so it proved. Extolling the virtues of a tech house style, hands were already being thrown about liberally as the Melt 6′s vibe started to really take flight.
DJs playing live is a rare-sight in the modern world of electronic music, with less and less names now willing to take the gamble. Having managed to catch a few words with Zadig before the night however, you got the impression that he had no such qualms. He revealed the richness of the live experience for him personally, of being able to play out to a crowd, feeling his way musically as he goes. As a fan of the smaller, more intimate parties such as Concrete back in Paris, Melt’s underground haven presented him with the perfect platform for some self-expression. If sweat could speak for the heart that he put into his first ever London gig, somebody fetch that man a towel!
The scene was by now perfectly set for the headliner. Women DJs are none too prevalent in the man-heavy modern music scene but Virginia clearly delights in bucking this most backwards of trends. From the second she stepped up – sporting a tantalising ‘Melt in your mouth’ necklace – it was clear that gender was no issue for this cool customer. Whilst her warm, ready smile spoke of her Brazilian roots, her focus was clearly honed in Berlin’s colder, more industrial climes. Back and forth she flitted behind the decks, her sound biting, jacking, working the gathered crowd right up.
An hour or so into proceedings, and with all and sundry now well under her spell, something pretty magical went down in a Hoxton basement. Seemingly out of nowhere she conjured up a microphone, just as the opening bars of 2011′s club hit “Yours” sounded out. In the next beat she was up on a raised back bar, illuminated red, well ready to make some noise! With the joint suddenly awash with raised iPhones, genuine rapture broke out as she live vocaled her way through the track that she helped to bring such rich success last year. Melt HQ promptly totally lost their cool to lead a rousing chorus of “always want you by my side”, as 300 people erupted into a sweat fuelled sing-a-long. Serious feel-good vibes! And perhaps a glimpse into the sound of an often mourned, bygone club scene, where live vocals were common-place for any night worth its salt. After superbly channelling her inner rock-Goddess, Virginia effortlessly slipped back into day job mode, with a sea of moreish clubbers still collectively bouncing, grinning ear to ear. It came as no great surprise to see her cajoled into action well beyond the end of her scheduled set time, with chants of ‘one more tune’ ringing around the place. She treated us right alright.
With Efdemin and DJ Qu lined up for the night’s first birthday in October, there’s no denying that Melt Music is starting to really find its groove.
Melt | Melt 06 |
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