Esem/Eesn

LP1: Enveloped

Digital release on Bandcamp

  • 2017: £7 or name your price lossless remaster (ESEM_LP1)
  • 2002: featured on the John Peel BBC Radio 1 show
  • 2002: original release in May on de:Focus records, London
  • cover design by think1

Tracklisting

  1. Eloki.neadu
  2. Qre.ii
  3. Postledd
  4. Tetaby
  5. 3k2
  1. B4 Igo
  2. Noulli Et
  3. Twosided
  4. Tanji
  5. Ekred
  6. Sbroots
  7. Rz_ttt
  8. Iceleep

Reviews of the 2017 remaster

Enveloped was a thing of beauty back in 2002, but be under no illusions: this new remastered edition is a revelation. [...] make no mistake, this 2017 remaster is now the definitive version of Enveloped. It makes one wonder just how much we’ve been missing from all those other albums released in this era. igloomag
This album is timeless, emotional, mesmerizing. Great idm structures and ethereal atmosphere. I still like to go back to it often and it's good idea for remaster. Adam ES (Facebook)
Probably one of the most significant Bulgarian contributions to IDM and electronic music in general, originally released in 2002, now remastered. Artmospheric festival

Reviews of the 2002 edition

Fantastic in every way. The CD version is slightly longer but lacks the pace of the LP. clocker13, amazon.com
enveloped is the confident and inspiring debut long player from esem, a bulgarian producer who has given little previous insight into his capabilities (an okay-ish single and occasional features on samplers have been his only available work). opener 'neaudea ettin (eloki)' appropriately sets the agenda: skewed drum patterns and spiky percussion fizz through the speakers, balanced against delicate yet involving melodies. this knack for setting beguiling, almost innocent soundscapes against brittle, inhospitable backgrounds proves to be the album's major strength. the range of emotional contexts addressed and the dancefloor appeal of tracks such as 'noulli et' and 'ekre' develop the appeal further still. dave stenton, international dj
wer mal etwas anderes hören will, sollte sich mal diese cd zulegen. nicht das diese cd unerhörtes zu tage bringt, nein aber die vollsynthetische musik gepaart mit träumerischen klangflächen lassen einen von einer welt träumen mit robotern als ehefrau und einem tamagotchi haustier. nichts für freunde handgemachter musik, aber für alle die neue interessante musik entdecken wollen. jawoll ja. deck5aft, Amazon.de
like dutch label delsin, uk imprint defocus have made a name for their soulful melodic and chilled interpretation of techno, and this debut album from bulgarian artist esem will only serve to strengthen their name. keeping things to a strictly laidback tempo, for the most part esem fuses mournful synths and sensuous strings with hissing percussion and hip-hop influenced beats and, though he occasionally surfaces to introduce a 4/4 beat - check "postledd" - the really impressive thing about "enveloped" is its melodies. from the plaid-style "tanji" to the pretty hooks of "sbroots", this is emotive electronic music that's not afraid to celebrate its influences. richard brophy, dj
this cd consists of relatively minimal tracks, very much in the vein of hermann and klein, telefon tel aviv, ulrich schnauss, etc. some breaks and glitch-hop style beats are to be found here along with some very sweet and wonderful, i really mean, wonderful melodies. clint anderson
Undoubtedly the best release on DeFocus to date, Enveloped has both broad appeal and startling accessibility. This album is utterly free of the pretension, whilst at the same time feeling both unique and inspiring. It is an album that, were it given the wider attention it so richly deserves, would be the ideal platform with which to convince non-IDM listeners that this genre can be truly beautiful and genuinely moving. igloomag, read complete review
A finely detailed album of solid melodic electro tinged electronic music put together with great care. nice! Expanding top 10, bbc
[reviewing "preledd" on FutureDesignDays] This is magic! Stop the world! Silencium. This is the music that we would fall in love to if we were robots. Totally otherworldly and absolutely unique. ...if I were to decide what G Biggabush and Mr Blair should do tomorrow, I would place them in front of a rather huge soundsystem placed on top of Mount Everest and play this tune on repeat until they digested the message. futuredesigndays
After the delightful "Ikae" 12" release on Defocus in 2001, Esem returns with this full-length album entitled Enveloped. The 13 tracks contained on the CD version all contain brilliant beats programming, bass and beautiful melodies. The compositions are all strikingly well balanced. That is, Esem's music isn't at all to be categorized as minimal, but neither is it to be regarded as burdened by over production, it's just that, very well balanced. The rhythmic strength in his music is especially noticeable, and it's a display of a not to complicated, but nevertheless interesting percussive elements, giving the tracks plenty of forward motion. And in combination with the strong melodies, sounds, creating tracks that are very enjoyable indeed. Sure, there's a lot of stuff that is more abstract and complex, but there's few that is as nice sounding. The closing words: a very complete album debut by Esem that stands a good chance of becoming timeless. electronic desert
Striking a deal with DeFocus (CiM, Tim Koch, Lackluster), Bulgaria's Esem created a minor stir with the release of his proper debut, Enveloped. The album pilfered from a pool of irritable digital pops, like much of the Warp roster, but used them as last-minute window dressing instead of its only motive. For the most part, this worked, and Esem proved capable of delivering unique bottom-heavy downtempo with a particular attachment toward the unrushed breakbeat, a tactic which suggested someone ready to sacrifice serenity in hopes of a subtle, engaged debut. Dean Carlson, allmusic
Osteuropa ist total im Kommen. Wer h.tte gedacht, dass nach dem Zerfall des Warschauer Paktes in absehbarer Zeit 12 Staaten zur EU zusto.en werden? Unsere zuk.nftigen Nachbarn haben zwar so ihre liebe M.he bei der Realisierung der 31 Kapitel des "Acquis communautaire", aber im Bereich der Musik scheinen sie, uns in einigen Teilen voraus zu sein. Der bulgarische K.nstler Esem beweist mit seiner LP, dass Elektronika nicht nur steril und kalt klingen muss. Zwar h.lt er sich mit der Verwendung von vielen Elementen dezent zur.ck und bleibt eher minimalistisch, aber er zaubert zeitlos sch.ne Melodien und sph.rische Klangstrukturen hervor, die in den einzelnen St.cke ihre besondere Faszination ausstrahlen und zur vollen Entfaltung kommen. Sehr relaxt kommt das Album daher und macht Spa. auf mehr. level 47
This is precious, gentle electronica gliding smoothly through 13 tracks of safe but lovely mood music. Head for the ace 'twosided' for washes of slightly eerie keys and some crunchy percussion weaved together making for all things lush, while the excellent 'sbroots' comes across almost Casino Vs Japan-like with some sundrenched keys and spacious production sitting alongside some hip-hop paced squashed beats. Nice. boomkat
Esem beherrschen es zwar so elegisch elektronikam.ssig zu wirken, dass selbst der beil.ufigste Freund von gebrochenen Beats und schwebenden Melodien noch ganz ergriffen ist, gleichzeitig aber fallen sie immer wieder aus dem Rahmen heraus, weil sie ihren Melodien dann doch noch diesen Hang geben zu wuchern und sich nicht einfach mit ein paar mollig weichen Harmonien zufrieden zu geben, sondern aufflattern wie ein Haufen verschreckter Schmetterlinge die grade geschl.pft sind. 13 feine kuschelige Tracks die man immer h.ren kann und den grossen Namen des Business in nichts nachstehen. de:bug
Running out of descriptions for the output of Defocus, who continue to lead the field of inspirational techno, which continues to take the AI baton further into the future. Bulgaria's George Marinov steps to the longplayer plate, following his "Ikae" debut with sophomore outing that sees the click and whir of studio equipment expand into a life fulfilling synthetic prophecy. The thirteen tracks gathered here amount to a timeless album enjoying a hard-to-place immediacy which is more chilled than chill out, more accessible than most electronica and as emotional as modern classical -- something to own and revere. deconstructed records
Dunno who coined the phrase "it's what's on the inside that counts", but Esem's debut album embodies this maxim. Packaged in mellow techno livery, and with a track list straight out of the Black Dog dictionary of jabberwocky, 'Enveloped' could easily be written of as yet another Boards Of Canada wannabe. But, mercifully, this is no poor Warp reflection. Instead, as the title suggests, it vibrates in its own world of defly ponderous and organic synth electronica, oblivious to all. But if comparisons to Boards have to be made, and undoubtley will, 'Enveloped' differs by operating on a more melodic basis. Opener, 'Neaudea Ettin (Eloki)', is a soft bass delicacy, while the ever building textures on 'Tetaby' and 'Postledd' create a cocoon of flickering percussion and hushed hop-a-long beats. No pretententions and, no statements, this is easy listening for the techno-minded. *** Nina Lawson, jockeyslut
background music of the bulgarian kind. not that you'd know it: 'artificial intelligence'-style home listening techno doesn't vary a great deal from birmingham to bangkok. that said, 'enveloped' has all the right beats in all the right places, and occasionally familiarity breeds contentment. pour me a sherry, darling... (TM) ***(3)/*****(5) muzik