Melchior Sultana talks Mediterranean influences & non-artistic entities
Hailing from the island of Malta, the spirit of the Mediterranean is clear throughout much of the music of Melchior Sultana. His free-flowing guitar riffs over ethereal house rhythms create a sense of sun, evoked most vividly on his 2015 album, Mediterran. Trained in a variety of instruments, Melchior experiments with these throughout his tracks and live shows, often playing live guitar, keys, and drum programming on stage.
He has said that his music is driven by a love of sounds and the desire to keep it pure, avoiding the intrusion of non-artistic entities, as exemplified by the title of his latest EP, Love for the Art. Equally at home performing at Berghain or Malta’s Café del Mar, Melchior Sultana’s music appeals to dark and smokey rooms just as brilliantly as it does to bright, colourful beaches.
Melchior keeps an open mind to his productions. Having made his debut in 2004 with an energetic techno production released on Urban State Records, it would be difficult to identify that with his current output. This is a testament to his love of sounds in all their formations. We had a brief chat with Melchior about his influences, live shows, and ear protection.
The imagery of the Mediterranean appears throughout your music. How much do you think this has influenced your style?
The Mediterranean image and vibe has influenced my style a lot, but it's not just an influence, it's something that comes natural when I write music or when I perform. I don't think about it, it's just part of me, my identity, my way of life, a blend of rhythms and melodies that are coming from a deeper place.
Your live shows feel very free. Are they very rehearsed or do you simply play how you feel on the night?
Yes, I don't plan much about my lives in term of performance. Most of it happens in the moment, whether it's improvisation with the instruments or the arrangement of the music. I treat it like a concert where I have the foundation of music I released, or I'm about to release, and present it in an improvised way.
How does the venue affect your playing style?
The venue doesn't affect my playing as I’m very focused and about the music .
Having one foot in the live music scene as well as the electronic, where do you feel ear protection is a more discussed issue?
I found myself talking about ear protection in both situations, both when I was involved with bands and also with DJ friends. In the live music world you get to experience exceeding dBs a lot. A DJ might be pushing it a bit too much however you might be a bass player standing near a drummer who gets lost in his playing.
Do you take any precautions yourself when it comes to ear protection?
Yes I do take action on protecting my ears as I never leave for a gig or even just hang out at a club without my earplugs.
You’ve said that your music should be pure and not be infected by non-artistic entities. What kind of issues are these and how do you keep them from interfering with your work?
A non-artistic entity is something that forces you to compromise or lower the standard of your ar. The one main issue is money or making decisions with the intent of making more money but putting the art secondary. Doing that would would make me lose the reason and the magic of it. Nobody who really loves and respects a beautiful women will ever abuse her but rather improves himself to be able to take care of her. Same thing with the music. For me music is a life-long education and a lifestyle I dedicated myself too.
Are there any projects you’re working on right now?
Yes, I’m working on the second EP for my own label ‘Profound Sound’; a new EP to be released soon on the french label ‘Wewillalwaysbealovesong’, Owen Jay's 'Batti Batti' and Dean Demanuele's 'Dazed&Confused'; and also finishing a new album that will be released on ‘Deep Art Sound'
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Written by Alex Pigott