Q&A With Enimatik
As many of the Revival Synth followers know, I am a huge fan of instrumental music, and many's the occasion an artist comes along and blows my mind away with their beautiful music.
Enimatik is one of those artists. I have been following his work and his journey throughout lockdown, and it was only fitting that I found out more from this honest musician about his music and his new journey with Jane Demonroads & Renat Hassler.
Sit back, enjoy his music, and welcome to the beautiful sounds of Enimatik!
Q. Hi Manuel, please tell us about your musical journey pre-Enimatik
A. Hi Andy. It has been a very long journey. When I was 7 years old, I started taking piano lessons at the initiative of my mother, later on classical organ. During my adolescence I discovered synthesizers and started playing in local bands with friends, they were really fun times. At the end of the 90's I started to make small productions in my home-studio, and finally I decided to make the leap towards professionalism by creating a commercial recording studio. I worked a lot making productions for tv, cinema and series, while recording and producing local groups and singers. But in 2006, for many reasons, I decided to separate my path from the music industry, until last year 2020, in which the Enimatik project emerged.
Q. Who are/were you influenced by?
A. My musical influences are really diverse, Prince, Depeche Mode, Queen, The Weeknd, The Bee Gees, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson, The Corrs, Madonna, The Chemical Brothers, Mecano, Roxy Music, Marilyn Manson, Hans Zimmer .. I have always wanted to think that my musical culture is very broad, and I have always appreciated the great american and british productions. I believe that the time I was producing music commercially for clients trained me as a musician and producer in all kinds of musical genres, and I truly consider that I have been fortunate enough to live a few wonderful decades listening to legendary music. Obviously I have always been open to new influences, new styles and new artists, I think you always have to have an open mind.
Q.How would you describe the sound of Enimatik?
A. Good question. If I'm honest, at the beginning of Enimatik I didn't really know what genre the songs fit into, I had to ask people who were very informed on social media. I think that the sound of Enimatik is deeply sentimental and emotional, I seek to provoke emotions that first arise within me, be it love, passion, melancholy, sensuality... Right now my music is described as an evolution from the chillstep/ambient of the first songs towards the industrial/darkwave sound, but always with a sensual and erotic atmosphere behind.
Q. You say in your Bio on your website that you found yourself in a coma with the music industry, what brought you back to life?
A. Well, really what happened was something strange. It had been around 14 without composing a song or having a keyboard at my fingertips. Of course I had continued to listen to music, but I just thought "let someone else do it." During the confinement in my country, Spain, I suddenly found myself with available time, in such an exceptional and terrible situation, I think that emotionally my mind searched for a way out so as not to end up sinking. I bought a controller keyboard, sound card, monitors, software, upgraded my computer, and just started composing. It was like coming home, the knowledge and training were there, latent within me.
Its very sad to think that if it had not been for this damn pandemic, I might never have had the opportunity to reconnect with music creation, but that's the way it is.
Q. Do you approach your music in a different manner now? Do you enjoy it more now than before?
A. Absolutely. When working as a professional musician and producer for others, I was a mercenary. I had a very direct and close contact with the music industry, with good things and bad things, but at the end of the day, on the one hand, I was grateful to be able to make a living from music, but on the other, gradually I was losing my illusion. I didn't create my music, it didn't come from inside me, I simply coupled sounds to images, with an established script, with pressures, surrounded by incompetent people.
I remember one night attending the test premiere of a cartoon film that I wrote with great affection, in a spectacular cinema recording studio in Madrid, alone with the directors of the company. Behind us the sound technicians running a Protools system worth hundreds of thousands of euros. The music sounded fantastic, the managers liked it, it was a success, but when I drove home at night, I felt that I had sold my soul for money, that I was betraying myself... I ended up very fed up with everything and felt the need to leave the business.
With Enimatik it's the opposite, the music I created is my soul, it's me. I am free to create, to express my feelings and my emotions. I have fun not only composing, but mixing, producing and mastering. Enimatik will really make my feelings transcend me when I'm not in this world.
Q. The beautiful Jane Demonroads has recently added vocals to a couple of your tracks. In a way, that must be a dream becoming a reality for you?
A. Well, really what happened was something mystical and magical. During last year, I suffered from an injury to my leg and back that caused me a lot of pain and did not let me sleep. One night, a few months after starting the Enimatik project, I was lying on the floor with my leg raised, with very strong pain medication, I happened to discover the Instagram profile of my beloved Jane, and I do not know what happened inside me. A connection came up. There were photos and videos made by Renat, and I know many will think I'm crazy, but really my subconscious got unstuck somehow. Those photos made me remember past moments and situations, they aroused feelings and emotions. I don't know how to describe it, but it happened. I contacted Jane without much hope that she would follow my profile, but she quickly accepted my request, as did Renat. With even less hope, I asked her if I could use any of her photos for the covers of my songs, and to my surprise, she was delighted. “Darkness Diva'' was our first single together, and I composed it simply by looking at a picture of Jane and letting my feelings flow. It seems crazy, but the process was something between mystical and magical for me.
photos by Renat Hassler
All rights reserved
Q. Was Jane a missing link you’ve been searching for?
A. Continuing with my particular madness, Jane brings out feelings and situations from my crazy and gothic youth in Madrid. Renat's photos are somehow connected to my experiences. I think she's always been there, even though we don't know each other in person, the connection I just think was lethargic. Before meeting, Enimatik had already released 5 songs, of which I am very proud. But from that moment on, my creative capacity overflowed, in a way that sometimes scares me.
Q. Is it safe to say Jane is now part of your musical journey?
A. Absolutely. We live separate lives, thousands of miles apart (she and Renat live in Moscow), we may never meet in person, but Enimatik would not be what its if I had not found her. Thanks to her and Renat, I have discovered the art of dark photography, the urbex, the gothic artistic universe ... I have expanded my artistic sensibility in a tremendous way, and this is expressed in each Enimatik song.
Q. Please tell us more about your association with Renat Hassler.
A. I remember the first time I asked Jane if I could use her image for the cover of a song and what the conditions would be. She told me that she had to ask the photographer, and after a while she told me to simply quote him. They were so kind and generous. I contacted Renat to thank him for his courtesy, we followed each other on social networks, and gradually I realized that I was facing an exceptional photographer and artist. He captures moments in time, forever, in abandoned places. And those moments carry feelings inside, which each one of us feels in a different way. I could say that Renat is a kind of Enimatik of photographic art, if he will allow me the expression. As time passed, the relationship developed into a long-distance friendship with a simply charming and talented guy. We talk several times a week, we are friends in the distance as Jane says...
Q. When you see Renat’s photos, whether they’re of empty abandoned buildings or with Jane, do you instantly get an idea of the music you’d like to produce to capture the atmosphere of the photo?
A. Well, it is very curious. What I do is connect all my equipment, start playing the keyboard with my favorite pad and I go through photos with my mobile. Suddenly one of them transmits something special to me, a feeling, an emotion and everything begins. For example on the cover of my single "Noctis Voyager" there is a photo of Renat with a gas mask, in a gloomy atmosphere. That particular photo inspired me with melancholy and heartbreak, I saw a night traveller who was going to undertake an interdimensional journey in search of his beloved. On the cover of "Darkness Diva" there is a beautiful photo of Jane, in which she glows in the dark, she is beautiful. I saw that photo and I remembered moments lived with passion in the mid-90s in the wild nights of gothic Madrid. I know it sounds strange, but it is what happened.
Q. If not from Renat’s photos, where do your ideas and inspirations come from?
A. I try to listen to all the music I can, especially on YouTube. So I am getting ideas, assimilating new styles and selecting artists that I like. When I'm at the controls of my sequencer I just start trying to create a chord sequence that conveys something to me, that excites me. When I have it I start the production phase of the song, although I do not always respect the original chords, they can change if I feel that I can deepen the initial idea.
Q. How do you approach the current scenario that independent artists find themselves in, in regards to getting noticed, streaming, promotion etc…
A. Well, I started composing music at the end of the 80s, and the world and the music industry have changed a lot. I think that now we indie artists are very lucky, we have at our disposal means of promotion unimaginable a few decades ago, and at a very low cost. When I was a teenager there was no internet, no social media or anything, the music was tightly controlled by a tough industry, and a lot of talent was wasted forever simply because many people didn't have the money to buy equipment or to record a demo. I remember recording with a 4-track cassette recorder and taking the demo to record label receptions, fantasizing that some executive would call me ... now you don't have to hand over your work to a receptionist, you upload it to the internet, you promote it. and if it's quality, they'll find you. Now it´s the best time in history to make music.
Q. If you could change one thing within the music scene for indie artists, what would it be?
Scammers who sell promotional services through social networks, seem to me to be unpresentable and try to take advantage of others.
100% Agree! Good shout!
Q. To date, you have released 12 singles, all amazing in my opinion! Do you plan to release an album or an EP in the future?
A. Yes, as soon as I have a few more songs, I would like to make a compilation that shows a tour of Enimatik's musical evolution and that includes a couple of remixes of the first songs.
Q. You have an incredible knowledge into the recording process, you call it ‘ The Democracy of Sound’ on your website, a must read for any indie artist out there (in my opinion)
What advice would you give to future artists who plan to invest in their project/s?
I would tell them to spend less time promoting a false image of themselves on social media and to focus on acquiring knowledge of music theory, production, understanding and taking advantage of the magnificent tools that technology has made available to them today. I learned to sequence with a KORG M1, which had an 8-track sequencer on a tiny screen. I record demos by ping-ponging on 4-track cassette recorders. I saw equipment in recording studios that were worth at the moment more than a good house. Now with a computer and little more equipment, our creativity has no limits. I see many young indie artists more concerned with uploading photos to Instagram than composing good songs, learning to use the tools they have at a ridiculous price. I see young artists recording video clips, campaigning on social networks, obsessed with their image, and then you listen to their music and, with all due respect, it has no level.
Q. What are your future plans for Enimatik?
Well basically continue composing songs supported by Jane and Renat. We want to gradually expand the visual content of Enimatik, especially on YouTube. And I am very excited about our first remix "Gothicromance Mo Cuishle Remix", it has made us think of many things for the future.
Many thanks, Manuel, for taking time out to answer the questions. Is there anything further you would like to add?
Andy, I wanted to thank you on my behalf and on behalf of Jane and Renat for conducting this interview, we are excited that people can get to know a little more about the Enimatik project. And of course congratulations on the great job you do with Revival Synth, I wish it had existed in the 80s ...