MELT (Sam Mehran and Marion Belle) – Way of Life

Photo of Sol Duck River

The great and underrated Outer Limits Recordings (OLR) was one of Sam Mehran’s many post-Test Icicles projects. I wrote about his music a couple times over the years. Outer Limits Recordings was so fucking weird and so fascinating—a kind of detritus-rock, made of discarded junk sounds, clichés, tinny beats, but assembled with purpose and affection, in a way that made it all sound new. It provoked thought and reconsideration. The best analogue I’ve come up with for OLR’s music is that it’s a little like Adult Swim’s fucking bonkers “Too Many Cooks” video. Same use of junk, cliché, old and worn-out culture to make something new and enjoyable and weird as shit.

Sam Mehran was a great artist and I would urge everyone to track down and listen to the music he made (I always found his Discogs page helpful for finding aliases, etc.)

MELT is the project he was working on with Marion Belle when he killed himself in July 2018. These handful of tunes show the range of Mehran’s production capabilities—these songs are pretty far away from the stuff he was doing with OLR. MELT’s music is sweeping and dramatic, with big sounds, huge percussion. You can still hear some of Mehran’s favorite sounds in these songs too—there’s a beat on “Strictly Dior” that sounds so brittle and basic, like a preset on one of the Casiotone keyboards from the 90s. There’s a lot to like on this MELT EP, and some of the songs (especially “Strictly Dior”) have a vibe like a more emotive and direct version of Felt.

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