Luca Agnelli has enjoyed a whirlwind twelve months. While his own Etruria Beat imprint goes from strength to strength off the back of his hard work and select signings; his own music has been igniting dance floors across the globe.
A debut on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label and the opportunity to turn his remix talents on a Moby classic are just two of the highlights of a defining year. Having just dropped his brand new ‘Voltumna’ EP, we caught up with Luca as he is in the middle of a busy run of dates this Summer.
Electronic Groove: Hey Luca, thanks for speaking with us today. We know we’re catching you fresh from a busy weekend. You’ve played at Italy’s Tiny Soundgarden party right?
Luca Agnelli: Yes it was amazing, hot and crazy people there! It was an Etruria Beat label showcase with my crew, Bastinov and Reform, and we smashed one of the best summer clubs in Italy.
EG: Etruria Beat is now seven years old and 37 releases deep. What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in this time running the label and are there any grand future plans for building the ETB brand?
Luca Agnelli: I’ve always stayed true to releasing the music that moves me, without thinking about sales. Collaborating with young Italian and international artists is important and I actually see the sound of the label evolving alongside my own. I also learned that the name of the producer doesn’t really matter … if a track is good, it’s good!
EG: You’ve been a driving force within the Italian techno scene in recent years, unearthing new talent and providing them with a global platform on Etruria Beat. Was this always the plan, to create a strong family of Italian artists?
Luca Agnelli: Yes. It was always my idea to create a family group, to welcome the artists I like, to share experiences, ideas, to grow together. We’ve got a strong core of young Italian’s coming through now. Guys like Bastinov, Reform, Dast who have a bright future.
EG: Whilst it’s been a strong year for the label, it’s been an even stronger year for you personally with releases and remixes for Drumcode, Soma, Elevate and Off Recordings. How would you assess the last twelve months for Luca Agnelli and what have been the highlights?
Luca Agnelli: Each of these releases are important for me and have all traced my path, my recent story. I released ‘Long Delay’ on Soma. An especially satisfying moment for me because I’m a fan of Slam since forever and their label is one of the most respected techno labels of all time.
‘Phoenix’ marked my debut on Drumcode and therefore it has a special meaning to me.
My remix of Angle’s ‘Hold Your Breath’ has been played by so many and received appreciation from artists like Carl Cox, Adam, Beyer, Eats Everything and many more.
‘Turbo’ on Elevate was an exclusive track for the last compilation of Space Ibiza and then, of course, I closed the year with my remix of Moby on Drumcode, which was such an honor.
This year I released my ‘Metamorphosis’ EP on Etruria Beat, which featured remixes from Abstract Division and Yotam Avni. It’s a dark and heavy release, maybe more than ever for me, but in both of my originals I still kept my production touches, breaks and powerful restarts.
EG: You topped the sales charts with your remix of Moby’s ‘Porcelain’. Was it daunting being asked to rework such a classic, and how do you approach remixing a record of this stature?
Luca Agnelli: When Adam Beyer asked me to do the remix I was on vacation with my family and I had no way of working on it, but I began to imagine it in my head, thinking about what parts to use, how to fix them and thinking how to put my mark on it, albeit knowing it was a big responsibility! When I got back to my studio the remix was finished in three days 🙂
The opportunity to remix a legend like Moby was for me, a very important achievement, a dream that comes true because I grew up with his music, and the thought of being able to lay my hands on a masterpiece like ‘Porcelain’ filled me with joy and pride, furthermore releasing it on Drumcode, one of the strongest techno labels of the last decade!
EG: A few days ago we saw you return to Etruria Beat with your new ‘Voltumna’ EP and another brace of heavy-weight remixes.
Luca Agnelli: My last EP was dark and heavy, but on Voltumna and Aplu, the new originals, I wanted to keep the power and the drive, but add more melodic and uplifting touches. I am very happy with the result. This EP was also a huge moment for the label because I have Slam and Truncate, two of techno’s real legends, remixing my tracks.
EG: You have a strong and active social media presence and your Monday Facebook Live sessions have been pulling some serious viewing numbers. What are your views, as an artist, on the importance of being creative, fresh and upfront with your social media?
Luca Agnelli: Personally I love technology and I love to experience and work with the different tools, to be closer to the public and to spread my music. After all this is the purpose of all my social media activities. I’m pretty active on this side of things and the Live sessions have been going well, usually, I fly solo and sometimes I have label guests play in the studio with me. Check them out on my Facebook page!
EG: So you’ve kicked off 2017 with two strong releases. What else should we be looking forward to this year from Luca Agnelli?
Luca Agnelli: I just released a remix for Felix Krocher on Unrilis and a new track ‘Hypericum’ coming on Drumcode. I also have a few new projects that I can’t mention for now, but it will be a very nice end to the year for sure. I will be playing the Dockyard Festival in Amsterdam for ADE, Movement Festival in Turin and another South America tour too.
EG: Finally, we know that you hail from the beautiful region of Tuscany. What are your Top 3 tips for somebody visiting the area for the very first time?
Luca Agnelli: I would say visit Arezzo (for its beauty and its cultural, artistic and historical features), Bolgheri (for astonishing vineyards and wines of course) and Golfo di Baratti (for the beach and the sea).
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