Music interview '“ Enzo Siragusa looks forward to Cocoon in the Park
Enzo Siragusa is among the DJs playing at Cocoon in the Park's 10th anniversary festival at Temple Newsam. He spoke to the YEP.
How did growing up in the UK through the 90s affect you taste in music?
It was monumental! It’s where I fell in love with music and has fuelled so much of what I do today. It’s never left me.
What was the first record you bought?
‘The Green Man’ by Shut Up and Dance. I’ve actually had to buy this again as I wore out the first vinyl.
How has your taste changed since then?
Life experiences change people and as you mature with age, your taste evolves. Mine has massively changed in terms of the music I appreciate, particularly from a DJ perspective and what I can do with music. At the heart of it all though, are my first experiences. That raw feeling I had when I walked into my first rave is still at the core of what I like today.
Having had over two decades experience going out and experiencing dance music, how would you say that scene has changed over time?
When I first started it was all so new for everyone. Then over time clubbing kind of became the norm. Now, young ravers have even more at their fingertips and they crave a more immersive experience. They can also visually access this online now via videos on social media, and so they understand what goes on at various events before they even go to them. Club culture as changed as a result of this and I think that’s why the there is a shift from clubs to large scale events and festivals. Back when I started raving you had to go to an event to experience it or hear that music.
You have been releasing your own music since 2011, talk us through your production processes…
I have many production processes. I have a studio where I love to work from where my set up is at its largest with drum machines and synthesisers so I can fully loose myself, play around and jam in there. Life doesn’t always afford this luxury though with touring and family commitments so I actually end up making some tracks on my laptop using samples and soft synths. It really varies. Right now, I also have a simple home set up of a laptop, soundcard, Pioneer Toraiz sampler, Ableton Push and my headphones on my dining room table. I have another baby on the way any day now and can’t be in the studio, you have to adapt to your situation. If I come up with an idea I’ll take it in to the studio when I have more time.
Have you changed the way you produce since you first started?
Massively. I first started on my laptop using samples, Sony Acid Pro and my headphones well over 10 years ago. Now I have an acoustically treated studio, analogue desk and lots of machines and gear. It’s a constant exploration which will keep changing as I continue to learn and experiment.
What’s your current studio set-up?
Apart from what’s on my dining room table, in the studio I am currently recording and summing through my Studer 269 mixing console. I use Ableton as my DAW. I’m using an old Roland MC-303, Korg Electribe, Pioneer Toraiz SP-16 Sampler, SH-101 and JU-06. Also the Schippmann Ebbe und Flut filter and Eventide Eclipse V4 for external effects. For the geeks out there.
Earlier this year you remixed Guti and Christi Cons ‘Nuevo’. How does your production process for a remix differ to when you make original material?
When producing a track from scratch I don’t know what I am going to start with, or what I’m trying to make I just start a groove. When making a remix I already have the inspiration to start, and so this can make the creativity flow a little quicker initially and in a certain direction.
Have you got any more releases planned for the coming months?
I have a solo EP coming on FUSE towards the end of summer and am planning on releasing another solo EP on Infuse, which is a vinyl only sub label of FUSE and will include a remix from Cristi Cons. There is also a collaboration with Martin Buttrich simmering away….
In the 10 years since you started Fuse, have you made any mistakes and how have you learnt from them?
We all make mistakes – there’s been one or two dodgy mixes over the years, but I don’t think anyone noticed and I managed to get away with it.
Tell us about your Fuse show Level? and the summer at Robert Johnson?
LEVEL takes place at Studio 338 at the end of July and is going to be a big rave across 17 hours and three dance floors! It will be solely focused on FUSE and Infuse artists. It’s FUSE in a different form and shows our evolution. We’re almost in our tenth year, and it’s important that we evolve, but still stay true to our roots. Robert Johnson was an entirely different affair, playing there again was great as I love small intimate parties – I can’t wait to go back.
As a busy touring DJ, producer and event organiser, what would you say are the most important things to get the correct balance between performing, producing music and having a personal life?
What personal life?! All jokes aside, it’s really about having a good daily structure and being organised. In regard to performing, with the knowledge I have behind me, I feel I am at the stage of my career where I can go to any club and figure it out. Making music can be the hardest place to find your balance because you have to keep all the other elements in your life in check, or the music suffers at some stage. I’m a dad and it’s important I dedicate time to my young family – when myself and family are happy and fulfilled on the home front, I can keep those creative juices flowing naturally.
You will be playing at this year’s Cocoon in the Park on July 14, what can we expect from your set at the festival?
Anyone who came to Mint Club and experienced the b2b between myself, Rossko and Archie will know there is a lot of energy and a great vibe between us. Over the years I have built a very special connection with Leeds, thanks to the guys at Mint and I love to play there. Playing alongside my friends makes it even more special.
Who else are you looking forward to seeing on the day?
I always look forward to seeing to Sven Vath play, he is the best vinyl DJ in the world. So, I’ll definitely be getting a schooling from him! Always great to catch the Apollonia guys also. There’s a lot of talent on that line-up.
What other events and festivals have you got lined up for the summer?
FUSE have some very exciting summer showcases – Motion Bristol, Moonland, Sonus, Amnesia to name a few. I’m also playing for Carl Cox at DC-10, which I am really looking forward to as I haven’t played there in a few years. Rounding off the summer season back in Leeds at Mint Festival, where I’ll also be celebrating my birthday.
What does the future hold for Enzo Siragusa?
More of the same for me, I love nothing more than playing records and making music, just need to find some more hours in the day to fit this all in!
Cocoon in the Park takes place at Temple Newsam on Saturday July 14. cocooninthepark.com