Owing his artist name to West Bromwich’s famous touring car, the Jensen Interceptor, Mikey Melas’ output certainly bears similar traits to the V8 powered motor. Piston-pumping sonics, characterised by pulsating melodies and combustible percussion, have become a trademark of Melas’ analogue-driven output. With clear influence from the motor-city, Melas’ Detroit-inspired hits have soundtracked dancefloors the world over, with this year proving no exception. 2018 has seen the Australian producer hurtle through the electro fast lane with countless releases and a seemingly pit-stop-free tour of the global club circuit. Over seven releases, Melas has collaborated with legendary French artist The Hacker and fellow Aussie Assembler Code on labels such as Mechatronica, Cultivated Electronics, Stilleben and his own International Chrome imprint. Earning a buy-on-sight reputation, his latest output bears no exception.
Despite this helter-skelter schedule, Melas found the time to charter new acoustic territories. Joining the likes of Carl Finlow and Orbe on Maceo Plex‘s Lone Romantic, an imprint championing the best in electro flavoured dance music, the Interceptor’s first album, Mother, is set to drop on the 9th November. Paying homage to the woman who brought him into the world, Melas’ ten-track effort swerves between the stylistic qualities of techno, electro, breakbeat and acid in rubber-burning, handbreak-turning fashion. Over the course of the album, the listener is taken on a gear-shifting adventure of uptempo club heaters.
‘Ultramax’ ignites the album in forceful fashion. Lethal four-by-four kick drums propel the track along, as a characteristically agile melody pairs up with zealous synth stabs. Intricate high-end details sparkle and hover, before an eerie breakdown accentuates the power possessed by the synths.
Collaborating with Irish modular madman Defekt, track two ‘Drip Freq’ maintains a pounding personality of neck-breaking percussion and oscillating, dizzying melody. The breakdown’s spooky pads provide a brief rest bite to the piledriving beat, amplifying the tune’s intensity. Suddenly, a deafening bleap interupts, before the familiar beat erupts in throttling fashion.
Marking the first truly electro number on the album, ‘Haze’ combines sinister snares with snapping claps and thick kicks. A room filling sub-bass rumbles underneath the track’s percussion, with sci-fi stabs and futuristic bleeps adding texture to the piece. The aptly named track is a forceful amalgamation of dizzying percussion and scrambling sonics.
‘Dimensional Thought’ draws upon the acidic squelches of the famous 303 in uptempo and reckless fashion. Typically crisp snares and sidewinding hats make the track a true dance floor heater. Energetic and brash, the tune charges headfirst on a sonic voyage through the mind.
Teaming up with the familiar face of Assembler Code, ‘Altered State’ maintain’s the album’s manic pace. A wobbling and wonky melody oscillates over neat drum programming, with playful toms and scything hats commanding the beat. Mysterious vocal pads add a mesmerising dimension to the track, commanding the listener into action.
‘Ufology’ is a textural masterclass, combining warped, imploding snares with another bludgeoning melody of twisted, throbbing drones. Off-kilter keys occupy the high-end, whilst alien stabs and sinister strings add detail the tune.
‘Shadow Network’ does anything but lay low. Thunderous kicks, echoing bleeps and mechanised synths collide along a destructive path, sending the song into a frenzied state of sonic assault. Vociferous and blood-thirsty, the track will rattle and shake through any soundsystem.
Despite its buoyant, almost upbeat intro, ‘Trance Atlantic’ soon implodes through percussive power and reckless abandon. Bewildering hi hats speed alongside trademark synths and chunky breaks, producing another spellbinding number of dynamic intensity.
‘Time Echo’ sees Melas collaborate with The Hacker, producing another vigorous heater fit for the club. Four-by-four kicks sound tirelessly, with a quivering melody injecting energy into the track. Rounded off with neat hats and more trance-inducing pads, both artists channel their obvious quality.
Concluding track ‘Mother’ pays homage to Melas’ mum through bright, emotive strings and powerful kicks representative of the great woman herself. The track’s breakdown seems like an outpour of emotion and affection, before rhythmic drums rekindle the beat. A clearly heartfelt production, the tune concludes the album in truly magnificent fashion.
Out on the 9th November, you can grab your copy of the album here.
Words: Jens Berring