M.E.L.T. 2000 releases World Music, Jazz and artist collaborations of artists from Africa, South Africa, UK, Brazil and Cuba. The site features well known names like Byron Wallen, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Fourth World, Madala Kunene, Bernard Mndaweni, Amampondo, Busi Mhlongo and Mabi Thobejane. CD's and DVD's of new and exciting artists include L.A.P. (Live African Percussion), Castro B., Vivid Afrika, Greg Georgiades, Ashish Joshi, Della Tamin, , Thabang Tabane, Syd Kitchen, Johnny Fourie, Carlo Mombelli, Ernest Mothle & Ntombe Thongo's African Band. ELECTRIC M.E.L.T. is undertaking several new projects in conjunction with local South African- and European remixers released under the Music With No Name series. M.E.L.T. 2000 has a vast library of video recordings spanning more than a decade, the footage is being transferred and edited for DVD.
A unique recording label originally 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'.
MELT "Musical Energy & Loud Truth"
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 2001 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 "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. "
A vast library of
video recordings spanning more than a decade is being transferred and
edited for DVD releas, please check the DVD
section for releaes.