On the Radar: Various Artists – From Sound to Silence

Obscura, the Italian imprint headed by Agents of Time, drop by with their second astounding release, From Sound to Silence. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes a listen to some top grade electronic music.

Agents of Time have done the business yet again, with their latest (and the second) release on their Obscura label, From Sound to Silence. This is one of those records that kind of permeates your conscious.

You will all be familiar with the situation. You’re buzzing about, headphones in, listening to a bit of ‘background techno’ when all of a sudden something makes you stop in your tracks and pay close attention to what is entering your ears. You like it. You want to know more about it. You listen to the entire release without breaking concentration.

This is exactly how I familiarised myself with From Sound to Silence. I hadn’t purposefully cued the promo up to play next, although I’m glad my favourite media player knows me well enough to know what I’d like to hear. I was treated to 9 tracks of fantastically produced and perfectly presented electronic music, ranging from the killer electro cut, Analog Blizzard, contributed by The Hacker, to the driving, acidic techno of Agents of Time themselves.

The compilation works really nicely as a whole unit or equally as well when broken down into its constituent parts. The nine tracks contained work very well just listened to individually as a standalone track, but they also contribute to the overall feel of the album as you embark on the hour-long journey.

As stated, Agents of Time kick things off with Sequences, which features a harsh, saw-laden acid line to push the compilation into full throttle from the off. Elements of the track are reminiscent of productions by Stephan Bodzin or Boris Brejcha. This is followed up by Voiski‘s Floodlight for Sunflowers, which features regimented percussion, around which a pulsating bassline broods and a rasping synthline swells.

François X‘s Rigid Monitor continues the acidic feel of the first two tracks, while edging us toward a more electro vibe, before the almighty Hacker steps up with his Analog Blizzard, which goes all-out on the electro front, delivering some classic swoops and heavily distorted synth waves. Quality tackle.

Up next we have Orbe, who delivered his LP, Interplant, earlier this year. It nice to hear that he hasn’t taken his foot off the gas in any way, as he exercises some delicious dub-techno sensibilities with his track, Temporary MutationAmandra continues the minimal direction of the compilation with Derviche Roba, which deftly mixes together the dubby feel of the previous track with an ethereal ambience as beautiful pads are arranged around the leading synth line and the minimal percussion.

Abstract Division weighs in next, raising the temperature back up to boiling point following our moment of relaxed dub-techno bliss, with a panic-laden techno tracks filled with frenetic drum programming and siren-like synths.

Acid is the order of the day for the final track of the vinyl release, courtesy of Roberto, and his track Talisman, which applies some nice subtle effects to the start of the track, before going all-out sonic warfare and warping the bassline beyond comprehension.

The digital release comes complete with You’re Too Young to Worry, a stripped back affair from Italian producer, Biemsix, which wraps lush, minimal pads around some hornet-like synths and sparse percussion, closing the compilation off in a hypnotic state.

From Sound to Silence was released on September 29th and is available to purchase now from all good vinyl and digital retailers.

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