Enzo Siragusa is someone who has slowly built a huge reputation for himself in the London underground scene, and this reputation has seen Enzo play at countless top venues throughout the clubbing world. Enzo’s Fuse brand has grown from its humble beginnings into one of the most recognisable and respected brands in the underground house scene, spawning parties with huge artists across Europe and two highly successful record labels. Enzo Siragusa will be returning to Ibiza this summer for the biggest Fuse season yet, and is sure to consolidate his reputation as a champion of the underground on the White Isle. We caught up with Enzo to chat about all things Fuse, his relationship with Ibiza and making people cry with certain track selections…
So you’ve got some releases coming up, could you tell us about these? We’ve actually just had a release that came out the other day, a new EP from Rich NxT which has also got a remix from me and Alexkid. Also the next EP is me and Alexkid, it’s the “Kilimanjaro” project that we’ve being working on for a while.
Yeah, this a project you’ve been working on for some time. Yeah we’ve been exploring the boundaries of bass-lines, how much bass you can stick in a house track, really. We’ve managed to get quite a lot in there! We’ve done a remix of Rich NxT’s track called “Wasteline” and we’ve given it a real jungle-y sort of feel, an old school jungle feel, and then the next EP from me and Alexkid will be the “Kilimanjaro” EP which will feature three tracks going down this road with this project, some tunes more ‘garage-y’, some more ‘jungle-y’ in their sound. All of them have still got big bass-lines though with our stripped back, dubby house beats.
These will be released on your own labels, which have been very successful. You’ve got Fuse London and Infuse, what is the different focus between the two of them? Well Fuse London has always been more about the residents. It started as a platform for myself and the rest of the Fuse residents. In terms of Infuse, as over the years we’ve been putting music out, I’d get sent more and more music, some of it from people who have been inspired by our sound, so I felt that it could become a platform for some of these other unknown artists as well. Some friends of Fuse as well, not necessarily unknown, some established artists who have said, “This is the kind of thing I would play at Fuse, but I don’t know where else I would send it.” So I just thought, ‘Sod it, let’s just start another label and get this music out there.’ Because we’ve got so much music, I’ve ended up putting some of the resident’s stuff on Infuse anyway. There’s just so much music ready to come out!
You obviously pay quite a lot of attention to your vinyl releases as well. As a DJ, it’s an important format for you. Do you think it maybe adds a bit of credibility or quality control to the releases compared to digital? Well, I’ve actually stopped buying music digitally, really. Don’t get me wrong, I will buy some, but I don’t go searching all of Beatport and all of Juno Download because I found myself spending far too long looking for new music there, so I only buy vinyl now. So yeah maybe there is a certain element of quality control you get from getting something pressed to vinyl, be it from distribution or even if you’re paying for it yourself, you’re going to make sure it’s of a certain standard. I think there is an element of that. I pay a lot of attention to the vinyl because I’ve been DJing for 20 years, and that’s what I grew up with. I love playing records and I still do, I’m a vinyl DJ predominantly. Obviously I use some digital formats still, but I’m vinyl, man, that’s my thing! One track we release on each EP will be vinyl only so it gives something a bit special to that piece of vinyl.
I suppose the whole digging process with vinyl makes it special as well. Yeah, I love that part of the process – digging through old records, and now, even digging through old records looking for samples and stuff. When you’re going through samples, it’s quite nice taking it off a record!
Was there a conscious decision to have a distinct sound that people identify with Fuse? I’ll be honest man, we’ve ended up with a certain kind of sound, and I think when we used to be at 93 Feet East our sound used to be very stripped back and deep, and that was because we were a day time party at a very intimate venue. But over time that has changed. I’m playing big venues and I’m playing big stages, many different types of clubs, and as a DJ I’ve come through many sounds and genres. All of the guys are the same, so when you hear us play it’s not just that stripped back sound. I play everything, from house to techno and everything in between, be it deep and be it a little bit more banging, you know! I think the releases and the music, there’s been a lot of stripped back stuff, but over the last few years it’s been changing, which is a good thing! You could say we have a sound, it’s difficult to say though, I like everything and I play everything!
Any tips for artists coming through on the label? Yeah there’s a few. People like Archie Hamilton are putting out some really good stuff. The likes of Ferro, he’s a very talented producer from Holland. He’s putting out some great stuff. These are all guys who are new to the family. Rich NxT, he’s been on the label forever, but the guy’s so prolific, I think he makes a tune a week! He’s got so many amazing tunes we can’t keep up with it. He’s definitely one to watch, even though he’s not a new name or anything, but just for the amount of music he is making and how ground breaking and different it is to anything I’m hearing. There’s a lot of really good artists coming from our camp, which I’m really excited about.
Moving onto Ibiza, we know your Fuse parties at Sankeys are moving to Tuesdays and will be running for longer this year, tell us a bit more about this. Tuesday was actually always our original day. It’s what we always did since back in 2009 when we did our first summer on the island. So it’s good to be back on a Tuesday. It feels good, and basically I couldn’t wait to get stuck in so I said to the guys at Sankeys, “How quickly can we start?” And just got it rolling really. We’ve got loads of DJs and we all love to play so I just figured, ‘Why don’t we do the whole summer and just get it going?’ As long as I’ve got that one room, The Basement, to start with, and that sound system, I’m happy. I’m sure the rest of the residents will be over the moon to just get in there and play. We’re doing the whole thing then, all nineteen weeks, kicking off on the 27th May through to the end of September. I can’t wait, it gives you a chance to really get stuck into you record collection.
Plenty of friends of Fuse will be dropping in to play, much like last year, so there will be a lot of the same names. Friends of ours that play in London will be playing over there, but the party is going to be very much focused on the residents and there will be a lot more residents’ parties. We’re also going to throw in some Infuse showcases, trying to get some more unknown talent that have released on the label that haven’t ever played on the island before, and trying to feature some of those guys, because I think it’s good for them to have an opportunity to get on the island. It’s slightly more underground in comparison to some of the others parties that are going on on the island, but I’m really excited about presenting a different sound to what is being heard on the island typically in most of the clubs.
You’re also part of the Tribal Sessions opening line-up. Yeah there’s loads of names there, it’s over two days. Typical Sankeys and David Vincent – one day of raving isn’t enough, it’s got to be two! Heavy duty, two-day rave!
Thinking about Sankeys Ibiza in comparison to other clubs, do you think the atmosphere and where you experience the music is important? For me, The Basement at Sankeys is one of the best environments on the island, especially for listening to my kind of music and my kind of sound. It’s intense, the low ceiling, the imposing sound system, the lights; everything lends itself to a proper rave experience. You get that in some of the clubs, but Ibiza has always been something else to be honest. There’s not that intensity. It’s a different kind of partying, so I think Sankeys has brought a refreshing difference to the island and I think that’s important. It’s unique, which is good isn’t it?
What’s your relationship with Ibiza been like? Have you been DJing and visiting for a long time? My first summer over there, my first holiday, was in ’96 I think. I was about 18, and I’ve been back every summer since! I’ve done summer seasons as a worker in many different roles, and been a raver over there for many years and I still am. I’ve done everything on the island from PR, DJing, and being a resident DJ doing sunsets. I used to play Savannah’s over ten years ago and I used to play between 6 and 8 hours every night for the entire summer.
We can definitely call you an Ibiza veteran then. I’ve been there a while man, I’ve been back there on holidays, I’ve been to all the different clubs, different parties and different types of sounds, be it Manumission, the crazy days in the ‘90s, Bora Bora on the beach, Space on a Sunday, Circoloco in the early days, right at the beginning. I’ve kind of seen it all and it’s nice to be there in this capacity, a little bit older, having experienced all of that and watching new kids coming onto the island for the first time and being able to give a rave experience at Sankeys, something that they can take away and go, “’Wow, my first time in Ibiza was unbelievable!” I felt a lot of that last year at Sankeys, people really coming away and saying, “That was amazing.” Good, positive things really.
Has experiencing Ibiza in all these different capacities for all these years influenced the way you DJ then? Massively, massively. I’ve experienced the rave from the dance floor, and then obviously being on the island doing those sunset gigs, I remember playing all sorts, even things like Pink Floyd. And I remember dropping a Paul Weller track and someone coming over to me in floods of tears crying because it obviously did something for them! Experiencing that has been amazing, I’ve been very fortunate to have that and I’m very grateful that I managed to have that, doing stuff like the sunsets. I think it does have a big impact on your sound and how you play.
You’re good mates with tINI. Have you got any more plans to play with her this summer? I’d imagine so, yeah! I don’t know what’s been confirmed, but yeah for sure. She’s a very close friend of mine. She plays for me, I play for her and we play together! That’s definitely on the cards, for sure.
Looking forward to that then! Finally, what’s your all-time favourite Ibiza moment? To be honest I had loads in Fuse last year! Coming outside of work though, I think the Amnesia closing party in 2003 was probably one of the most amazing moments I’ve had. It was just ridiculous, there was naked people dancing around, these statues that they used to have that people used to climb up, transvestites giving out ‘coco loco’ drinks, I don’t know what was in them, but I was smashed! That party went on for days it was just one of the most amazing experiences of my life!
Listen to Enzo Siragusa on Pulse Radio.