DJ Tiësto voyaged to South Africa in early 2003 and such a trip led to the recording of Nyana. This double disc is swamped with stylish trance beats and tinges of world inflections for one of DJ Tiësto’s more sophisticated moments. Disc one raves with bright melodies and hypnotic soundscapes that are nicely tailored for an outdoor crowd, and DJ Tiësto’s skill in switching tempos and moods captures an emotional atmosphere. His mix with Junkie XL on “Obsession (Frank Biazzi Remix)” is a vibrant juncture, while the title track and the Gift’s “Love Angel” operate on pinch-hitting trance loops and heavy synth beats.
Disc two is much more concentrated behind the decks for a soothing, indoor vibe. Choppy vocals thrive in the techno haze of Holden & Thompson’s “Nothing.” Other select cuts from Motorcycle, Young Parisians, and Catcher round out this glossy second set. Completely going beyond the flash of Ibiza, the design of Nyana soars with a unique energy without sounding processed.
DJ Tiësto has never been one to follow a trend and Nyana is proof of his ever-changing skin as an artist.
We bought the album when it came out. We liked the word Nyana, and thought it would make a beautiful girl’s name. It sounded pretty, and original, without being made up. We didn’t actually learn that it means sunrise in Swahili until two or three years after deciding it was what we would name our daughter. It’s fitting, I suppose, that she was born at seven o’clock in the morning.
You can listen to a sample of the album’s title track, Nyana, here.