Reviewed by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
Italian duo Andrea Di Ceglie and Luigi Tutolo return with their second album as Agents Of Time. Having boosted their profile with recent single Afterlife and a remix of The Weeknd’s Take My Breath, the pair return to an approach blending techno knowhow and song-based structures – with a few instrumentals thrown in for good measure.
What’s the music like?
Strong and assured. Agents Of Time are pretty consistent in their marriage of full bodied, club-based beats and song structures, and get a satisfying variety in their choice of material. The net result is a set of what can only be called ‘moody bangers’!
There is a good deal of versatility in this music. Dream Vision, for instance, makes a really strong impact with its cinematic strings, while Blu proves its worth as one of the strongest vocal tracks.
Clipped beats and moody vocals from Audrey Janssens in Fallin’ hark back to the UK garage sound at the turn of the century. Janssens reappears later on the tougher Poison. Interstellar Cowboy goes for a futuristic approach, the vocal accents balancing a solid instrumental backing.
On the instrumental front, Pulses and Ciao are both excellent in the way they channel evocative lines through driving beats with a sharper edge to the bass. Finally Dinasty signs off with no beats at all, succeeding through a trancey loop instead.
Does it all work?
Mostly. There are some curious vocal additions (The World Is Dump, for instance) but most of Universo squarely hits the mark.
Is it recommended?
It is, if you like a dose of vocal pop against melodic techno as part of your dance music experience. Expressive and cinematic, this is an album well worth trying.