Evangelical peddlers of DNA-rearranging post-punk exotica, Melt Yourself Down are an unholy communion of North African influences and shamanic vocals with a wanton disregard for their own safety.
Formed by saxophonist Pete Wareham, they number in their ranks some of the finest musicians of their generation, with members having played with Acoustic Ladyland, Polar Bear, Sons Of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, Hello Skinny, Zun Zun Egui and Mulatu Astatke.
Melt Yourself Down’s 2013 self-titled debut album was widely acclaimed, an album of the year in Time Out and Rough Trade, receiving significant support from BBC 6Music which led to an appearance on Later… Their freewheeling live shows became the stuff of legend – the raw Nubian soul percussion of Ali Hassan Kuban mixed with the shiny urban junk trash disco of James Chance. This bizarre bazaar was captured on Live At The New Empowering Church, a limited release for Record Store Day in 2014.
Their second studio album, Last Evenings On Earth, is a dizzying, continent-hopping voyage, darker and heavier than its predecessor. “The need to dance is still there but now I’m feeling inspired by the idea of the city as a prism through which all kinds of global influences pass,” says Pete. “Translation, immigration, overcoming obstacles – and most of all, human unity.”
Frontman Kushal Gaya has been moved to be more direct in his writing. Where his delivery once leaned heavily on his native Mauritian/French Creole, he has made a conscious decision to impart his fevered message in English this time around. Losing several loved ones in the space of a year has lent a greater sense of urgency. “The lyrics can be about eagerness to do something even if everything is running against you,” he explains. “There’s lot of friction in what we do.”