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Q: Can you tell us a bit about the arrival of the new Achillea album?  

Yeah - we finally released it through BSC/ Sequoia, it took a while to get the scheduling right, also I re-edited and remixed again and again, because I really felt connected with this album and wanted it to be as floating as possible.
The connection with Luisa was also nearly spiritual, she never spoke before and
discovered new facets of her voice every production day.
It felt natural to use spanish language, first it's Luisa's mother tongue and second I've lived in Spain for13 years. The language sounds just beautiful, so sensual and passionate, strange that especially chill out music didn't use a lot of spoken spanish until now.
The album 'Amadas Estrellas' builds up in a classical dramatical way from very soft ambient themes through gradual introduction of harder and punchier sounds until amor - P2 and the Exodus of the pathetic 'Amadas Estrellas', finishing with a prayer to holy Maria.
I thought a lot about making several tracks more chilly and soft, but it had to be this way and I hope you will like it.

  Q :  The Nine Worlds has been out now long enough for you to have gained a wider perspective on the album – how do you feel about it in hindsight? What are your favourite aspects?

I think it has an easiness and freedom to it, you can hear that it evolved naturally without stiff songwriting or thinking about melodies, when you hear a melody, then Helene sang it freely often even without music and I surrounded it by sounds, very natural and intuitive.

Also now with Achillea II it was a great way of working with Luisa Fernandez. I tried to turn poems into music - even avoid melodies. The way Sandra and I worked on 'The Art of Love' again followed that principle, she came with written thoughts, diary pages, poems and I was the 'medium' to make them hearable, create sounds from the topics, build up a song from a story. A good path to break the rules and stop your brain from disturbing your work...

Q : With The Nine Worlds, Secrets of Seduction and Le Spa Sonique all on the market in quick succession and other material in the pipeline, 2005 was a big year for you – how did you reach that blossoming point?  

All a natural flow, all seems to turn out right.
So much was kind of 'archived in my mind' during my Enigma years that suddenly there was so much material and ideas at a time that I had to create different projects to release them all. And it makes me happy when I look back now that nearly nothing was left 'in the drawer' - besides of the sorted out bad tracks.
It's so important to not only create music but invest nearly the same amount of energy into the placement, kind and feel of the project you want to release it under.
So - all these records I've sent on to their way and there's a lot more to come.
I must admit that these are clearly Michael's influences again - he's such a brilliant 'project mind' - knowing too well what to package in which way, which element makes sense and which are in the wrong place. This is actually what music is about in a a way - because literally 'everything's possible', the only question is, how and in which clothing you bring it across.

My latest release, Sandra's 'Art of Love' I'm also quite happy with, we experimented a lot, Sandra was so open for new ideas, there are some even innovative moments on that album - I can't wait to hear the opinions of you all out there about it.

  Q : Why did you decide to release your music under different project names?  

It is a real passion to create projects, think about directions and visions, the project names felt right to me, I'm happy to have started several projects, so there's a lot of space for new mad lab-experiments in the near future.

Q : Turning to Secrets of Seduction - what do you think it is about the sound of the early Enigma material that has captured the hearts of so many listeners and obviously your own heart too?  

Hmmm - Simplicity?
A rudimental way of cutting a listener out from life, and take him on a far journey, whether he wants or not...
... and then lead him into a totally different dimension - all with simplest arrangements and elements, still I can't believe the emtiness in contrast to the strong impact the first album has. There's a lot to learn from really.

And I was truly obsessed by the first 2 albums, listened to them over and over again trying to even get the smallest details and deepest depths.

  Q : Although reanimating the style of early Enigma – your ‘Enigmatic Obsession’ is clearly a different project – what do you think you are contributing that is unique?  

I wasn't trying to be too unique with this album, reanimation and honoring of that glorious early sound was more the motive.

Q :  Do you feel that perhaps Michael Cretu is bound to innovate under the name Enigma whereas you perhaps have more freedom to explore within an established style?  

Well, having had a mega hit as big as 'Sadness' naturally hunts you in a way, you want to achieve it again, in a way I always felt happy about my freedom, not having to follow any set signature, I'm bound to find mine, and Enigma helped me a lot.

After a big hit I think you naturally want to understand it, and there the mistake begins already... the easiness is probably not how it was when you did the song.
(hope this makes sense to the readers)

  Q : Were you involved in Enigma’s A Posteriori in any way?

No - I was too busy with my productions and obviously bound to walk my own little road...



Q : Do you have a certain ‘method’ for creating music – in what order do tracks develop?

  ***Not think***
- Play around, yeah - feel like a kid in a sandbox touching things, playing keys and then - when a sound/a rhythm/an ambience catches you, you follow that path wherever it takes you, but just don't think about it...
  Q : The distinctive beats are among the more powerful aspects of your music – how do you construct these (I assume being a drummer helps)?  

To have unique grooves you have to resythesize, recycle loops and samples, splice rhythms and recombine them in a new order, sometimes play a live track on top, it can become a philosophy you spent several nights on.
When a song doesn't have that movement in the drums the base is missing and you should throw it away...

Q : What involvement do you have with the artwork on your CDs?  

I'm pretty involved here, even pick graphics from the net, go through typefaces with own dtp programs, try new combinations, the covers I consider an important visual part of a release that should be just right and fitting.

The Achillea II cover was actually nearly completely done by Steve Gordon from Sequoia records, our partner in the states, I liked it straight away and think it really suits the music.

  Q : Will there further releases under the names Achillea or Enigmatic Obsession?  

I will follow the Achillea Name, featuring different artists, we have great acceptance with these releases, also in the US.

A big THANK YOU to all people who bought the record!!!!

Q : There is more music on the way from Jens Gad – can you tell us something about your other projects?
The latest ones I can't tell, there's a lot in the pipeline, 2007 will be my most active year after Enigma, several releases and new projects on the way.
Please follow my site for that.

Thanks to Jens for allowing us that interview.