A worldbeat dance fixture of the late 20th century and beyond, having sold tens of millions of albums worldwide, Enigma was formed in 1990 by Bucharest native Michael Cretu. The project is based in Ibiza, Spain, where Cretu has lived and recorded since the early '90s.
With its 1991 hit "Sadeness," Enigma brought the new age fascination with Gregorian chants and old-world culture to the clubs; the resulting single was both unique and irresistible. The rest of the album followed that pattern successfully, although without quite matching the stunning success of the hit single. MCMXC A.D. was still a phenomenon, especially in the U.S., where it spent over five years on the Billboard 200.
On Enigma's second album, 1994's Cross of Changes, some of the old-world elements remained, but the new age angle came to the forefront in a set of slick, radio-friendly dance-pop. Enigma 3: Le Roi Est Mort, Vive le Roi! followed in 1996, with The Screen Behind the Mirror appearing two years later. Lightening the production formula somewhat, Voyageur landed in 2003, with A Posteriori following in 2006. Enigma's seventh studio album, Seven Lives Many Faces, arrived in 2008 and continued its streak of Billboard 200 appearances.
A three-disc set that devoted an album each to greatest hits, remixes, and previously unreleased material, The Platinum Collection saw a worldwide release in 2010. That same year, the anniversary of MCMXC A.D. was celebrated with the release of a single, "MMX (The Social Song)."
In 2016, Enigma returned with the concept album The Fall of a Rebel Angel. Featuring collaborations with Indonesian vocalist Anggun, Israel's Nanuk, British electro-pop duo Aquilo, and Brazilian singer/songwriter Mark Josher, the LP was preceded by the single "Sadeness (Part II)" and arrived in November of 2016.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine