Esem by Paul Lloyd
Taken from Grooves Magazine #13, 2004
Originally from Bulgaria but recently relocating to London, George Marinov -- a.k.a. Merck artist Esem -- finds the change of pace and culture absorbing. Taking inspiration from the simplest things in everyday London life, Marinov feels sure the hectic lifestyle will be absorbed into his music the longer he stays in the capital city.
He describes the electronic music scene in his homeland as "Small [and] totally non-commercial, except for the bigger rave acts. Few people do electronic music, just as few people do music that goes deeper than your regular pop tune. They don't even communicate [with] each other that much, which is utterly sad."
Marinov's interest in electronics and later computers developed through watching his brother fix various bits of electrical equipment. He helped George set up a 386 PC george then used to listen to demoscene MOD tracks, which eventually led him to musical experimentation with tracker software himself. From there, Marinov joined the Internet-based electronic music collective Noise Project, of which he is still a part and which boasts Bogdan Raczynski as a one-time member.
In February 2002 Marinov released Enveloped, his debug album for the defunct DeFocus label, following it in March 2003 with Serial Human on Merck. How does Marinov see his sound developing over the two albums?
"Enveloped is more of a random collection of tracks, while Serial Human is a collection of tracks that has an idea," he says. "I worked more on Serial Human, where I had to return to and rework some of the things already done. I can also say I was more determined to put out a more personal record. Both albums stretched over long periods of time, and so will the third."
Marinov's attention to detail inevitably pays off, as his brand of smooth beat-infused melodic electronic music is the perfect soundtrack to a chilled night out. Although he has only played a handful of live shows, the relaxed atmosphere of a typical Esem appearance matches the mellow music.
"The typical Esem live show still has no certain shape, mostly because I have done less than five live performances so far," he says. "The last one was in Birmingham a few days ago. People were just enjoying their drinks while listening to the music. I like that."
Since the release of Serial Human, Marinov has been working on his as yet untitled third album -- again for Merck -- and has been studying sound production in London. He is also working on new material for the resurrected Swedish label Dot for release later this year. Of the potential of a tour sometimes this year, Marinov says, "People wouldn't believe I haven't got a laptop.";