Karl has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. He's passionate about music, art, and writing!
Enoque Carrancho is a Calgary-based electronic music artist. He creates music under the monikers Enno Karr, One Less of Them, and Bread ’n Butta. He can craft music that fills dance floors while also producing lush, rich musical landscapes. He’s also a part of the recently created Oscill8 Collective. They promote and give awareness to live-performing electronic musicians and producers in Alberta. They’ve just started putting on shows in different Calgary venues. I talked to him about his musical roots, his creative process and where he finds inspiration as an artist.
KM: How did you first become interested in electronic music?
EC: I must have been around 13 or 14 when I starting listening to a South African radio station called Metro. I listened to DJ Fresh (not the U.K. one) and Glen Lewis (not the American one). They would play deep house and Afro house. I would record their shows at night and re-listen to them in the morning. I just called the music African house. It sounded like house music and I had a concept of what that was. The African DJs had a lot of percussive elements and tribal elements in their music.
When I started buying my own music, I was introduced to Danny Tenaglia by one of my friends. I bought one of his mix compilations under the Tribal UK label. It just kick-started everything for me.
I was always interested in lots of different types of music. I’ve always listened to rock, pop, classical music and traditional music from Portugal and Brazil. I’ve always been interested in anything that has really nice rhythm or just beauty really. I’ve incorporated all of those influences into my music.
When I was 16 or 17, I started really getting into production with sequencers and playing the keyboard. I created a band with my brothers, we played R+B and rap. We performed in that band for several years. I joined my brother’s heavy metal band when I was 21 and went into that side of music, but I was always interested and kind of doing electronic music on the side, but I really got into it in 2008.
KM: Talk about your approach to creating electronic music.
EC: Sometimes I’ll start with the rhythm section, other times I’ll start with a melody or a chord progression that sounds really pretty. I’ll create the melody and then emphasize parts of that melody through rhythm.
I’ll get a little in my head at times, so at that point, I try to break down what I’m doing and find the cool factor in the chord progression. I’ll try and hone in on that on a practical level.
With Bread ’n Butta, I use acoustic sounds to get more of a real band feel. I’m still using samples, but I like to use as many organic sounds as possible to create that ‘70s disco feel.
One Less of Them can be a lot more rhythmic with stranger sounds because I’m approaching it from the cinematic, film score side of things. It definitely has its own unique characteristics.
With Enno Karr, I can get really weird and techno or just do straightforward progressive music.
KM: How do you approach playing live electronic music?
EC: I approach it as simply as I can because I want to be playing the prominent parts of the track on keyboard. I usually leave any melodic parts or cool rhythmic parts with piano or strings out of the music (when I’m playing live).
I like to mix the live stuff like DJ would, so I transition between tracks using effects and give myself the freedom to re-create the track differently every time and then use the keyboards to play fun, live stuff over it.
KM: What's the difference between creating a dance track and a more cerebral, deeper track for you?
EC: On a dance track you’re creating a backdrop for people to be able to dance and express themselves in the physical realm, so it’s not very cerebral but you can add really cool elements in the track and allow a dancer to listen to it even when they’re just chilling out. I put a lot more thought into the theory side of things and the emotional side of things in my more cerebral music. I want people to almost see the beauty when they’re listening to that music.
KM: Talk about the electronic music scene in Alberta and how you see it.
EC: I’ve seen how the community has blurred the lines between different cliques and different genres. There’s a lot of little micro-scenes, but for the most part they talk to each other or they know people in another scene. It seems like there’s a lot more community happening on a bigger spectrum than having micro-ecosystems trying to live by themselves.
I’m a teacher at Beat Drop here. It’s opened up the realm for learning about producing electronic music from a cerebral point of view. Beat Drop is fulfilling a role for people to learn about the music and actually become a part of the community. They can be with other like-minded individuals and get some guidance.
The electronic music scene in Calgary has a parenting side, it has a moderator side and it has a delivery side of making sure that this music is understood and respected. Even people who don’t like the music can say they see what we’re doing here and why we do it.
KM: Where do you want to take your musical career in the future?
EC: I want to expand the scope of his live performances. I'm looking for musicians to do live, orchestrated versions of some of my tracks, especially the earlier stuff, which is really musical and can be translated to classical instruments more easily than the other stuff. I’m looking forward to that in the next two years, so if everything goes well I’ll have a mini-orchestra to play with live.
KM: How do you recharge your creative batteries?
EC: I listen to minimal, pseudo-electronic classical music by composers like Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds from Iceland. It’s music that really touches me deeply. It gets my brain working on the cerebral stuff and I’m always naturally wondering how it would sound with a disco beat or a techno beat.