We Need To Talk About Enta

Enter the Enta. Jump-up inspired synths, masterfully executed drum grooves and the face-melting energy of neuro. It’s a deadly concoction that has landed London-based Liam Harrison’s home-brewed style of drum and bass onto the likes of Souped Up and Hospital this year alone.

Headed up by iconic London MC Fatman D, prolific label Biological Beats has been the fitting primary home for Enta’s sound over the last couple of years. Check the relentless machine-gun fire of Bit Death, or the infectious sounds of last year’s Iced for a taste of his impressive output on the label. We hear there’s even a debut album on the way…

But first; the recent three-track Computer Entertainment single on Serum and Benny V’s Souped Up. Both a prime example and extension of his sound, each tune is a straight up rave weapon, bound to get legs moving in all sorts of ways on dancefloors across the globe. Check the swung groove of L8 Nights and you can hear Enta’s past as a drummer coming through in the music, all repurposed for the delirious haze of a drum and bass-fuelled night out.

He’s the perfect example of hard work paying off, as becomes apparent through our meandering chat with him. Check the full conversation below to find out more about his education in raving, his recent and forthcoming output, plus his exciting album plans… 

First of all, congrats on the Souped Up release!

Thank you! I’m really proud of this release and it’s great to see everyone’s reactions now that it’s finally out.

It’s massively fitting for the label. Have they been on your hit list for a while?

Kind of, yeah! My situation with Biological Beats is good in that Fatman D helps manage my releases. We do a lot of planning behind the scenes and see what other labels we can aim for and release on there. Souped Up put out a lot of heavy stuff which is definitely my flavour.

You also get the honour of having your own Souped Up art.

I know, I was well happy with that.

Did you get a say in that, or was it Serum and Benny V’s idea to sit your cartoon-self down in front of some XXX content?

Benny V hit me up and we brainstormed ideas of what we could put on the artwork. We used the concept of computer entertainment as the theme because there’s a lot of things you can do with that visually. We went with an ambiguous XXX on the screen because the kind of entertainment you can get from a computer could be anything right?

Love it. How does that process of naming tunes usually go for you?

It’s a weird mix. Sometimes it’s just how I’m feeling there and then. Sometimes I might make a reference to a movie, or maybe it’ll be a pun or some wordplay. More recently, I’ve started to hone in on the sounds in the tracks themselves and use that as inspiration. For example, in my track Tokyo Drift from a few years ago, someone told me the bassline sounded a bit like police car sirens, which gave me a theme and track name to roll with. I think having themes in mind can help give the track an extra bit of character.

The tunes themselves feel largely focused around the club. Is the reaction you get in this environment one of the main drivers for the creative process?

For sure, big reactions are great but I also like to get people up and moving in ways they wouldn’t normally. You know those guys you see bussing salsa moves at the back of the rave? That’s the specific audience this music is intended for…

Shout out to the silly dance crew.

The best moments when I’m in the dance with my pals are when we hear a tune, and it gets us all moving in different ways. That is ultimately what I try and tap into. When I make a bassline, I’m thinking ‘how can this musical gesture get people moving a certain way?’

I think it’s safe to say then, that your music comes from a love of raving?

Yeah definitely, my music has by and large been built for the club.

What was your entrance into the rave scene?

Oh god, this feels like a long time ago now. My first ever ‘official’ rave was a 16+ night way back in 2011. LGC was the night if you remember those?

I remember BPM and UTR…

Yeah, so it was similar to those. These 16+ nights used to run all night back then, whereas now they’re all finished by 11pm. I wasn’t going to raves that often at this time, but as soon as I turned 18, I went to a Lifted Music night at Cable with people like Spor, xKore, Culprate and Memtrix (who I’m pretty sure wasn’t old enough to be playing). That was a sick night that helped instigate my love for the rave scene, and it was during a time in which neurofunk was more commonplace, especially in the smaller London clubs. These days, you only really hear it in the UK at big nights like Virus.

What was the story from there? You went to study music production at university, right?

Yeah, so I was a drummer in school, playing in a jazz band. However, I had a lot of ideas in my head after getting into dubstep around the age of 14/15 and wanted to put them into practice. I really got into the swing of things when I did a music production A-level, and then took it further and studied a music production course at uni. That’s where I stepped things up to a more professional level. They teach you everything on that course: how to wire up a studio, how to record instruments, plus useful information about the industry which helped shape me and my understanding of the scene. Since then, I’ve been working as a media technician at a creative arts uni in Surrey. It’s great, and I’ve had more time to take my music seriously since graduating.

Look at where that’s got you now, announcing a track on Hospital!

Yeah, that’s been a madness. Lens hit me up asking for some music for this VA project, saying she was looking for something a bit heavier and leaning on the jump-up side. She really liked the stuff I sent over and we signed it up. I’m really chuffed with that, because when I made the track Keep Your Distance, I never would have thought it would come out on Hospital. I’d have laughed if you told me that. It was actually a lockdown track from 2020. It’s crazy how these things go.

Have you got your sights on any other labels right now?

With Souped Up being released recently and Hospital on the way, I’m going to be focusing on my debut album on Biological Beats for the rest of the year. I’ve got a few remixes on the way, however. I’ve got one for Delta9 Recordings and one for Korsakov, so keep an eye out for those.

Exciting. How is the album going?

It’s going well! I started most of the tracks last year. I amassed a bunch of tunes, and then after speaking to Fatman we realised they could work well in an album format. It’s going to be typical me, filled with club-heavy, dancefloor tracks. I am trying to go a bit more in-depth with the atmosphere and the intros of the tracks however, so it’s more of an immersive listening experience. I want to tap into the people listening at home on Spotify as well as ravers and DJs. We did a lot of assignments at uni where we’d compose soundtracks for movies, so I’m trying to bring that into my music.

Some of the greatest drum and bass songs ever made have the most cinematic intros.

Well, it’s something that can work for both the club and for skanking in your room at home. It’s an amalgamation of all the things I’ve learnt and taken in from past rave experiences. From those early neuro nights at Cable, to all the sights and sounds I witnessed at the Fabric Playaz nights, and not forgetting the squat raves… they all play a part.

The production on the album is still levelling up as well. How do you push yourself to keep improving your skills?

I’m not too sure, I don’t often spend time specifically trying to improve. There have been a couple of times where I’ve sat down trying to learn something new though. The last time I did that was when I tried to learn how to synthesise snares in Serum, but in the end, I realised it’s not for me. I’m more of a sample-based producer when it comes to drums. I’m at a stage now where if I have an idea in my head I can kind of realise it, something that has come from me messing around and experimenting over time. I spend so much time just making drum rhythms, and that’s helped me build up my creative side rather than my technical side. Technically, I’d say my tunes are fairly straight forward.

You’ve got to play to your strengths at the end of the day.

Yeah, I also find I get more ideas from listening to breaks, snare drum recordings, rides, and percussion bits. Trying to make a synthetic snare just doesn’t give me the results I want. 

How do you find your past as a drummer plays into this?

It’s playing up more now than I previously realised. I didn’t pay attention to this much when I was a younger producer still learning the ropes. Now however, I spend hours and hours making drum beats and seeing what kind of rhythms I can come up with using all these different samples and layering, and then not spending much time on the bass haha. It’s a lot of EQ’ing snares, layering kick drums, chopping up breakbeats and all that sort of stuff.

Where would you place your sound? It doesn’t feel like it fits within one sub-genre.

Somewhere between jump up and neurofunk. Those are usually the two influences that seem to creep in if I set out to make a track. I can never do just one style.

You also have your own style in DJ sets – lots of fast mixing, blends, doubles etc. Where does that stem from?

I think it comes from jump up raves, mainly. You can easily create something new from cutting or blending two tracks together in jump-up, especially with those synth lines. It’s almost like trying to create new tracks just through the blends.

Which came first for you, production or DJing?

They came around the same time. I used to DJ at my friends’ house parties just as I was learning how to use Logic. They evolved at the same pace which is nice, and I’d say I’m just as much a DJ as I am a producer.

Have you got any shows coming up where people can catch you in action?

Well, I’ve recently played Royal Rumble at Invisible Wind Factory and Excessive Events presents Enta at Bomo Bunker in Bournemouth. Coming up though, I’ve got a big one in the form of DnB Allstars at Tobacco Dock in April. They recently announced the room splits and I’m going b2b with T95 which should be lots of fun. In July, I’m also at Rosa Festival in Bristol. I’ve got a few more big London shows and festivals to announce as well.

Amazing. Is there anything else you’re working on that you can mention?

Aside from the album, I’ve got about 15 million collabs on the way. Me and Kastro are doing an EP together on Biological Beats which will come out after the album. We’re just getting a few more tracks together for it, but we’ve finished two already which I’ve been playing out. I’ve also got a project coming with J Select on Biological Beats again, but this won’t be for a fair bit longer. It’s going to be a busy year!

Enta – Computer Entertainment is out now on Souped Up

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