Photo: Benas Bar
With music critic and editor, Yuzuru Agi - Osaka, 2012
Balance. Auto-self Anxiety Severed.
Enrique Mena (Svreca)
18 May 2021
"This year - 2021 - Semantica reached 15 years of life, which also marks a similar timeframe for me playing and touring as a DJ - from Sónar in 2007 to date.
Despite it not being the dream scenario to celebrate, at least I've had the privilege to analyse from this hiatus the different doubts that were in my mind long before this terrible pandemic started.
There has been a lot of self introspection about my role, my music, my mental health, the way I played during all these years, and well, the music itself. I have continued to work on the label while trying to understand all the differences about the here and now; starting from the past, walking through memories and using some recordings which bring me to a different time and place; sometimes from the label itself and other times, listening to sets I played at events around the globe; (I’m sure this sounds absolutely selfish, but I must say I never enjoyed listening to a recording of me performing, so I avoid this as much I can and I only do it just for double-checking if a recorded set is suitable to go public, and keep a reasonable quality standard).
I think I'm a much better DJ now, but during all that learning, shifting between formats and experiences, the versatility I acquired also killed a part of my personality playing music.
Yes, balance is the word I'm looking for.
Shinkansen, Tokyo - Osaka, 2012
Labyrinth Festival - Niigata, 2012
Japan is the place where I felt like an artist for the first time, but also where I experienced what an anxiety attack is about. Since that first trip in 2012, I have played there every year up until 2020.
It’s hard to define how important this country is for me at many levels and how it helped me to define my sound. The audience, all the artists and the people I met, and especially all the friendships I found there.
In the last years, I was really conscious about how different my sets in Europe were in comparison with Japan, and every year that distance was growing bigger. I kept these two sides alive in Stardust (Madrid), alternating openings sets with closing slots as a resident DJ, but the lack of proper spots to play music without the goal of making people dance was an evident fact on my schedule.
As a consequence of COVID, there has been a significant increase in ‘listening’ proposals, not only on selected events or streamings, but also many labels and artists adapting their output into a more experimental / ambient approach. I hope this lovely trend continues expanding when we recover our clubs and festivals, and especially events during the day, to translate our culture beyond the nightlife stigma.
Searching for the best version of myself, I wonder how relevant is the spot and current trends in new music. Focusing on the music moment we are living now, I think maybe it’s the right time to recover that part of my personality that I miss, as I mentioned above.
Yes, balance is the word I’m looking for.
FRUE at Unit - Tokyo, 2016
Labyrinth Festival - Niigata, 2016
Other memories and reflections surfaced from the absence of a long time established routine and all the positive and negative aspects from the touring life. I feel more relaxed at the moment, but at the same time, a part of my life became empty in some way. Now I have much more time to enjoy with my family but I sometimes feel incomplete, or even worthless.
I really miss playing in the right spots and yet on the other hand, I’m afraid to return to the 24/7 vortex of sacrifice and dedication, but perhaps more concretely, I’m scared to face the different shapes of anxiety in my daily life again.
Yes, balance is the word we are looking for."
- Enrique Mena.
Rural Festival - Nagano, 2018
Rural Festival - Nagano, 2017
Festival de FRUE - Shizuoka, 2019
Be sure to listen to this extended segment of Svreca's 2014 FRUE set at Unit in Tokyo (On the 5th Day Podcast #133)