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LOVE SENSUALITY DEVOTION

LOVE * SENSUALITY * DEVOTION

The soul belongs to God,

but the body belongs to us

 – Rasputin

The launch of ENIGMA eleven years ago (October 1990) changed the world of pop culture. Michael Cretu does not follow trends but sets them. Like an Ark, this “Soundship” called ENIGMA has until today brought together different cultures from all over the world and from all centuries by uniting them as rhythms, sounds and voices. ENIGMA remains a continuum which reinvents itself. Whether you want to dream or dance, suffer or love, meditate or make a joyful noise each listener interprets Enigma in his or her own way

The four ENIGMA works, “MCMXC a.D.” (1990), “The Cross Of Changes” (1993), “Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!” (1996), “The Screen Behind The Mirror” (2000) sold 30 million units until now (2001). The debut album was on the American Billboard Charts for more than five years.  Over 50 number 1 chart positions and 85 platinum awards make  ENIGMA the most successful German musical project trhoughout the world ever.

Out of the the four ENIGMA works Michael Cretu has chosen 16 pieces for the Greatest Hits album “Love Sensuality Devotion” which reflect his ”memory of the future”. Sixteen songs, sixteen signals which penetrate all barriers – sixteen dreams calling up images that have never been imagined – sixteen stories combined that tell an even greater story.  The story of life. A story told in the only  language understood all over the world. Music.

Heart is the engine of your body

but brain is the engine of life

– Enigma (Between Mind and Heart)

The overture to this trip into another musical dimension is the new song “Turn Around”. A prologue to the sound universe around the planet of ENIGMA. “Turn Around” plays with fragments and quotes of the four ENIGMA works in order to create a totally new soundsphere with unexpected easiness. We are taken away by our own device, we’re swept along without a break to the end of the album. “Evolution, too, happened without a break. I think the emotions evoked when listening to music shouldn’t really be interrupted, either,” Michael Cretu explains. So, on “LSD. The Greatest Hits” the music flows on for 76:30 minutes, merges, creates layers, melds together. Time never stops … Like a musical mosaic, the tracks put together in their new constellations create an entirely new general picture of the “voice of ENIGMA”, a “turn around”.

Intentionally ambiguous, Michael Cretu has chosen the special title for his hit collection, “LSD”. “I’m addicted to music. So, music is like a drug for me. And others, too, will be able to go on a trip with this album, in a good sense.” The letters L S and D stand for “Love. Sensuality. Devotion”. Cretu: “For me these are elementary terms of happpiness, of a fulfilled life.” Thus it is a logical conclusion for the mastermind behind the project to stay in the background. “This music does not need a face, the music is the face. Only emotions are important. The pilot of the musical spaceship ENIGMA should not be visible.”

This very ambitious opus would be lacking something if there wasn’t a platform for great and most impressive remixes. “Dancing is a possibility to live one’s most original energies and express one’s emotions. So, “dance” has always been an important part of the ENIGMA concept.” No turntable, no mixing desk, no club, no dancefloor which hasn’t at least once felt the ENIGMAtic vibes. Simultaneously with the unique hit collection, a remix collection by the same name  “Love. Sensuality. Devotion The Remix Collection” will be released: nine incredible tracks of sounds, tunes and rhythms offering the best DJ material and dance matter . A truly fascinating 10:27 minute. mix of “Turn Around” opens the album with tomorrow’s club classic.

It is surprising how much ENIGMA has influenced the sounds and rhythms of the club culture. No other artist has been copied, quoted and adapted like Michael Cretu. “The fact that ENIGMA has been used by so many only shows that it was really something new. Even though it’s irritating, it’s still a compliment.”

Turn Around and you will see

life is like a roundabout

a kind of LSD

-Enigma (Turn Around)

But the odyssey of ENIGMA will not end in 2001. “The Greatest Hits” and the “Remix Collection” will only be a preliminary final statement of the “alchemist” Michael Cretu in regard to his artistic enigma which only he can solve: “The first four albums are like cycle to me. “Love. Sensuality. Devotion” is a documentation that ends this first phase of ENIGMA. The first volume is closed now. But I promise there’ll be a second one. Because ENIGMA’s music is like a neverending dream. A beautiful one, too. When you stop dreaming you die. And I have many unfulfilled dreams yet.”

Σ

Enigma’s latest album, Love Sensuality Devotion – The Greatest Hits, proves to be a delightful mix of electronic and new age music. In addition to the collection of past hits, Enigma’s latest single “Turn Around” is also featured on the album.
The average mainstream music listener today probably confuses Enigma with Enya, and thinks of Enigma as the girl who sings that one song “Return to Innocence” which always gets played on those “Pure Moods” television commercials. In fact, Enigma is the work of Michael Cretu (a.k.a. Curly MC), whose extensive use of keyboards and sampling leads to this unique blend of music. He sings most of the male vocal roles, while the female singing parts are filled by his wife, Sandra Cretu. She is the one who does sing in “Return to Innocence,” which is also on this album, but the creative force driving Enigma is definitely her husband Michael. In general, however, most of the songs do not extensively use vocals.

The songs spread out among a wide range of tastes. Chants, quiet instrumental sounds, electronic beats, and a distinctive pop-sound accurately describe the variety of sounds that can be heard on the album, or even in just one Enigma song. “Gravity of Love,” is a great example of portraying Cretu’s skill at merging these sounds. The song begins with slow-paced vocals from Ruth Ann-Boyle that could even pass off as being the basis for a more mainstream tune. After about a minute, chants pick up in the background, and a few seconds later subtle whispers begin to reverberate. The mix among these sounds stays throughout the rest of the song. The album’s songs can be separated into two groups: those that revolve around heavy synthesized electronics and chants, and those that are primarily structured around the vocals. Most of the songs belong in the former category. If listened to from start to finish, a few transitions between songs would be missed.

Overall, the sounds blend well together into one complete album. For the majority of people who are unfamiliar with Enigma’s music, this greatest hit compilation is definitely worth a listen. Over the past decade Enigma has churned out enough hits (yes, even radio hits) that at least some of them are familiar and, what’s more, they are sure to please any listener.
For a more intense fan of new age — one already familiar with the Enigma’s earlier music — this album only contains one new song, but the convenience of having such a great collection on one CD is in itself a good reason to buy. There is no mystery to this Enigma — this album is a keeper.

ENIGMA - The Planetarium Show

01st October 2001 at 20:00 the world premiere of the Love Sensuality Devotion – Enigma Planetarium Show took place in the spectacular illuminated Planetarium in Hamburg. The audience was thrilled! In addition to numerous makers in the music industry, members of the cultural authority and many journalists Michael Cretu and Sandra were flown in from Ibiza.

“One solution to the live problem is a planetarium show – and that is why we are in Hamburg” (M.C.). A show stitching together Enigma’s numerous videos has begun at the city’s planetarium. Another 60 planetariums, including London, have reportedly expressed interest.

The show unfolds amid billowing dry ice and scudding lasers. The ceiling is illuminated into the arching roof of a monastery as the music pulses. The images dancing around our heads are often ad-land clichés – floating babies, smiling peasants and lots of dusky lovelies. But most punters will be suitably awed by it all.

 

The show’s tracklist :

1. The Voice of Enigma
02. Sadeness
03. Mea Culpa
04. Principles of Lust
05. Rivers of Belief
06. Return to Innocence
07. Carly’s Song
08. Beyond the Invisible
09. TNT for the Brain
10. Gravity of Love
11. Push the Limits
12. Turn Around
13. The Child In Us





© Credits:

Virgin/EMI press release, Eric Chemi (The Tech Online Newspaper), Marcin Papke