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Digging Deep: ENA

Digging Deep: ENA
Matt Clough

Lurking in the far-flung Oriental corner of the Minimal-170 genre is Tokyo based producer, ENA.  Producing under several different monikers, including Yu Aseda and other apparently more ‘secret’ aliases, ENA’s releases have been sporadic since 2008 and have often gone under the radar of many discerning clubgoers, perhaps due in part to his remoteness from the scene’s most prominent locales.

But it was 2013’s superb Bilateral LP on 7even Recordings that saw ENA begin to move out of the shadows and right into the forefront of the underground scene. This individual brand of minimal draws from a wide array of influences, from early proto-Drum & Bass and abstract hip hop, shining through to develop meticulously detailed, intricate textures; delicate yet with an inherent darkness that cannot be ignored.

Fast forward to 2014 though and it looks as if this is set to be the biggest year yet for the often elusive Japanese producer. Last week saw the release of the Bacterium EP on Samurai‘s deliciously experimental vinyl only Horo label, which precedes his forthcoming album on the same label which is set to land later this year. The former EP exhibits incredibly highly strung production tendencies and a swagger that shows ENA truly finding his sound and stride, and shows a man gearing up for a serious long-player offering which connoisseurs of experimental electronic music must ignore at their peril.

Intrigued into what makes the man tick, we reached out to ENA to draw eight tracks for the latest installment in our Digging Deep feature, which delves deep into the expansive record collections of leading artists and tastemakers. As ENA rarely does press outside of his homeland, this one is a real privilege to be hosting. So sit back and explore the influences of an intriguing experimental producer who so seldom lends his voice to the music he creates.

Deep Purple – Child in time

Of course Deep Purple are before my time but I played guitar as a kid and copied a lot of this classic rock as I learned. This is real music and they are real musicians.

Tool – Stinkfist

I remember when I was a kid at school I watched this video on MTV. It is totally shocking and insane but at the same time the music is something special to me. The balance of the music and the dark atmosphere definitely influenced the style of music I make.

Korn – Blind

Korn’s 1st album is still special, they were such a big band in the 90’s.

Show & AG – Next Level (Nyte Time Mix)

One of my favourite Premier tracks – tight beats and lots of space…

DJ Krush – Duality (feat. DJ Shadow) 

This song changed my life. I have been to lots of his gigs here in Tokyo.

DJ Vadim ‎– Relax With Pep (Part 6)

Really nice hiphop. Fat, raw beats and a few abstract samples. Simple as that!

Source Direct – Stone Killer

Some of the best drum work in D&B for me. Just perfect.

Breakage – Clarendon

This tune was a turning point in D&B. I remember so many DJs playing this tune and it captivating people.

Loxy and Gremlinz – Silver Steez

A prototype for modern D&B. The rhythmical patterns are still so fresh.

Thanks very much to ENA for his selections. The Bacterium EP is out now on Samurai Horo.