After a noticeable period of inactivity, Australia-based internet label Enig’matik Records has officially disbanded. Their once well-designed website is now desolate–completely blank except for the single solemn message, “this account has been suspended.”
The label made its announcement via an understated Facebook post:
After considering our future it’s apparent that our time is most valued put into our own personal projects. Thanks again for the support. Enig’matik.
There’s a silver lining to every cloud though, and as an act of gratitude to fans, you can now download their entire discography for free, which will remain online permanently.
Over the course of its three years as a label, Enig’matik Records became one of electronic music’s best kept secrets–an online platform for sound designers and audio geeks who pored over their labyrinthine tracks to the point of obsession. Each artist dabbled in different genres–tech-breaks, broken beats, IDM, glitch hop, dubstep, trip hop, experimental techno, and even ambient. But they all shared a love of extraordinarily hi-fi, manically detailed, hyper-clean production, formed by the call and response of countless glitchy noises, psychedelic wobbles, and futuristic squelches.
The label’s founder Jake Rose (also known as Sun in Aquarius) strived to explore the cutting edge of technology, not just with the producers he handpicked, but also in his promotion of the collective’s various multimedia side-projects–graphic design, sample packs, sound libraries, critically acclaimed plugins, and interactive art, even some constructed on massive scales.
But the music is ultimately what earned the label its cult fandom. The songs released on Enig’matik were disturbing explosions of creativity, filled with the bipolar moods and sinister experimentations of mad scientists. Production duo Circuit Bent went so far as to wear surgery masks and lab coats when they performed. Slurm from the label’s compilation, Painting Pictures On Silence v2, is probably the best example of why, with its madcap vocal cuts squiggling together like worms packed tightly into containers and drenched in sulfuric acid. They make it as confrontational and devoid of harmony as they can, sharing their abrasive gestures with Berlin’s Sensient. His track Focalise (from the first volume of Painting Pictures On Silence) tenses all of its muscles together but refuses to release over the course of its eight minutes, even as the veins begin to pop and blood cells start to clot. They were presenting the future as a maniacal sci-fi nightmare waiting for us to enter the void so that it could crush us 1984-style.
At the same time, many of the label’s artists never allowed the desensitizing aspects of technology to steal away their sense of humor. There was plenty of fun to be had when Goosebumpz dropped some irresistible swing and funky bass on his debut EP Contact. I challenge you not to smile when you hear the wobble of the decade on Grouch and Hedflux’s Reverse Entropy. And there’s very few drum and bass builds and drops more ridiculous than the one that begins at the four-minute mark of Auma and Desiseq’s Chute.
Even though Enig’matik Records has ended its run, it’s given many budding artists an outlet to hone their production skills. The fact that they’re now all too busy with their personal endeavors to contribute to Enig’matik anymore means that, at the very least, Rose accomplished one of his goals of jump-starting accomplished producers. Here’s hoping that each artist continues to treat us to their unique explorations in sound over the years.
You can grab the entire Enig’matik discography over at the label’s Bandcamp.