Melawati was nearly lost to a volcanic eruption. Fortunately, he survived, lived to tell the tale and turned his energy to modular synthesis. What else? Having arranged a remix over IG with Maceo Plex, we asked the Belgian musician to introduce himself.
Who are you?
I am Melawati, electronic music maker, destroyer of gear and lover of wires.
Where are you from?
A little village close to Brussels, Belgium, where the asphalt gives way to the trees.
What do you sound like?
Like an analog fever dream. Like fizzy electronica and like warm sounds from the womb
of mother synthesizer.
Why should we follow what you’re doing?
Because I do not know where I am going, and it’s going to be a good ride while we find out.
Which of your tracks sums you up? Why?
‘I Just Want To Go Walking’. It’s the soundtrack to something I saw a long time ago, and
even though I don’t really know what any of it means, it sits at the heart of everything. It’s
soothing and chaotic, which is where I end up a lot of the time.
What have you got coming out in the near future?
My album Aritmia, on Ellum. It’s an album that grew organically and changed
unpredictably through the last years and has now found a place to come home to.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
The Beatles. Because at the end of the day I will put on Revolver and close my eyes.
Closer to what I’m doing: Bonobo, Amon Tobin, Aphex Twin, as they all come up with
songs, sounds and beats I can’t even wrap my head around.
What have you released so far? What’s coming in the future?
My track Daliah, with massive remixes by Tale Of Us and Maceo Plex. My remix for
Chromatics’ Shadow. More remixes of me and by me are coming soon, as well as my
How did you get into DJing/ producing to begin with?
I started playing around with modular synthesizers and programming, putting my little
experiments on Instagram, more as a sound diary than anything else.
One day, however, I got a message from Maceo Plex, asking me if he could sign a jam he found on my
Instagram. I happily agreed, and reworked the jam into a track (Daliah) which got remixed by
Tale Of Us and Maceo Plex himself.
A couple of weeks later, I heard my jam on the big stages around the world. It was a trip.
What are three things on your studio shopping list
Cables. Some real good snappy envelope modules. A very cheap walkman with a thrift
shop selection of old tapes.
Who or what have you sacrificed for your art?
My sleep, rest in peace.
What’s been your favourite place to play so far?
Tomorrowland was massive, as it was my second show. Since I don’t really DJ, but play
a live setup of synths, wires and some DIY builds it was pretty nerve-wracking diving in
the deep end like that. It was a nice big splash though, and the crowd was amazing.
Where can we hear your music?
Everywhere, and pretty soon on vinyl too, which is a dream come true.
What one song would feature on the soundtrack to your life?
What motivates you?
Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles. There will never be a beat that good. It was the
first thing I ever heard that had my heart rate going up, and it still does to this day.
What motivates you?
Playing live in weird places. Seeing crowds move and give off energy as a living
organism. Joining that energy.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I had a pretty close encounter with an erupting volcano, but lived to tell the tale.
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a …
Boy in a treehouse.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve received?
Don’t take anything too seriously.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Playing live somewhere bizarre. In a cave maybe, who knows.
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