The music of Melati ESP aka Melati Malay is a euphoric vision of megacity rhythm and rainforest escape, club breaks and weightless pop, mapping new dreams from the sound of futures passed: hipernatural.
Drawing on the music era of her teenage years growing up in Jakarta – Javanese radio Dangdut, gamelan cassettes, Moving Shadow-era liquid jungle, Japanese chill-out, etc. – as well as her current work in progressive percussion trio Asa Tone, Malay’s solo debut is boldly borderless, bridging worlds and wavelengths into a richly imagined hybrid synthetic utopia.
hipernatural is momentous linguistically, too, as Malay’s first foray into singing in Indonesian, the language of her youth. She characterizes her lyrical mode as “abstract, and a bit broken,” an intuitive collage of diaristic emotion and oblique poetry (“plant me in fleeting twilight / missing home, where is home? / I am another you”). Her voice serves as its own versatile instrument, alternately intimate and alien, sensual and sacred, shaded with the haze of hidden heavens.
Co-produced with long-time collaborator Kaazi (100% Silk, Asa Tone), the album’s 12 tracks are cohesive but eclectic, threading through temple bass music, cyber siren techno, Stereolab drum n bass, new age downtempo, and dial-up rave reveries, flecked with tactile fragments of offworld dialogue, computer hum, bubbling water, and beyond.
Malay’s technique of sampling and processing her voice into an electronic palette which she then performs on generative instruments gives the songs a bewitching artificial intelligence elegance, exquisite but uncanny. Hers is a hybridity both organic and hypermodern, deeply personal yet globally sourced – YouTube rips, nature tapes, cheap sample packs, club bootlegs. hipernatural champions a dynamic new language at the axis of then and now, of east and west, planting fresh roots in a future still being born: “Cocoon world / it’s a rare earth / earthless / decolonize your mind / unlearn everything.”