Posted on December 10, 2021
FRESH JUICE: DJ GODFATHER X DJ MELL G - COPS CAN'T DANCE
DJ Mell G arrives in slickish style with the first release on her own new imprint, Juicy Gang Records.
Words by Oisín Campbell/ Design by Michael Savage
Buy/ Stream here: djmellg1.bandcamp.com/album/cops-cant-dance
With DJ GODFATHER acting as accomplice, Mell delivers a swift collection of bad attitude and funky fuelled electro & bass kickers, with the pace not letting up once throughout. We had the pleasure of hearing from Mell herself on all things to do with the label, her ever-changing tastes in sound, and the transition back into the nightlife industry in Germany.
Following releases on childsplay, Molekul, and International Chrome to name just a few, Melina has decided to step out and deliver for herself. 'I did not want to do so initially, but after a few releases with other labels I decided I would. It's very hard to assert yourself in a male-dominated music scene, especially as a woman'. A key motivation for the creation of the label was to avoid being blindsided by the industry as a minority artist with an underground sound, says Mell. 'I want to offer a platform to underrated, underground artists who produce really good music that nobody is listening to. Especially for Women, BIPOC, Queer, Trans and Non-Binary acts'. Juicy Gang is to be that platform with the Hamburg based artist at the helm ,alongside support from the artists involved. 'I am my own boss. I can decide what kind of sound or vision I want to create. The fact that DJ Godfather is helping me build this vision, build this platform, build Juicy Gang, means a lot to me and I am grateful for that'.juicygangrecords.bandcamp.com/track/work-n-twerk-feat-parkhouse
Track One, WORK N' TWERK feat. Parkhouse delivers a pulsating synth driven electro bop. A very fun opening door into the Juicy Gang universe.
Speaking about the challenges of establishing a label, the issues of finance and pressing delays ring loud, as well as trying to stand out in the ever inventful electronic music industry. 'In any case, a big challenge is always the financial factor. You're building something new from nothing (all whilst a global pandemic is taking place), and you are chasing a similar idea or dream of owning a label/ collective that thousands of others are also pursuing. I have never seen so many new platforms as I did during the lockdown where Instagram was and still is the only way to communicate'.
Issues at pressing plants have added further frustration for many labels particularly in recent times, with the inaugural Juicy Gang release feeling the brunt of this. 'When I started Juicy Gang, I thought to myself, okay cool, now there's music to listen to. But that's not how it works. I'm a very impatient person, so it's hard for me to deal with delays and so on. But I guess I have to get used to that. It was and still is very difficult for me to understand the internal processes'.
Amongst the difficulties, there are always guiding lights and having the right people and support is vital in this industry. Mell alludes to her team, Tansu and Claudio, who in particular are always there for her and have supported her push to create the label in her own vision. 'A big advantage with Juicy Gang is that I can decide for myself and make it become what it is meant to be. I hope to encourage women to start labels and make music. That's what the electronic music scene needs!'.juicygangrecords.bandcamp.com/track/splinter
SPLINTER channels Mell's darker electro side, throwing us into an AI infested world of bleeps and bloops!
Those who have become attached to the sound of Mell G in recent years will associate her music with ghetto tech, electro, juke, and footwork. Mell's introduction to these sounds was, probably similarly to many, an unlikely one. 'My first contact with ghetto tech, juke, and footwork came about in a city that has nothing to do with this music for anyone: Marburg. My friends and I had a collective and I joined them when they were already playing this sound. UK Garage was also new for me then. They were the best evenings at that time discovering this music with my friends. I went from footwork to juke to ghetto tech, and now electro. But I'm always changing my sound. It's a process.
The recent return and transition back into gigging has allowed Mell to test these new sounds out. 'At first I was afraid my sound would only work on the screen but not on the dance floor. But people are hungry and I feed them with Electro and they don't get full. The feeling is insanejuicygangrecords.bandcamp.com/track/hit-that-shit
To close out the EP, 'HIT THAT SHIT' delivers on a booty bass floor filler, leaving us eager to hear more from the imprint.
In addition to readjusting back into the world of nightlife for herself, Mell has watched over the last number of months at how the industry in Germany as a whole has evolved since reopening.
'Line-ups are becoming more diverse, but I often have the feeling that they are only doing so because they 'have' to, and that feels disgusting. It is a step in the right direction, but we are still a long way from where I would like to be. You still hear about strict doors, no safe spaces, lack of awareness. All this despite the fact that we haven't had a club for almost 2 years. But there are also positive changes: more and more I see female-only line ups or a balanced line up. It's rare, but they are there. I also see changes in sound, and I'm very happy about that, because now there is room for sub genres besides techno, and that works too!
Juicy Gang Records is going in a very exciting direction with this first release, and Mell's vision and determination has us overly enthused to come along for the ride.