Agents of Time – Live Teaser (Spread the Word LP)
The electronic music scene is replete with showmanship and careful image-crafting, but there are few artists who have taken this to near-Deadmau5 levels. This is especially true in the realm of underground electronica, where costumes, grand entrances, and cake-throwing antics are generally viewed with disdain, and respect is only earned through the quiet expression of talent.
But this limitation does not apply to Andrea Di Ceglie, Fedele Ladisa and Luigi Totolo, the Italian trio known as Agents of Time. In just one year, this prolific outfit has not only produced an exceptionally high gem-to-dud ratio on Stem Records, with tracks notably appearing in several high-profile sets (such as Adriatique’s recent Cityfox Enclave set), but they have also strewn the European continent with live performances including at Sonar in Barcelona. Through all of this, Agents of Time have stuck to a visual and aesthetic conceit that is both powerful and oddly suited to the fusion of genres their music embodies.
They appear shrouded in black hooded robes, obscuring all but their arms. This allows them to perform their special brand of live, sequenced analog magic behind a mask of almost monastic mysticism, suggesting they are mere spectres of fantasy travelling through time, stylized and inscrutable agents of expression for the music they purvey.
Even their laptops are ensconced in black cases
Their sound is dark and sparse, driven by precise rhythm and cleverly arpeggiated synth chords, but these bass-heavy elements are conducted and co-ordinated by a binding sense of melody. The instrumentation is notable for being largely analog, containing a warmth and character reminiscent of scene pioneers from the early nineties such as Aphex Twin, LFO, Autechre, and the Future Sound of London. Yet the modern sensibility evident in their releases is an impeccable talent for sequencing and layering. This provides a spacing that allows their tracks to breathe, creating a canvas on which each element is allowed to shine for a time before transitioning to the next.
The closest touchpoint would be fellow compatriots Mind Against, though this comparison is both crude and incomplete. Agents of Time draw not only on deep house and melodic techno but often channel ambient soundscapes as well. This is done sparingly and effectively and often as a backdrop to focused vocal samples in breakdowns. This can be heard on the track “Lost Dreams”, from their recently released “Spread the Word” LP.
The Live Teaser for this LP is a striking and entertaining example of their performance mystique. Set in an ominous forest just before nightfall, three black hooded figures stride into view and perform a seamless blending of three tracks for an audience of chirping birds and forest critters. The video is expertly shot and choreographed by Tony Castrovilli (who has incidentally also shot live footage for Mind Against). The tracks featured in this live teaser are “Llawten”, “Stoke”, and “Lost Dreams”.
It is with great anticipation that we await the day these hooded figures venture out of Europe and descend upon our shores.
View the teaser here:
Tags: Agents of Time