5 Minutes With… Agents of Time
Andrea Di Ceglie, Fedele Ladisa and Luigi Tutolo make up Italian trio, Agents of Time. Together they develop a rare innovative sound, characterized by the fusion of progressive, techno and ambient, allowing them to relate with any dance floor. This is distinguished by their unique stage show and use of live anagogic instruments and creates a performance that is always unpredictable and never taken for granted.
AoT will be playing THE PLAYGROUND‘s show at KOKO, London, August 22. We caught up with them ahead of the event to talk influences, Italy and the infamous cloaks.
Hi there Agents of Time, where are you speaking to us from today?
Your twitter bio says – ‘It all started in a store room, a drink and a bit of time’. Whats your favourite time of the day?
Agents of Time is a musical project created by the three of us. We definitely have different ways of thinking, with the exception, however, of the concept of time. This is our strongest common point. Sometimes in fact we like to produce music in different time slots, it depends on how we are inspired. Most of the time we have the inspiration when the sun gives way to the night. Sorry, we don’t want to frighten anybody, but it‘s our real nature!
Do you prefer doing live sets or DJ sets? Which will you be doing on the 22nd August at KOKO?
It really depends on what the club prefers. Sometimes there are clubs that ask us to play DJ sets for more hours. In this case we have the opportunity to express all the music and sounds that affect our work. But most of the time we find that clubs really enjoy our live show and they try to create the best stage and the best environment around us so as to obtain an outstanding result during the party. This is our passion and our job so we try to do both things in the best way. However AoT started as a live act and this continues to satisfy us a lot. For KOKO club we are setting up everything for a live show. England requires the very best every time and we are working on it.
We’ve seen your wall of synthesisers, is there any other crucial pieces of equipment that you use for the trademark ‘Agents of Time’ sound?
No basically our synth’s wall helps us a lot to make tracks and to create our specific sound. The best part of our work is to eviscerate every instrument trying to get the sound as unique as possible. That said, we aren’t dinosaurs in our work, we usually use Ableton for living records and we add some plug in and analog pedals to make our sound more filled and filthy.
Talk us through the black capes, what do they mean to you guys?
The ‘Agents of Time’ show includes various factors, from the experimentation of sounds to the creation of atmospheres that have to transport the clubber into a surreal world. So after accurate analysis we decided to immerse ourselves in the role of three agents that travel in a parallel space-time using black cloaks with hoods that cover our entire faces. The cloak allows us to close ourselves in a world of total symbiosis with the instruments that we use for our live act giving us the opportunity to convert our emotions in ever-changing sounds allowing us to have no interferences with the world outside. It’s like being hidden by a tinted glass: we are able to observe the reactions of our audience during the performance Do you have combined influences or do you each have individual influences that work in unison with one another?
Our sound is constantly evolving and you can find elements from various musical genres, because each one of us has their own musical background. This gives us the chance to have a broader vision to make our music more detailed so the final product that we pull out of our studio has unique characteristics. On the other hand each one of us has their own identity which helps us a lot because in the free time we can work on our solo project going through different worlds.
Tell us about Bari in Italy, it’s relatively remote compared to Milan, Rome and the other large cities. Do you think the size of a city affects it’s music scene?
Bari is not too big, but the scene we have here in Puglia is really big, almost like Milan and Rome. There are lots of big promoters here that are doing a great job running the biggest club of Italy. For this reason we don’t think that the size of the city is really important. The main thing is how big the electronic scene is and how many people follow it.
Can we expect any more releases as we move into the end of 2015?
Yes, sure. We have done a remix for Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z that will come out on Guy J’s label, Lost&Found. Then we have done our ep on Maceo Plex’s label, Ellum. In these days we are also working intensely on our new album: it means a lot to us and we are looking for different ways to transmit the musical changes we are pursuing.
Is it difficult to bring all your ideas together seeing as there is three of you or do you take certain roles (for example one of you does percussion, one does the melody, ones does the baseline)?
Sometimes it’s hard to put together three different minds, but at the same time it’s our greatest strenght. At first it was difficult because none of us have a specific role but right now each one of us knows what and how to do. The great thing is that we also exchange our roles so that we all know what to do.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
It’s hard to create a list of artists we’re listening to because there are so may. For sure, in this historical period we are very close to Mathew Jonson’s and Minilogue’s music, but we also very much like electronic bands like GusGus and Kraftwerk and artists like Kolsh or James Blake. The last name we mentioned is really inspiring us with the low electronic stuff.
You’ve travelled around Europe playing to some huge crowds, what are you expecting at KOKO?
We steadily speak with some friends that live in London and everybody say that it’s one of the best club in London. But it’s better to give a proper feedback after party! For sure we really can’t wait to approach with this club. Therefore, we are looking forward to it!Who’s the best DJ set you’ve ever seen?
The best DJ set we’ve ever seen is the one from Ivan Smagghe near Bari, our hometown. It was in 2009. His set was full of musical plot twists and we also remember a crazy story about that night. Ivan was playing a track but the vinyl was a bit dirty just at the point where the cartridge touches it and there was a risk of sliding. Obviously the track was sounding really bad. At a certain point Ivan took an ice cube and dropped a drop of water exactly on the dirty spot so as to clean it in no time. Great trick in that moment that avoided the slippage of the vinyl with bad consequences. Super Ivan!
As a member of the crowd which is your favourite venue? Does that differ from your favourite as DJ?
Our favorite venue as a member of the crowd is definitely the Fabric in London because it has a magical atmosphere. Since the first time we get in it gave us a lot of emotions. As DJ’s we can not say anything yet because we haven’t played there but we are sure it would be wonderful in the same way. Or maybe more!
Agents of Time will be playing at KOKO, 22 August, alongside Oliver Huntemann, Gary Beck, Juan Atkins, Gregor Tresher and Dubspeeka. Click here for tickets.