Clash picks out acts to seek out from 2017's line up...

With a line up that improves tenfold each year combined with an ever evolving back drop of Ferropolis, you’d be mad to miss the City of Iron festival’s 20th birthday party.

Melt is renowned for pioneering the future of rave festivals worldwide, with its 24/7 Sleepless Floor that welcomes the rising sun with open arms to the soundtrack of some of the best techno and electronic DJs currently out there.

But as the festival has matured like any other spritely 20 year old, so have the artists gracing its stages. Let’s take a look at some of 2017’s must-sees…

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Fatboy Slim

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’, it seems rather fitting that the notorious DJ himself would put a start to proceedings by opening up Melt’s Pre-Party. With groundbreaking hits such as ‘Praise You’ and ‘Weapon of Choice’, it will be nothing less than an honour to stand on the same holy ground as Norman Cook - only to then let your ear holes be graced by the sounds that you and your dad can mutually agree on being phenomenal.

Get yourself a Carlsberg and reignite your glow sticks for a late 90s throwback of his electro mid-tempo vibes.

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Following up the hugely successful single ‘Blood On Me’, Sampha finally peeled himself away from the likes of SBTRKT and Solange to give the world a strong contender for best album of 2017, ‘Process’. Add the words ‘soulful’ and ‘electro’ to the same sentence and you’re sure to induce a nightmarish train wreck, yet Sampha has managed to successfully combine the two. With idyllic soft tones fused with a sultry, electronic beat, he will truly be one of the highlights of the weekend.

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Glass Animals

Glass Animals have been providing us with ambient grooves since their 2014 album ‘Zaba’; and the complexity of production has just up and upped itself from then. Their last album ‘How To Be A Human Being’ was a mash up of 11 completely fabricated personas which each song on the album was based on, accompanied by stories to match and each identity hidden within the album artwork, leaving it open to interpretation which story belong to whom.

With the amount of intricacy these Oxford boys are capable of, it’s intriguing to see what will feature on stage…

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Die Antwoord

As Yolandi Vi$$er, half of Die Antwoord once said, “No need to get so deep, nothin’ quite like a motherfuckin techno beat, a techno beat, a techno beat a techno a techno a techno beat…” And she’s right, there is nothing quite like a techno beat. But with this white trash South African duo, you will be in for much more than just that. Prepare for maybe the most confusing and strangely arousing performances of all time… and a song about boners. A perfect closing performance.

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Some call it noise, others call it art. Some don't know what to call it. Soulwax are ever-evolving and have been present since 1995, so even if you haven’t heard of them, you’ve most likely heard them. They even contributed to the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack as Soulwax FM.

But this year they return with their new album 'From Deewee', and it certain to liven up Ferropolis with ethereal beats mixed with permanent, heavy drums. All in all, an experience not to miss.

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…Coincidentally, a band that Soulwax has remixed. It could be said that the girls of Warpaint turned sultriness into a genre, as it flows through every track on the past two albums and is hard to look past. All in all, it’s fair to consider the four piece a jam band, but more recently, a jam band that learnt how to techno.

2016 album 'Heads Up' intertwined this new element with the old, added a touch of haunting 90’s club culture, and the end product turned out intriguing, if anything. Again, a performance that promises something a little different, and worth delving into.

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The Lemon Twigs

A modern day, cooler, Beach Boys revival. Seemingly an odd choice for a techno festival, but at the same time it makes so much sense…

A band that seemed to appear from nowhere late last year and mesmerised everyone in the siblings path with their Lonely Hearts Club demeanour and their very 70s dress sense. Their sound is unique to say the least, sounding like a the type of music you’d hear at a wedding themed amusement park in the middle of the las vegas strip - if such a thing existed…

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An artist that started out as potentially finding her way into your ‘guilty pleasures’ playlist, but soon established herself to be so much more.

Slamming into the charts with Major Lazer, every single the Danish gem has released thereafter has been undeniably catchy while still managing to combine more elements into her music than Ellie Goulding could ever dream of.

MØ's electro-pop is beautifully refreshing, and will undoubtedly bring the party with her crisp vocals, irresistible love songs and fiery persona.

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Kate Tempest

Poet, playwright, rapper, recording artist... it is no wonder Kate Tempest was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Even if spoken word isn’t your thing, you are unlikely to find yourself in the presence of a more raw, outspoken, honest voice this summer.

Prepare to feel all the feels and unite with your fellow festival goers during what is promised to be a moving performance.

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Maggie Rogers

Us mere mortals can barely argue when Pharrell finds new talent, and new talent he found. 2017 has been the rise of Maggie Rogers, with her insatiably catchy singles ‘On + Off’ and ‘Dog Years’, followed by the release of her EP ‘Now That The Light Is Fading’.

Citing the likes of Patti Smith and Björk as a couple of her inspirations, her raw talent and strong vocals don’t fall far from her musical motivators. Expect nothing less than a mind-blowing performance.

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Melt Festival runs between July 14th - 16th.

Words: Laura Copley

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