Russian powerhouse Enei returns to Critical Music with his latest 5 track Ep ‘Faded’. Since his collaboration with bossman Kasra earlier this year, fans of Enei’s signature output have been patiently waiting to see what he has in store next – and the wait is over.
Staying true to his renowned sound palette, while simultaneously showcasing a grittier more organic style in his productions (if that’s even possible) – ‘Faded’ is a testament to the technical & original creative prowess consistently demonstrated by Critical’s main man. I caught up with him and had a quick chat about the EP, his favourite tech at the moment & how he gets his snares so. damn. tight….
This is your first release since your collab with Kas earlier in the year (Transmitter EP) – how long has it taken to complete the project and what were your struggles/highlights?
I struggled to find a new style and new inspiration for making music, and then I built my new fully equipped studio a year ago, after that I took about 2-3 month to finally wrap a few ideas for this new EP and the struggles were gone 🙂 I really like what I did because its kind of a breakthrough in the production crisis.
The overall theme of the EP is more industrial & darker than usual – where did you draw inspiration from for this collection?
I tried to unleash everything dark and weird out of my mind, tried to make something different than I did in the past couple of years. I kinda challenge myself how can I make it more weird and strong.
Is there a theme? Tell us about the story behind the creation of the EP.
There’s no specific theme, I just work a lot with hardware synth I got for my studio, and its 85% hardware sound in there! All the basslines and main sounds are all analogue which I’m trying to use in the weird, dirty and fucked up way. No clean sounds, only over-distorted, dirty and saturated weird timbres.
Do you have a favourite track from the EP?
It’s definitely a ‘Bag Of Raw Meat’. I made it with a lot of passion and energy and tried to put all of my mind and feelings into it. Music is very copy/paste nowadays, I wanted to break it.
You’ve invested in some new tech over the last year, mainly analogue – did those pieces of kit influence your production style/sound?
Yes as I said it’s been used a lot. I’m trying to find really unusual ways to use the common analogue synths, tried to use it as really weird, beefy, dirty machines. You know some people say Moog sounds like Moog, but with a bit of creativity and passion, you can turn any classic analogue synth into a fucked up modern beast. The thing that all people need at this moment!
What is your favourite piece of tech you use when producing (plugin/hardware)
I really like to make a chain between two or three synths, I usually use Moog Sub 37 together with Sherman Filterbank 2 for basslines and weird FX sounds. Also with tons of processing to make it sound more like ‘Enei’. Korg Minilogue is more for pads and chords and melodic stuff.
There’s definitely a more organic feel with this EP in contrast to your previous works, was that intentional?
I just tried working with a lot of details on this release, put as many interesting sounds and unique timbres as I can with all of those new synths, and of course as it was made with analogue and my hands exactly it may be sounding organic.
Are you going to do a tour for the EP?
I have a lot of shows scheduled for next couple of month so yeah we can call its a tour but not made especially for this EP. I have many shows in the UK, some shows in Europe so catch my gig list on my facebook page.
You’ve managed to retain your signature sound & fanbase over the years, yet continually push the boundaries with your productions – why is that important & how do you keep that balance?
The only important thing for me is to keep the sound unique and fresh, I don’t want to copy anyone, even if I’m getting influence from other artists, I’m changing it and make it sound like me. I think people appreciate it and are waiting for that particular sound from me.
With that in mind, you regularly return to longtime collaborators – myself included – and have helped in flipping the way people perceive vocals on d&b – helping to break the ‘vocals can only be on liquid’ stereotype – what is it about having vocals on a d&b tune that keeps you working with these artists?
Same thing here, I don’t get any stereotypes that the vocal tune must only a pop tune or a liquid tune, I like to combine things that for first look seems like uncombinable. Same with my sets I could mix heaviest Phace tune with deep and atmo Halogenix tune and it will work. So working with you I tried to turn my dark and deep style into a vocal music.
Next is a lot of music, I made already tons of new material also new collabs waiting for finalizing and then decide what to do with it, and now I’m just enjoying playing it at gigs.
Any last words?…
Keep your eyes open for my music and music from Critical. Read books, listen to good music and drink wine!
Thanks, Alex! You can grab your copy of Enei ‘Faded’ here.