Artists You Should Know: Melati ESP Explores Jakarta With Dreamlike Electronica In Music Video For “BAHASA BARU”

Melati ESP by Deska Binarso

Indonesian-American artist Melati ESP has shared another preview of their forthcoming debut album hipernatural with the release of its latest single “BAHASA BARU.” It’s the third track the experimental pop creator has revealed from the record, following the blissful electronica of “E.M.Z.” and the hypnotic soundscapes generated on “KUPU KUPU ELEKTRONIK.” She’s also a member of the progressive percussion trio Asa Tone which released its debut Temporary Music back in 2020 — and it was fellow project member Kaazi who co-produced hipernatural with Melati.


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Listening to Melati one is immediately struck by the organic world-building that goes into her music, the tapestry of tones textured as much by her eclectic musical influences as it is by the natural world (the noise of bubbling water is sampled on the album). Growing up in Jakarta led to a collision of numerous musical spheres: Javanese radio Dangdut, gamelan cassettes, Moving Shadow-era liquid jungle, Japanese chill-out, and more all playing a part in the development of her sound and the album itself.

All the lyricism on hipernatural sung by Melati is in Indonesian — the language of her adolescence. In “BAHASA BARU” (which means “new language”) her words imprint themselves over the anxious patter of drum machines and inquisitive synths. Trance-like she sings in alternating between a murmured deadpan and soothing coos that beam themselves between vaporously downtempo beats.


The music video for “BAHASA BARU,” directed by Melati’s sister Kathleen Malay, sees the artist being filmed against the backdrop of Jakarta’s daily life. Confronting feelings she had of being an outsider in the city and country she grew up in the video presents a walk-around and bird’s eye view of the urban landscape in all its vibrancy. Focusing as much on the atmosphere and sights as the people who fill them — while Melati herself takes a seat in the background, becoming a fluid part of the scenery that’s occasionally warped by animations and trippy mirror shots.

“Directed by my sister Kathleen Malay, this video was made in reverence to owning otherness, despite mostly feeling like a baby alien while growing up in Jakarta, always between two worlds. The title means “New Language.” It’s a personal statement of intent; being comfortable in occupying the third space, and creating new ways of communicating that are tethered to intuition, empathy and understanding.”

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hipernatural the debut album from Melati ESP is out on Apr. 28 via Carpark Records, pre-order it here.

Visit Melati ESP on their Bandcamp, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on new releases and tour announcements.

Words: Steven Ward

Watch the music video for “BAHASA BARU” the new single from Melati ESP below!

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