June 2014 saw James Lavelle’s Meltdown come to fruition at London’s South Bank. Celebrating 21 years of his Mo’ Wax label, Lavelle assembled a stellar line-up including Jeff Mills, Trentemoller, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Shadow, James Holden, ESG, and Goldie and the Heritage Orchestra performing “Timeless” for the first time. As part of the Meltdown Sessions, Ableton and CDR joined forces and hosted a series of workshops and seminars at the Royal Festival Hall, which included guests DJ Shadow, Heritage Orchestra, Si Medway-Smith, as well as Mo Wax alumni Andrea Parker, Kirk Degiorgio and Attica Blues.
A highlight for many was Tony Nwachukwu’s discussion with DJ Shadow which explored his approach to making music, and how that has been influenced and developed over the years. Shadow has moved from MPCs and sampling records through to Maschine and Ableton collaborations with upcoming young producers. Numerous entertaining anecdotes provided budding producers with some priceless insights, from how he left air at the start of the kick sample when chopping breaks (for no perceptible edit points), to more philosophical tips such as his habit of listening to music that wasn’t intended for him, or going record shopping when he hit the proverbial brick wall whilst producing a track.