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Featured art: virtual self EP cover art by asmu and NIK P.

d:enigma emerges onto the scene with his debut EP, virtual self, released through VALE on February 4. Based out of Austria, d:enigma (David Dieber) created four tracks that flow between genres like a river. The virtual self EP is intriguing and stimulating; it is a crisp, forward-thinking body of work that fits in perfectly with the VALE collective. d:enigma has undeniably created an impactful first impression with his debut EP.

VALE announces the release of d:enigma’s debut virtual self EP on select platforms. Art by asmu and NIK P.

Track 1: “dots”

“dots” opens up the EP with percussive, twinkling echoes layered over drums. Shortly after, a grumbling bassline comes in and creates a meditative atmosphere. d:engima also adds in the caress of a whispering synth, giving “dots” the ambiance of a quiet, starry night. Halfway through this track, discordant notes indicate a shift to a darker mood. A manipulated vocal sample and long pulsating chords introduce some elements adjacent to trap on “dots.” Differing from the rest of the track, “dots” ends with the calming incorporation of a small jazz band. The melancholy saxophone and bass guitar pair well with the twinkling riff that carries throughout this song.

Track 2: “virtual self w/ alllone”

Following “dots” is “virtual self w/ alllone.” This song begins upbeat and almost vintage, like a Playstation game soundtrack. It then unexpectedly releases into a percussive halftime track. d:enigma and alllone use panning to create an enveloping, mysterious soundscape. Dark sounds echo, giving “virtual self” an almost ghostly feel. They incorporate growling synths and distorted vocals in the latter half to add a pinch of malice. Together, d:enigma and alllone create controlled chaos with a breadth of sounds. “virtual self” is a texture extravaganza that any audiophile and causal listener will definitely love. It was even premiered with the Untz prior to the full EP release.

d:enigma virtual self ep
d:enigma, as photographed by Paul Bamberger from wearcane.

Track 3: “parasite”

“parasite” begins with quiet piano chords and the gentle tapping of different drums; as the introduction builds, a droning underlines these primary rhythms. “parasite” then establishes itself as a driving trap beat. d:enigma synthesizes a groove, exploring a variety of sounds over a continuous drum pattern. He again shows his prowess for sound design and clever composition, especially with this medley of textures and tones. Not only did “parasite” premiere with Rendah Mag, but it was also played on VISION radio.

Track 4: “question mark”

“question mark” begins cinematically with synths of several different colors. The track then grows into a breathing environment; twinkling piano washes over the listener with sounds like the wind highlighting it. “question mark” seamlessly evolves into a percussive section, fitting for a jungle experiencing a calm rainstorm. Another flawless transition by d:enigma, and the track evolves into some liquid drum and bass. This stanza is initially marked by staccato horns, then contrastingly defined by beautiful vibraphone sounds. “question mark” closes out with rolling chords that reflect the energy heard at the end of “dots.”

Releasing through VALE, virtual self is the debut EP from the budding artist, d:enigma. This EP is ripe with addicting sounds and textures, and it flows harmoniously throughout. d:enigma takes listeners on a beautiful journey outside the bounds of genre and structure in this body of work.

Bump the whole virtual self EP below, out now with VALE!

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February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the triumphs and educate yourself of the struggles African Americans face in the United States. If you’re looking to support organizations that work to promote black health, education, rights, and community development–you can do that here.

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Toni Nittolo

biochemist | audiophile | editor-in-chief for Electric Hawk | plant parent


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