“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” The steadily brilliant French producer Nathan Melja – who’s made the rounds between choice outlets over the past half decade, from Mister Saturday Nights to Antinote, via Ninja Tune offshoot Technicolour and Opal Tapes, seems to have learnt Bruce Lee’s lesson by heart, and his seamlessly fluid, no-nonsense debut foray on K.O.C. is here to potently cement his status as one of Europe’s number one club trailblazers, and one that knows all too well how to turn any dancefloor into an infinity pool of pure liquid euphoria.
Drawing its name from the physiological and psychological process that results in a confusion of one’s sensory perceptions, ‘Synesthesia’ is indeed the kind of club single that shall trigger off massive reaction amongst right-minded bipeds and chromakey house suckers. Straightforward club business done right, Melja’s original is a vivid kaleidoscope of skittish drums, swampy bass stabs and a well-rounded, supremely curvy synthwork, tailored to take ravers on a flash journey through space and time without the help of Richard Branson or Elon Tusk (pun intended).
Called in on remix duty, TTT affiliate and Incienso co-founder Anthony Naples delivers a more fragmented and ambientish variation, though functional and club-ready in its own right. Brushing even wider verbed-out pad tapestries for your brain to wander in, the track expands to deeper organic horizons with a field-depth that can not but recall that of the KLF and Bochum Welt’s emotional soundscaping. Meanwhile, Karenn half Pariah takes care of whelming us deep into more techno-friendly terrains, true to his ever masterly touch for epic buildups and multi-level textural innovation, bringing up the acidic phlegm of Melja’s original as he treats us to a carefully orchestrated ballet of synthetic whorls, contemplative chords and propulsive drum programming.