The Berlin-based duo discuss the music video for “Illusion”, and how the pandemic made them focus on building connections.


IG: @adammunnings

IG: @adammunnings

If you ever wondered what it would be like to marry club-ready bangers with trippy cinematic visuals, Elninodiablo and Adam Munning’s latest effort “Illusion” might just show you your answer. In a beat-heavy track that poses as the ultimate fire-starter to a sweat-soaked night of dancing, “Illusion” incites elements of creativity, madness and exploration. Absent of lyrical delivery, the track gives way to a sonic soundscape, sprinkled with distorting notes that tap into our innermost impulses.

As an extension of “Spirit” – Elninodiablo’s latest EP – the music video by Adam Mumming’s solidifies the tracks ability to submerge listeners into a mirage-like hypnosis. As the visual pans to clips that become more maddening by nature, a softly spoken monologue interrupt, explaining how “we become crazier in our efforts to not be crazy”.

Marking the fourth collaborate video the Berlin-based collaborators have created together, the pair have brought their decorated styles to LUNCHBOX CANDY, a tentacular hub offering a space for Berlin’s queer creative community to unite and indulge within their fantasies to the fullest. Currently hosting every two months, LUNCHBOX CANDY is the ultimate representation of the duos focus and skill for building deep and fruitful connections.

To celebrate their recent work, we sat down with Elninodiablo and Adam Munnings to discuss “Illusion”, LUNCHBOX CANDY, and the key to a sustainable collaboration. To stream the track and for the full interview, head below…

Heya both how are you? How has this past year been? 
Elninodiablo: Excited that Berlin is finally opening up again! It’s been three long, cold months, not being able to socialise, go out to clubs and dance, and being in this semi lockdown situation. However, despite the lockdowns the past year creatively has been super productive for me. I took the ‘zen monk’ approach with my studio – I saw it as an opportunity to hunker down and finish off a lot of music and minimise outside contact. In the past 12 months we released six EPs on my record label El Nino Diablo Music and together with Adam we produced four music videos and launched a club night, Lunchbox Candy – all in the space of 1 year. I could have never imagined this would be possible under ‘normal’ circumstances. So something must have lit up a fire under my ass LOL.
Adam Munnings: Hey hey! Well the state of the world at the moment makes that question a little hard to answer but overall happy, healthy and ready to dance again finally here in Berlin. The past year has required a lot of creative problem solving both personally and professionally but looking back it was filled with inspiring people, magic moments and together we managed to release four music videos for Elninodiablo and saw the birth of our lovechild LUNCHBOX CANDY, a new queer party by and for our creative community. So we kept the fire burning somehow. 

The pandemic has affected everyone in different ways, how would you say it has affected you?

E: It highlighted what is important in my life, my needs and desires. It made me question myself with a sense of urgency about how I want to spend my time, what my core values are and the qualities in people I want to have around me. I missed being out in nature enormously, but I also got to experience being part of a creative collective in Berlin that’s driven by passion and love for what they do, with a healthy dose of ambition.
AM: For me there was a lot of change to navigate. My art/work has really been my saving grace throughout the pandemic. Even with the obvious roadblocks that we encountered I witnessed the strength of community in a new way. We are such resilient beings and with the right perspective and some reckless ambition there’s always a silver lining. In terms of our creative relationship it all happened during the pandemic haha.

And how did you guys both meet? What sparked the collaboration?
E: Adam and I first met on a very special ‘secret’ beach on Koh Phangan in Thailand – I think that was 2015. We shared many common friends and a couple of years later we both found ourselves in Berlin – running into each other at Cocktail D’Amore and Berghain, but never really connected properly. During the peak of the first lockdown in June 2020 we ran into each other on the street, and agreed to have lunch and a proper catch-up. We were both reeling by our respective relationship break-ups that happened pretty much at the same time. Immediately there was a creative spark in the air and we talked about collaborating and producing 2 music videos for my tracks, ‘Shadow Dancer’ and ‘Dorothea’s Rainbow’ – the process was a joyful and explosive burst of energy that started bringing amazing talent together, with a lot of love and dedication – the whole process has been a labour of love and it’s been a wonder to see our ambitious ideas coming to life! 
AM: We actually met around 5 or 6 years ago on Koh Phangan in Thailand and reconnected after both moving to Berlin. The collaboration really kicked off after bumping into each other on a bridge (both of us had just experienced big breakups) and then over a couple bottles of wine and sharing some work we decided to shoot the first video. Haven’t looked back since. 

With both of you having different creative inspirations, how did you come together to make the video?
E: Usually an idea for a video comes when I share with Adam some of my musical ideas, and tracks that I am planning to release. The one track/idea that gets Adam excited and inspired is the one that we end up working on. I fully trust his creative vision and aesthetic and I give him complete creative freedom – while of course honouring my intention and creative process behind each track. I wasn’t even planning to release “Illusion” as a single but after Adam listened to it, he was bouncing off all these crazy visual ideas and convinced me that it was the right move to go with this track and I’m very glad he did.
AM: When conceptualising the videos for Elninodiablo there’s a lot of trust and creative freedom. That’s really the key ingredient to a sustainable collaboration. Illusion is number 4 so by now we have a great flow. It usually starts with a listening session and Elninodiablo shares his motivation and vision for the next EP (it’s always something new and exciting) and then we listen and see what jumps out at us. I think I had mood boards for around 3-4 concepts for this one haha I was extremely indecisive. It was the location that inspired me to dive into this strange retro futuristic world and the percussive elements of the track really called for movement. I come from a dance background so it was super to work with dancers. In short, we agree on a track, I go away and have a concept crisis until it’s too late to change my mind, then we make it worrrrrk honnnney haha. 

And the track “Illusion”, what does it mean to both of you?
E: “Illusion” represents a time in my life when I was travelling in South East Asia, India and Nepal and pondering on philosophical questions about life. I left my life and career after living in London for 15 years in 2012 and embarked on a journey of self-discovery that lasted for 4 years. ‘Illusion’ is one of many tracks that was composed during this time, so it brings back beautiful memories. It was a time of expansiveness, openness and a deeper understanding of the nature of life.
AM: For me Elninodiablo’s tracks always have a strong energy and point of difference. It’s such a different audio landscape compared to other tracks I shoot music videos for that are very artist or lip sync driven. “Illusion” is playful, dynamic and metaphorical, I really relate to the spoken word because I’m coming to peace with “becoming more crazy, in my efforts to not be crazy, to realise the truth.”

What do you hope people take away from it?
E: I hope to see people dancing to it! And hopefully to take something from Adyashanti’s spoken word which comes during the breakdown – a little spark of mind-bending inspiration.
The music video is so joyful, colourful and abstract– qualities so much needed during these trying times we are all going through
AM: I just hope people love the energy, the quirkiness and for it to be a mini escape into a fantasy world that brings smile to your face. It’s a celebration of talented people doing their thing. 

What are you most excited for? What’s next?
E: We are already at it again planning the next video shoot which is happening early April – super excited about this project which is part of my next release, ‘The Body Electric EP’ (out in May). Also our club night Lunchbox Candy is going from strength to strength, we have our next party on April 23rd at ÆDEN here in Berlin with our amazing hosts (Dustin Hanke, Purrja, Nancy Grrrl, Rainer Sellien, Phoenix Chase-Meares) and DJs (Adam, myself, La Schmock, Lovefoxy and our special guests Borusiade and Sudha Kheterpal on live percussion) – it’s a safe space where our collective comes together to let loose and party. Sexy, playful and inclusive….if you can imagine our music videos coming alive that’s close enough! 
AM: Spring haha! Well as far as our collaboration goes we’re already onto the next video (can’t stop won’t stop) and I’m ready to celebrate with everyone at Lunchbox Candy which is our chance to come together outside of shooting, pull a look and get groovy. Manifesting a summer of love and more chances to do what we do with the community of incredible talent here in Berlin and beyond. Are you ready? 

“Illusion” is from the “SPIRIT” EP, out now:


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