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Enigma

Musician
Country: Germany
Carier start: 1990
Genre: Pop music  Relax  World Music  Other 
In the 80s, a native of Romania, Mihai (Michael) Cretu was successfully engaged in music - a professional keyboardist, arranger and composer, he released his own albums, produced others - for example, Mike Oldfield's Islands, and also helped with recordings for his wife. singer Sandra from the Arabesque group. However, by the end of the 80s, the inspiration, according to Cretu, began to leave him, and the time was to invent something new.

Cretu's colleague David Fairstine suggested that he start an electronic project that would combine dance rhythms with New Age ethnic melodies. David has already come up with a name for the project, a mysterious one - Enigma. Cretu took the idea with pleasure and the very first single, Sadeness, released by Cretu, Fairstine and Peterson, was a huge success. The secret was Cretu's creative approach - a music enthusiast, he set himself the goal of bringing to the masses of listeners music that they most likely had not heard before - for example, Gregorian sacred singing in Latin. Finding such "pearls", Cretu acted simply - mix them with a direct and powerful dance beat, and the hit is ready! The composer worked in a positive and warm atmosphere in his own studio in Ibiza, the cradle of electronic pop music.

The first album, MCMXC aD (1990), has sold over 20 million copies to date and is an electronic pop classic; the next record, The Cross of Changes (1993) was even more successful - in the first year alone, sales amounted to 6 million.Already on these two albums, the main features of Enigma's music and philosophy are manifested - with his music and lyrics, Cretu wanted to convey deep ideas about life to the audience, death, religion and more. But the dance beat captivated the listeners more; and Cretu was not shy about sampling everything that came to hand. For example, a recording of traditional Taiwanese singing that came to him by accident, combined with drums from Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" and female vocals, turned into the world hit Return To Innocence (a significant role in the popularity of which was played by an impressive video). Of course, with such "production", Cret and his label constantly had to sue the copyright holders - for example, two Taiwanese natives recognized their singing on the Return To Innocence recording and demanded compensation. The case was settled out of court with the help of an unknown amount of money, and Cretu admitted that he considered the recording to be publicly available and did not have an author. Despite the trick with samples, Enigma had its own recognizable sound (which appeared mainly by combining a dance beat with ambient inserts) - as Cretu said, this sound was inspired by a dream on the London subway.

The success of subsequent Enigma albums was rather top-down; the project has undergone changes and became more pop-oriented, but in any case, the "finest hour" of Cretu and his creations fell on the early 90s. Since the release of the Platinum Collection in 2009, Enigma looks more like a memorial to itself than an ongoing project.



Awards


ECHO Award
1992 - Best Marketing, Best International Artist
1997 - for the composition Beyond The Invisible
World Music Award
2002 - Most Popular German Solo Artist

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