From starting at the most humble roots scattered in pubs around Manchester, Relapse has organically grown into one of the most popular and respected underground drum&bass, breakcore and jungle nights in the North West of England.
February 14th sees the lauded rave wielders celebrate turning the ripe old age of four, with a huge helping of international talent hooked in to adorn all three floors at Sound Control.
One of the five international stars that really caught our attention though is Russian neuro funk and tech step wizard Enei. Ever since he dropped his debut dubstep monster 'Xaram', Enei has stood apart as a producer that enjoys tearing up a dancefloor via the darkest means possible (hear that in his Critical mix below).
His drum&bass output has really seen him come into his own, whilst his fiesty DJ sets see him in continued demand across the globe. We caught five minutes with the St. Petersburg native to find out his thoughts on the current state of drum&bass, working with emcees, and what 2015 holds in store for him.
Hello! Thanks for chatting to us. We'll kick off with a state of the union type question, for someone who's been involved in the scene for over a decade now, how do you rate drum&bass in 2015?
The whole scene is still pretty good I think, and most of the artists are doing unique, underground music. But there is also a big pop mainstream side of it which is really growing. It's not bad but it wouldn't be good if that side of it becomes bigger than the regular underground drum&bass.
What's the drum&bass scene like in Russia?
The Drum & Bass scene in Russia is focused in St. Petersburg and Moscow which are the two biggest cities, but there are some other big promoters around the country as well. So we have big raves - Pirate Station, The World of Drum and Bass and some good club gigs as well.
When it comes to producers, we have a lot of guys who are making music, some of them really big, some of them smaller, but it's good to have a bunch of people who love it and keep doing it.
Whilst on the topic of location, where is your favourite place to play and which country goes craziest for the music?
I think for drum&bass it is the UK because it's a place where the genre was born, so people are crazy, gigs are crazy and the producers are crazy too! I've also had really good shows in New Zealand and Australia! They know how to party.
One of the UK's proudest musical accomplishments must surely be the creation of jungle and drum&bass! Heading in a more musical direction, which DJs do you most appreciate?
As a DJ I really love Martin Mefjus, he is really talented as a producer and as a DJ as well! He mixes fast with very good combinations and a great selection. No bullsh*t just bangers!
He is definitely someone that has stood out from the crowd in what seems like a relatively short space of time. Similarly, which hosts and emcees do you rate the most?
I have worked with a lot of people, but I really like AD, Bassline and DRS as an emcee and for producing. Also I like when an emcee knows the music, every track you play even if it's a dubplate. SP does this really well.
Exactly, when the emcee knows the music, it allows for them to bridge the gap further between DJ and audience. Would you rather have an emcee alongside you or do you prefer sets with them?
Yeah, as I said I prefer it as long as he is a professional, and not an emcee that tries to sing soul or reggae over the hard neurofunk for example!
The beauty of the music allows for such amalgamations from different sides of the musical spectrum. You must come across a lot of different combinations from all the different countries that you play in? Then there's also the increasingly popular live shows that a lot of drum&bass artists seem to be tackling - would this be something you would consider doing or are you happy with traditional DJing?
Yeah I'm pretty happy with spinning records, I'm still thinking about what I should do when I play live sets. My music is too dark and deep for doing live I think.
If it's not broken then why fix it?! Any news on any forthcoming releases?
Yeah, I have got loads of stuff. I just finished a collaboration EP with Kasra (hear their joint effort from last year above), so it will be five tracks and coming out really soon! Also I have got over 30 tracks collecting for my second album, so it's still in progress and will be released in 2015 I guess.
I've also got some interesting collaborations that will be announced soon including a few with some UK born vocalists which is really fresh and cool! Keep your eyes open for them.
We will. Do you have any recommendations for who is going to make a name for themselves in 2015?
I think the Critical Records guys will - Hyroglifics (below), Mefjus and Emperor. Also Eastcolors have written an amazing LP for Demand Records.
It's certainly an exciting time for drum&bass. Finally - You were really well received when you last played Relapse, are you looking forward to returning?
Yeah absolutely! I'm so excited because I have so much new music to play and I want to showcase it for the people! Last time it was a great night with so many people inside and the crowd was really crazy!
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