I first started listening to Enigma about the time Return To Innocence was released and was played on the radio a lot. Most people I know don’t listen to Enigma because they just don’t know about them. Most people think they have never of heard them until you tell them some of their songs. Enigma are an electronic trance group and started a completely new music genre, Enigmatic Music.
The group was founded in 1990 by Michael Cretu, his wife Sandra (the “voice” of Enigma), David Fairstein and Frank Peterson in France. Enigma were one of the first recording groups to use a HD recording studio and their use of non-percussion instruments and voice samples such as the Shakuhachi Flute and Monk Chants makes their sound unique. I like to listen to Enigma when I need to chill out and relax, and although they do have a beat behind them this actually helps the music to flow.
Enigma first started to gain a following after their release of Sadness (Part I) which was quite controversial at the time for featuring Monk Chants and also sexual sounds played over a dance beat. Some say that this style was influenced somewhat by Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells III and The songs Of Distant Earth.
Michael Cretu states that the Enigma “sound” was inspired by him falling asleep on the London Underground. Their first album (MCMXC a.D.) is said to be about unsolved crimes and philosophical ideals such as the afterlife. In the early years it wasn’t sure whether Enigma were actually a band, a group or just one person and this was mainly due to the fact that Cretu was cautious about the release of the album, and credited himself on the album as Curly M.C. and there was not much info about Enigma on the album sleeve. The anonymity was soon made null when there was a lawsuit filed against Enigma for the use of some of the audio samples in their music.
Enigma have had some of their music featured on TV and also in Movies. The single Return to Innocence has featured on several TV shows (The Outer Limits, Man Of The House, The L Word and My So Called Life), TV adverts (Virgin Atlantic) and even the Movie: Exit To Eden. Sadness (Part I) has been featured in the Movies: Boxing Helena, Cold Case and Charlie’s Angels and has also featured on the comedy TV series Chappelle’s Show.
My Top 10 Enigma Songs are:
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