feeder insider interview with Entoniu & Agape [21th Street Records]
The feeder.ro team is often writing about the Italian duo Entoniu & Agape because they show a certain maturity when it comes to music production and dj sets. We invited them on multiple occasions to share their music with us. We are happy to publish this conversation about music, in an extended feeder insider interview with Entoniu & Agape.
feeder.ro: Hello, Entoniu! Hello, Agape! We are happy to talk to you again. Two years ago, we discussed your music and sound experiments, released by different record labels. This time we find ourselves in a different context, looking ahead to unpredictable times, so we continue this conversation on a more personal level. As djs, producers, but most importantly, as humans, what do you consider are the weak points this pandemic has revealed? What changes you think are having a positive impact?
Entoniu: Hi! Agape and I have been working in smart working for years, and therefore nothing has changed on music production while for social life we lack meetings with our friends, relatives, contacts. Sharing emotions with them is slowly becoming a memory.
Agape: What’s up, guys! We invested this “negative” period for training and, staying at home, we had the opportunity to study new production techniques. We used the time to our advantage!
f: At the beginning of 2020, you guys decided you need your own space to express yourself with no boundaries. What motivated you to start your record label?
E: We had been planning the opening of our label for some time; this was the right time to design it and make it come true.
From May 2020 to this day, we have already released music from several artists such as 2Acid, Simone Tagliabue, Alex Fuente, Danilo Schneider and Radu Mirica.
A: For those who follow us, they know that we produce a lot of music and programming, being all on different labels, it’s not always easy and possible. And then, we also have many friends with whom we would like to try original sounds, and the imprint seemed to us the best way to give vent to our ideas.
f: What is the meaning of 21th (“th” stands for “total horror”) Street Records? How do you connect your music to what happens in the streets?
E: The street is a very hip hop concept, and 21 is the sum of our lucky numbers
A: One of our tracks’ characteristics is a subtle texture of ambient noise, and most of the time, we sampled from urban contexts. It is also from what the idea of 21th Street was born.
f: We saw that every release you put out has a particular theme that correlates with the release’s sound and image. How do you capture what you see or feel about the quotidian life, and then translate it into sounds and music?
E: From the titles to the cover, our EPs are mental journeys accompanied by our music. The every-day is not always as banal and predictable as we think, everything that surrounds us gives us sound ideas that we pin and develop on sequencers.
A: We are always armed with notepads and portable recorders, we take many notes, and from a concept, we arrive at the final idea fantasizing like two children! Fantasy must never be lacking in music, images and art in general. 🙂
f: Male figures dominate most of the electronic music scene. Do you consider working with female djs or producers for the upcoming releases?
E: Sure, why not?
A: We are in 2021, in the future. The concept of man and woman now belongs to the past.
We are happy to collaborate with any artist who has our vision of music, regardless of gender.
f: Listening carefully to your music, one could argue that you like Romanian music, or you are inspired by it, either electronic or traditional. How did you connect to this part of the world, and what are the elements that grab your attention?
E: The passion for Romanian music was born in 2005 when I listened to the first DJ sets by Raresh.
We have several collections of Balkan and Romanian folk music. We often find ourselves sampling from those songs.
A: Entoniu is crazy for Romanian music, I’m the one who tends to “digitize” the sound and create that combination of sounds that characterizes our tracks.
f: Italy is well known for many things, starting with architecture, design, fashion, food, and a super long history, but most of these turn into mainstream, and, in some cases, lose some of their actual values. How is this impacting your life, considering that many people are probably expecting the same gesture from you, and why do you continue to engage the underground scene?
E: Thanks for calling us Underground! This is what we want to hear.
What comes out of our music is the result of a great passion that unites us, as already said in the past, we are for good music regardless of whether it sells or not.
A: We talk about underground because we don’t make music to “be liked” by the crowd, we like to express ourselves without the constraint of genres. If you look at our social networks you understand that we are not attached to the mainstream concept that the model of today’s society imposes on us, you can find music, our music. (P.S. Follow us on our social networks! Ahahahah)
f: Before this ongoing crisis, you both used to dj regularly, and we hope we will see you behind the decks as soon as possible. Can you tell us a bit about your secret modus operandi when you select music for a dj set? How does it compare to the moments when you listen to demos for the next releases?
E: We hope to meet soon in Romania, it is one of our still unfulfilled dreams.
In the past, we were obsessed with the latest release now instead we play almost only our tracks, some unreleased music producers friends and the inevitable old school folder from where we always come up with something unique. Especially those of “MOP” who do not have age and drive the dance floor crazy.
A: We like to collaborate, when we get demos from other artists, we compare our visions and do everything to get to the production of a release together!
f: Your skills combine smoothly, and you are working together for a long time, even if you live in different cities in Italy. Besides producing music, what do you have in common that keeps you in this excellent formula?
E: In addition to being co-producers, we have a longstanding friendship.
Respect and help are the basis of everything.
For me, Agape, besides being a brother, is the man who helped me grow on a musical level.
A: It is not easy to find an affinity like ours; for me, Entoniu is not only a music producer but above all, a friend. We share a lot besides music, and there has never been envy or competition, we are like brothers is the formula!
f: Anticipating another few more months of struggling in this uncertain atmosphere, with the entire cultural scene temporary closed around the world, what are your plans for the near future? And what plans do you have if the worst-case scenario will continue for even a few years from now?
E: We are waiting for the problem to be resolved and we hope that we can come back to hug each other as soon as possible! In the meantime, we get into production, and we will continue to offer you our music.
A: I think this period has taught us how vital collaboration between producers is, even more than before. If all goes according to plan, we will come out with a release a month, and we will offer you our sound with contaminations of excellent producers! Stay tuned.
feeder.ro: Thank you for your thoughts and time!
Entoniu & Agape: Thanks to you as always for the time you dedicate to us. 🙂
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