Ahead of Sound Warrior 006 vinyl release “Warrior Formulation”, Sound Warrior boss Jenifa Mayanja gets some insight from our latest warrior and Mint Berlin co-founder Ena Lind.
Mint Berlin is a platform for women – DJs and producers – working in electronic music, founded by Zoe Rasch and Ena Lind in 2013. Mint is now defunct since 2017. Zoe and Ena decided to re-focus on their own careers and let the spirit of Mint continue to evolve through other artists inspired by the project
JM: So how did you get involved in djing? What was the motivation and inspiration behind this
Ena: I actually did not intend to get so deep into djing. I used to be a drummer until 2005, then I had an accident which forced me to quit playing the drums. Back then it seemed like djing would be the closest I could get to playing around with beats, without having to work with computers. So I started djing in 2006 and at first I didn’t find that very satisfying. It seemed like a poor substitute. But I developed a technique that made it feel ok for me, I worked mostly with samples on CDJs and vinyls. Eventually I did start to enjoy djing and I found other techniques that made it interesting for me and now I am playing with a classic set up of just two turntables and a mixer.
JM: You describe yourself professionally as “politically minded” Why is it important for you to be politically minded and how do you express that?
Ena:I think as artists, especially when you have a bigger audience, you have this platform to make a statement. I understand if not everybody wants to use that platform in that way. But everything we do, every decision we make, is political – because people see what we do and they will interpret it. So why not use this for the change you want to see?
JM: Mint Berlin was obviously an important point in your career. What lasting impact has it had for you since it ended
Mint was the first time that I felt that I had sisters that supported each other. This business is so competitive and I really missed having this support system before. Now I much more enjoy working with other people.
JM: One of the things i notice we have in common is willingness to share acquired knowledge and experience with others through workshops for instance.
Why is it important for you to share your knowledge with others? And why do you at times have workshops aimed at women, trans, people of color
Ena: Because our society aims everything at the white straight cis man and I want to contribute to changing that. In the years I have given workshops it became more and more clear to me how much we lack a safe space for all the other people to exchange knowledge and also ask questions in a non-judgemental environment.
JM: Tell me a little bit about your sound as a producer? How do you describe it and what would you like listeners to take away from your music?
Ena: These days I really love when things just build slowly, adding layers and layers. I am not a big storyteller. I want people to be able to let go and let things happen. Like in djing I like to challenge the audience and not give them everything they might want or expect.
JM : What is your approach when making music creatively and technically. For instance do you start with an idea already in mind or do just ideas happen and go with the flow?
Ena: I usually start with an idea – often for the bass, or an interaction of drums and bass. Then I go with the flow from there. And I usually end up not using anything from the original idea. I am not good at making things sound the way they sound in my head.
JM: What have been some of your favorite places to perform live recently and why?
Ena: I recently played at this new club in Dresden, Germany, called ‘objekt klein a’. It is a collective of over 30 people, they are very diverse in what they do and they’re very political. It was an incredibly good experience because they really take care of their artists, there was delicious food, they payed attention to my technical needs, they really made an effort in making it a pleasant experience for me. When a club or a promoter does that it reflects on the dj’s performance and the audience will have a good time. Other places like Institut für Zukunft in Leipzig or ://about blank in Berlin do the same and I love playing there because the audience is willing to get on a journey with you. They trust you.
JM: We had also a tiny conversation about the lesbian scene in Berlin and how it seems there aren’t so many safe places or even parties happening. Recently you had a one off party “juice” in Berlin. What is your current views about all this and what do you hope will come next?
Ena: At the moment, I am not that interested in the party scene and doing more parties, at least right now. I have a new project coming up that feels more important to me right now. It is a dj workspace for women, trans and non-binary people called ‘Spoon‘ where people can spin with vinyl, get individual feedback, ask questions or just hang out and get to know like-minded people. In my experience of giving workshops this seemed to be the thing that is really missing, a space where people can develop more skills by just practicing but not home alone – if they even have the budget to get equipment. I got funding from the Musicboard Berlin for this, it will start in June 2018.
JM: So what’s next for you on the dj and production front?
Ena:I am finally starting to accept my very slow outcome of music production and only do the things I really want to do. Especially as a dj. I will be going to travel a bit this year but I am happy to be in a position right now where I don’t have to play gigs that don’t feel right.
JM: Tell us about your mix for Sound warrior
Ena: Generally my sets are rather eclectic and more on the happier end – I also stuck to feel-good music for the mix for Sound Warrior. The sun just came out in Berlin when I started working this mix – which you can probably hear in the choices I made… 🙂
For more about Ena Lind follow these links:
Resident Advisor: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/enalind
Upcoming Shows check: http://mintberlinbooking.com/team/enalind
Sound Warrior 006 “Formulation” is out now on limited vinyl available here:
Digital versions can be found on the soundwarrior bandcamp along with other
great releases from Sound Warrior including the acclaimed double vinyl “Warrior Loves”