Right from the start, I was a fan of Enigma, the new age/house music/sample-heavy project of Michael Cretu and a couple other producers. You’ll likely best remember the Gregorian-chant/dancey single “Sadeness” from 1991.
This was some seriously cool music that came out of left field but sold in the gazillions – and, for a while, made Gregorian Chant popular (thanks to the samples on “Sadeness”). Enigma put out seven proper records (and some collections, of course), the last one, Seven Lives Many Faces, appearing in 2008. Cretu wrote an excellent song, “Carly’s Song,” for the “erotic thriller” film Sliver, and a number of other Enigma songs appeared in movie and TV soundtracks (and no wonder: if you’re familiar with Engima’s music, you’ll recognize its cinematic quality).
And An Internet First
Cretu also gets credit for a very cool project: in 2010, he solicited (online) collaborators for what was called the “Enigma Social Song” project. You can read about it on Enigma’s site, but essentially it was a piece of music collaboratively produced and performed by a number of volunteer musicians drawn from those who offered their talents. The resulting song, “MMX The Social Song,” thus stands as the first song that was ever written, performed, and produced through Internet collaboration.
I like all Enigma’s albums, although my favourite is probably the second one, The Cross of Changes, because it’s both varied and unified and has some cracking good songs. But I know the albums too well, and I want more. Cretu has shown an ability to adapt with the times while always creating music that sounds like nothing other than Enigma. Let’s hope there’s more to come.