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Sleeve Notes: Melé Mixes Up Some Golden Age Hip Hop For the First in His Melmatic Series

Featuring A Tribe Called Quest, Big L, Gangstarr, and Nas.

Sleeve Notes is a new series where we pick an artist and get them to make a themed mix. This week: Melé, who is putting out a new series of mixes titled Melmatic. We've got the first, which is a selection of some of the best golden age rap tracks.

Noisey: What you up to these days Melé?

Melé: Just being a stereotypical producer and "grinding" in the studio! I’ve just finished my next release and what will be the first on my new label, something that will hopefully be revealed in the next few months. I’ve also just remixed Clean Bandit’s new single which people seem to like, and of course still DJing every week.


If Melmatic is any guide, you seem to have a fondness for the old stuff. With that in mind - what is your favourite '88-94'-era rap record? What are your thoughts on the current state of rap?

I love it, it’s what I grew up on and the only thing I listened to before I discovered that electronic music could actually be good. I was always more of an east coast guy than a west coast guy but I loved N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton. I remember listening to Ultramagnetic MC's a lot though, Kool Keith fascinated me, still does.

You're well into computer games, we hear. Current fave game and fave of all time please.

FIFA World Cup, which me and Monki have absolutely rinsed while we waited for FIFA 15 to arrive. My favourite of all time though would have to be MGS:Snake Eater or MGS:Sons Of Liberty, I can't pick! I’ve never felt so involved in any other game as I do in them, Snake’s my hero.

Are you A) a good dancer, or B) A bad dancer.

I think I'm a good dancer! But everyone seems to take the piss out of it/thinks I'm on drugs (see Boiler Room YouTube comments).

(The full melmatic artwork)

I'm from Northern Ireland so I know next to nothing about England. Can you list me three amazing things about The North?

1. Cheaper Booze/Everything.

2. I grew up about 20 minutes from Liverpool and also North Wales countryside, which was amazing.

3. We (Liverpool FC) have the greatest football fans in the world.


What's the music scene in the Northwest like?

I can only really speak for Liverpool but it’s pretty good right now. Thanks to nights like Chibuku, Abandon Silence, Pause etc who are bringing really great people in and have been for a long time, especially in Chibuku's case. That was the first place I ever went and experienced clubbing, I remember i was about 16 and went to see James Lavelle and it was the best night I’d ever had.

What was Glastonbury like?

It was… intense, let’s just say that. I played on the Saturday night at Toddla's Girls Music party and it was probably one of my favourite sets of the year. A couple of DJs didn't show so I ended up playing nearly 2 hours which was great. I can't remember seeing anyone else play though… I saw Jackmaster play a load of rave classics at Arcadia and tried to watch Annie Mac play to a few thousand people in the rain which was emotional.

We read on your Twitter that somebody got a Melé tattoo after seeing you play 2 years ago. If you had to get a tattoo of an artist who would it be?

Yes! So weird. I was and kinda still am a massive fan of The Prodigy and Liam Howlett, so if I was going to get one it would probably have to be the Prodigy ant or something. I nearly got it when I was about 16 but pulled out.

Cool. Please furnish us with an exclusive of something extra tasty you're doing soon.

My new label, which I'm really excited about! Also just watch out for new music from Kano.


And lastly, tell us about the mix.

I spent a lot of my early high school years only listening to hip hop. I was a massive fan of the Tim Westwood compilation series and the Kay Slay tape packs, so this mix is definitely an homage to them. For me the Melmatic series is about getting across what sounds influenced me early on as a DJ and giving me a chance to play what I usually can't in a Melé set.

Thanks Melé!

Follow John on Twitter: @JCalvert_Music

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