Enigma released the second part of Sadeness

Enigma's Sadeness (part 1) was riveting when it appeared in 1991, a peak of remix culture that transported millions to another place, the old world and the new age meeting in a feast of futuristic EDM. But it also encompassed musical tropes (Gregorian chants, appropriated "world music", new age spirituality, that drum loop) that were quickly and thoroughly debased. Within a few years, Sadeness and its sequelae seemed not only cheesy but vaguely problematic, other histories fed pell-mell into a white guy's synthesizer. The criticism is a little unfair, given that other similar projects — Deep Forest, Adiemus — were much grosser on that front.

Anyway, as Trump sailed into the White House in November 2016, Enigma finally released Sadeness (part 2) to little public attention or acclaim.

It's a slow electronica mashup of Bach's Toccata and Fugue. It's all that was good and bad and very bad about the "sampler mannerism" that followed the second summer of love and acid house and "techno" and that book by the KLF. Especially the setting of esoteric imagery against electronic beats that you can't dance to and the echoing murmur of Poe's law. It's unexpectedly obvious.

P.S. The best Enigma track is Out From The Deep, a one-off psychedelic rock trip to Atlantis that doesn't sound remotely like anything else they ever did.


I say, O Caesar, Enigma released part II of Sadeness.


The breaking of so great a thing should make

A greater crack. The round world

Should have shook lions into civil streets

And citizens to their dens. The release of part II of Sadeness

Is not a single doom. In the beat lay

A moiety of the world.