Enon: In This City

[19 June 2003]

By Adam Dlugacz

Enon make a single that is actually worth owning

The newest release by New York sci-fi freak-out new wavers Enon is a maxi-single that maximizes its value by offering both audio and visual treats. The audio components are the band’s remix of “In This City” off of last year’s High Society full player, as well as Dalek’s remix of the same song. There is also a version of “Murder Sounds” from the forthcoming Hocus Pocus, and the short instrumental “Inches”. The real treats here are the three videos offered up for “In This City”, “Carbonation”, and “Pleasure and Privilege”, all accessible to anyone with a DVD-player.

The first remix of “In This City” turns the song into a very beat-heavy affair. Enon strip the original of its hip-hop feel by subtracting the needle-on-the-record scratching and the organic drumming. In their place, Enon maximize the bottom end of the beat, so that the sonar-like synthesizer takes over the song. They also layer Toko Yasuda’s vocals, adding even more focus to her voice. While “In This City” was one of the highlights off of the often-brilliant High Society, there’s simply not enough going on in Enon’s remix to make it essential. On the other hand, New Jersey-based underground hip-hoppers Dalek do their remix justice by keeping the beat and turning the rest of the track into a slick ambient affair. By opening with some very spacey beats, they turn Yasuda into a Bjork-lite, and listeners are treated to a track that would fit in nicely with any of the Icelandic star’s material. The instrumental version of “Murder Sounds” features a beat that bumps like some of Michael Jackson’s early ‘80s work. The song’s subdued nature and the fact that it’s an instrumental make it tough to anticipate anything off of the new album. It’s a little frustrating when you’re looking for a peek at an upcoming album and the band refuse to tip their hand.

The original tremors sent forth by Enon through the music scene were for more than the band’s music (which was excellent). There is a very visual element to Enon, represented by the artwork on their albums and the futuristic nature of their songs. It’s as if everyone was meant to see Enon through 3-D glasses, with the results much more thrilling than when Jaws went that route. The three videos are positively Enon, in that they combine a very futuristic look with the best of sci-fi camp. The best video is for “In This City”, which is what would happen if you spliced The Fifth Element with any sci-fi flick made before the ‘70s. “Carbonation” warns of what happens when television is responsible for raising our young, while on “Pleasure and Privilege” Enon make like MC5 if they came around in the ‘80s. What is somewhat surprising is that both of those videos show an affinity for some of Blur’s videos. The fast paced camera editing of “Carbonation” is reminiscent of the technique used on “Boys and Girls”, while the band rocking out in a cramped room on “Pleasure and Privilege” is like a caffeinated version of the video for “Coffee & TV”.

Typically singles are tough to justify. Do you really need three versions of “In This City”? However, the three videos make this pretty essential for anyone who considers themselves fans of Enon.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/enon-inthiscity/