EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: 5 Minutes With… Luca Agnelli

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Tuscan DJ and producer Luca Agnelli’s work straddles the worlds of deep house and contemporary techno, a fruitful mix that is both high-energy and full of interesting tones and melodies. Creative, eclectic and experimental, Agnelli has released on prestigious labels such as Soma, Drum Code and Planet Rhythm, while his own label – Etruria Beat Records – is establishing a strong reputation for its varied and nuanced techno offerings. His dark, primal remix of Moby’s “Porcelain” is a fantastic illustration of his ability to produce tracks that can entertain the ear without sacrificing their intense, insistent pulse.

This weekend (March 3rd), Luca will headline a warehouse-style Halycon Party at Liverpool’s new North Shore Troubadour venue, giving UK fans a rare taste of his unique style. We caught up with Luca to chat about his influences, his favourite place to gig and his label, Etruria Beat Records…

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?

Everything is okay! I’m just finishing building a train track with my son, and after I will be going to finish a track in the studio.

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

I’d describe my sound as being like waves: it goes up and down, and it grows. It’s techno that is powerful, sometimes raw and dark, but sometimes fresh and emotional.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?

Apparat, The Devil’s Walk
Laurent Garnier, Unreasonable Behaviour
Underworld, Beaucoup Fish
Burial, Untrue
Daft Punk, Homework

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?

There are a lot of artists that I like and that I follow. They all have different styles but I love their grooves, melodies and the ideas within their tracks. Some examples would be Electric Rescue, Amotik, Paula Temple, James Ruskin, Dax J, Charles Fenckler, Bastinov, Slam, Dast, Developer, Kaiser, Florian Meindl, Reform, Laurent Garnier, SHDW & Obscure Shape, Diego Amura, Fjaak and Yotam Avnii.

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?

I often start the tracks when I travel to and from my gigs, whether that be at the airport when I’m waiting for a flight, when I’m on a train and also sometimes in the car. As I’m often alone when travelling, I get inspired by the landscape and by the positive energy of the gig that I have either just done or that I’m en route to. Then once my trip is over I focus on developing these ideas in my studio when I return home.

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?

Spazio 900 in Rome. It is in an amazing location with a great sound system and lighting set up. It holds 4000 people and everybody inside gets very involved in the music which produces a really great vibe and ensures that the night is full of energy.

And the worst?

Hmm…. I honestly can’t remember!

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

Maybe a producer of wine and oil from my lovely home in Tuscany…?

Do you have any exciting gigs or releases in the pipeline that you want to tell us about?

I have two releases on my label coming up which I’m really excited about. The first is my MetamorphosisEP which features remixes from Yotam Avni and Abstract Division and is released on the 6th March, whilst the second will be coming later this year. That one’s called Voltumna, also an EP, featuring remixes from Soma bosses SLAM and also a remix from Truncate. In terms of gigs, aside the Liverpool party this weekend, I’m really excited to be at Dockyard Festival in Amsterdam on the 6th May, where I will be playing on The Cathedral stage alongside Jay Lumen, Marco Bailey, Nakadia, JSPR and Rob Hes. I will also be playing Decoded in Malaga with Chris Liebing, whilst I have appearances at Mystic Garden Festival, Cocorico, Guendalina, Tini and more. So there’s a lot going on and a lot to be excited about!

Tell us a bit about Etruria Beat Records. Was opening your own label a long-time ambition, or did you do it for practical or artistic reasons?

I started the label simply because of my love for the music, to be able to press and release music that I like, to discover and unearth new talent, and to create a family with a long-term ambition and goal. The idea is to have a label with a mix of both young artists and international artists on each release, and to release a unique package each time with different shades and styles of techno. So far I’ve been lucky enough to welcome a lot of great talent to the label, including: Bastinov, Dast, Kaiser, Reform, Diego Amura, Toms Due, Little Charles Andre Kronert, TWR72, Oliver Deutchmann, Electric Rescue, Abstract Division, Yotam Avni, Locked Groove, 2000 and One, Dj Emerson, Mattias Fridell, Arnaud Le Texier, DJ Tennis, Pig&Dan, Kevin De Vries, Dj Sodeyama, Nikita Zabelin, Dana Ruh and more.

Catch the inimitable Luca Agnelli at North Shore Troubadour this weekend.