Five Questions with Seth “Serka” Warrick

Seth Warrick
Seth Warrick

Enso, a Progressive/Electro DJ duo from San Francisco, will release See Through EP January 26, on Lessthan3 Recordings. Half of that duo is Seth Warrick, who is also Head of Design at StyleSeat, an online booking source for beauty professionals. Warrick is that combination of artistic talent and logical thinking that keeps a creative person employed and very busy.

Here’s a post from Warrick regarding Enso’s upcoming release:

Derrick Dorion Calloway and I (Enso) have been working towards this release for quite awhile, as many of you probably know. This EP, and the one that will shortly follow, is the result of us spending time sonically exploring, experimenting, and fine-tuning our sound into something we can stand behind and say “this is what we’ve set out to do.” It’s out JANUARY 26 on LessThan3 Recordings, and it features some brilliant vocals by Kelly Sweet aka Haliene and our very dear friend Luke Pettipoole aka Teenage Attorney of The Envy Corps. You can now preview the two track EP on our soundcloud. ‪#‎enjoy‬

They say nice guys finish last, but in Warrick’s case, that is not proving to be true. Described by everyone he knows as ‘a genuinely nice person’, the Omaha native’s ‘nice-ness’ is matched by his top skills fronting, mixing, and branding the Enso signature sound; that is, sweeping progressive house melodies, floating on top of gritty electro bass lines.

"I remember both of us continually glancing up at each other with a “What is happening?” look in our eyes, blown away by how in sync we were. It felt like we were inside of each other’s minds. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience with someone before, but it is so rare to find rhythm that intense with someone you perform with, and it’s not something to ignore." - Seth Warrick
“I remember both of us continually glancing up at each other with a “What is happening?” look in our eyes, blown away by how in sync we were. It felt like we were inside of each other’s minds. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience with someone before, but it is so rare to find rhythm that intense with someone you perform with, and it’s not something to ignore.”
– Seth Warrick

The energy translates to the dance floor. Known for their intricately crafted sets and impassioned live performance, Enso are clearly DJs who love what they do. With an emphasis on the groove, Enso explores hypnotic beats while forging new trends, experimenting with new directions in vocals, custom made for the dance floor.

"..our hard hitting remix of “Babes” by Saddle Creek's own Icky Blossoms was featured on a trailer for Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. It was definitely a pleasant surprise for us to see Jessica Alba looking badass on screen with our track playing in the background." - Seth Warrick
“..our hard hitting remix of “Babes” by Saddle Creek’s own Icky Blossoms was featured on a trailer for Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. It was definitely a pleasant surprise for us to see Jessica Alba looking badass on screen with our track playing in the background.”
– Seth Warrick

Since 2010’s award-winning remix of Sleigh Bells’ hit single, “Run the Heart,” Enso has  produced a string of Progressive/Electro House tracks, with upcoming releases under well known House labels worldwide.

Here, DJ Kobrakyle spins Enso‘s remix at a Gunk dance party.

Run The Heart by Sleigh Bells (Enso Remix) Live at Gunk

Warrick and Calloway’s Enso point-of-view is elegant and high-end, but earthy and huge. Enso‘s vibe is an expansive one, blending everything from indie to techno into ear candy.

"We knew we wanted to relocate somewhere in California to try and take Enso to its next stage, no pun intended. But I think in the end we chose SF because we felt the music scene there was more open to new up-and-comers than LA." - Seth Warrick
“We knew we wanted to relocate somewhere in California to try and take Enso to its next stage, no pun intended. But I think in the end we chose SF because we felt the music scene there was more open to new up-and-comers than LA.”
– Seth Warrick

I’ll never forget hitting the LOOM dance floor one extremely hot summer night when Enso was in the house. It was one of dreamiest, immersive sets I’ve heard in years, and the crowd was wild. Forces behind the decks, Seth & Derrick had the place in tatters with an upbeat and sexy mix that was uncategorizable except for one thing, passion. The versatile set was infused with techno, yet hitting all the deeper notes as well. They took the place higher and higher, and at one point someone tied balloons to my wrists. This urban Omaha nightspot had the right bells ringing that night, with all the underground warmth and flavor of a typical House of Loom event, hot as it was, thanks to Enso.

"In a duo, the most crucial thing–the thing that everything else hinges on–is trust. If you don’t have trust, it will eat away at your ability to function and create."  - Seth Warrick
“In a duo, the most crucial thing–the thing that everything else hinges on–is trust. If you don’t have trust, it will eat away at your ability to function and create.”
– Seth Warrick

Seth answered Five Questions via email.

MXO – Together with Derrick Calloway, as Enso, you produce Progressive Electro House music. How did you two begin your collaboration? Can you speak about what it takes to make a duo work?

SW – Derrick and I first met at a masquerade ball in a castle. How about that? That’s normal right? 1/Fourth had just been created (an Omaha nightlife and DJ collective consisting of Terrance Pree, Chris Pangkerego, and myself) and our kickoff event was the Vampire Masquerade at the Joslyn Castle. Turned out Derrick lived in the same apartment complex as me at the time and he had been intrigued by the mysterious poster I put up in the lobby. I like to think that poster design is my life’s best work because it brought us together… along with his roommate at the time, Nayef Aljuraid, who has always been a part of what we’ve done. Terrance, Chris, and I eventually brought Derrick into 1/Fourth after being exposed to his incredible talent as a musician and producer. I still remember the first time we performed together. It was at Nomad Lounge (RIP) and for the entire length of our set I remember both of us continually glancing up at each other with a “What is happening?” look in our eyes, blown away by how in sync we were. It felt like we were inside of each other’s minds. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience with someone before, but it is so rare to find rhythm that intense with someone you perform with, and it’s not something to ignore. After 1/Fourth disbanded we naturally decided to form a new group with the primary goal of creating original music instead of throwing events. If I’m honest, I was a bit unsure at the time due to the nature in which 1/Fourth had ended (we won’t go into that now), but Derrick sent me this incredible remix of Sleigh Bells’ catchy track “Run the Heart” which he had put together over the weekend, and I was immediately all-in.

In a duo, the most crucial thing–the thing that everything else hinges on–is trust. If you don’t have trust, it will eat away at your ability to function and create. This is especially important for Derrick and I, as we have highly contrasting roles. Derrick is the musical genius, the mad scientist, the brilliant composer, while for me, this has always been about the connection with the crowd, the moment of beautiful dialogue with the energetic souls on the dance floor. I have other roles of course, such as creating our visual identity and generally being out there networking and studying the scene, breathing in the frequently changing movements and sub movements. This could create a sense of doubt about each other, that one isn’t pulling one’s weight. But over time we have built this unbreakable trust that gets us through all of the challenges that can come with working on a mutual passion with someone for over 6 years. Well that, and the perplexing level of synchronicity we have had since the beginning.

MXO – I want to take a left turn and ask you about your work with StyleSeat. How did you get the job and what is your focus there? Can you tell me about Ashton Kutcher’s involvement?

SW – Well, my job at StyleSeat began with a surprising phone call. I’m a digital product designer (i.e. I design apps and other products you interact with via your phone or computer). I was on my way to a job I was contracting at as a trial run (it’s a common thing in the Bay, as a mutual effort to see if you jive with the team) and I received a phone call from someone claiming to be Ashton Kutcher. Initially I thought it had to be a hoax (my brother-in-law is notorious for prank calling at random times), but luckily I quickly made the connection that Ashton was an investor in StyleSeat, which I had met with a week previously. He was currently on an “Instagram road trip” from Tampa Bay to Iowa and he wanted to tell me why I should work at StyleSeat.

Despite it being a great story, I’m glad he called, because it was just enough to make me reconsider the direction I was leaning. Soon after, I accepted the role of Head of Design at StyleSeat, and have had the pleasure of working with an incredibly talented team for over a year now. Since the beginning, my primary focus has been the mobile app as well as overall brand. The impact is something special, as our product is used by over 285k professionals in the beauty industry as a tool to manage their business and get new clients across 15k cities (with $900M booked). It’s a blast to work on a product that serves two sides of a marketplace, since each has its own unique set of challenges.

MXO – Getting back to music, who are DJ’s today that you admire? What music are you listening to now? After the popularity of your Sleigh Bell‘s remix, what’s on the agenda for you to work into your mixes?

SW – My playlists are constantly changing. Currently I’ve been listening to a lot of indie rock (The Orwells, The Drums, Twinsmith, and The Envy Corps to name a few). I’m revealing my Omaha heritage there. In the house music arena I’ve been really loving the ambient style of deep house that Anjunadeep has been putting out lately, specifically Cubicolor and Croquet Club. Some of my go-to favorites in the dance music world are Matt Lange, Eric Prydz, Journeyman, Lane 8, Digitalism, Goldroom, 16 Bit Lolitas, Todd Terje, and Lifelike. But it’s so hard to just name a few. I could go on and on.

Our work over the last few years has been primarily remixes until now. Our remix of Cceruleann’s “Future Wind” was fairly big blog hit, and our hard hitting remix of “Babes” by Saddle Creek’s own Icky Blossoms was featured on a trailer for Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For. It was definitely a pleasant surprise for us to see Jessica Alba looking badass on screen with our track playing in the background. Checked that off our list.

All that said, our biggest focus lately has been on new original material. We’ve spent a good part of a year fine-tuning our sound, experimenting, and sonically exploring the “Enso” sound. And we’re pretty thrilled to announce the first of two brand new EPs coming out on LessThan3 Recordings on January 26. The EP, which is titled “See Through” and can be previewed on our Soundcloud, features vocals by the incredible Kelly Sweet (Haliene) and our dear friend Luke Pettipoole (Teenage Attorney) of The Envy Corps, whom you’ve likely seen lovingly perform at The Waiting Room in Omaha.

MXO – You and Derrick moved to SF a few years back. Why SF? Any other moves on the horizon? Do you still keep up on music in Omaha? Who are your favorite acts from Omaha?

SW – Derrick and I had actually considered LA as well as San Francisco, originally. We knew we wanted to relocate somewhere in California to try and take Enso to its next stage, no pun intended. But I think in the end we chose SF because we felt the music scene there was more open to new up-and-comers than LA. Who knows if that’s really true, but it definitely feels that way. There is a beautifully genuine interest here that you can feel. Although we don’t often headline shows out here, we are opening for huge acts like Hook ’n Sling, The M Machine, Amtrac, and many others. We’ve been blessed to connect with the guys at Select Entertainment (arguably SF’s best nightlife booking crew), who get us most of these shows. So it would seem we made the right call… I don’t see us moving for awhile.

I’m always watching Omaha. Growing up there and experiencing the raw talent that perform on the stages there is something I will always consider a part of what has shaped me. Icky Blossoms, The Envy Corps, Twinsmith, and of course The Faint are all bands both Derrick and I huge fans of. And we come back to continue the great annual classy-chaos of the Vampire Masquerade at our favorite club House of Loom every Halloween.

MXO –  Looking to the future, what goals do you have? Where do you see yourself in five years?

SW – I’m not really one to look too far ahead–there’s always plenty to keep me busy in the present day. But I think Derrick and my focus currently is about building up recognition within San Francisco’s community, through the shows we perform at and the people we interact with. In addition, we plan to continue to pump out original tunes, collaborating with various vocalists and really building a sound that people start to hopefully latch on to. From there, we’ll just have to see what happens.


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1/22/14

xo

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