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LABEL: Virgin RELEASE DATE: September 2001 GENRE: New Age, Downtempo
// review by SoyBomb

Turn around to Enigma.

After four successful albums (okay, three successful albums and one VERY successful album), the German musical project Enigma was ready for the inevitable: a best-of compilation album, which was created in the form of LSD — Love Sensuality Devotion, that is. And among the mostly revived material from older albums (not always singles, surprisingly), there was also one new song (two, if you count a fairly dry and simple minute-long intro track), "Turn Around", which later became a single on its own.

The single package begins with the Radio Edit, focused on soft pads, mild shakuhachi flutes, and a heavily vocoded voice that sings throughout the track, before the typical organic Enigma beats sneak in. The main focus is clearly on the vocals when they're around, as there's rarely purely instrumental moments. Even in the bridge, a mysterious female voice lists off names of past Enigma singles seductively; there is even some additional Latin chanting mixed in. All in all, Turn Around is a very well put-together chillout track with the standard Enigma flavour.

The Northern Lights Club Mix takes a different approach, actually including that previously-mentioned minute-long intro as this mix's intro and even expanding upon it with samples of other Enigma songs, including strong female vocals. It's surprisingly calming and could easily put a few clubbers to sleep. But, being a Club Mix, it leads into more synthetic trance territory, and it's very slick and somatic. The enigmatic voice tells us to move slowly, something I wouldn't have anticipated on a dancefloor. Symphonic interludes calm us down, and really, things never pick up again to any point where I would label this a "club mix". It's perhaps a late night, 4 AM cooldown track at best. Nonetheless, it's a smooth and chill mix that still deserves a listen.

Speaking of chill mixes, how about Gravity of Love (Chilled Club Mix) to bring our breathing levels down even lower, filled with swanky guitar work and slow piano and pad work underneath the samples of "O Fortuna" and the vocals of Ruth-Ann Boyle from Gravity of Love, the lead single from Enigma's fourth album, "The Screen Behind the Mirror". The original had some raw operatic power to it; this has more of a downtempo disco vibe to it.

The expanded single also included the music video as a multimedia track. It's great if you want to see a lot of space footage and a really weird half-jellyfish, half-human head thing.

I admit, I really enjoyed Turn Around the first time I heard it, and now, almost two decades later, it still stands as an excellent ambient/new age track. The additional club mixes really aren't meant for the dancefloor but really do a great job at keeping the crowd calm and in positive spirits. Turn Around is a great celebration of Enigma's work up to that point and a solid example of why his work is so revered.

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