Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed that every time Jason plays a remix I love, it’s by RAC – starting with the incredible remix of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ “Home” and, more recently, their take on Phantogram’s “When I’m Small.” One day I went in the studio and finally asked – who is RAC?
Jason didn’t know much about them, so I decided to investigate and finally tracked down an answer.
RAC stands for Remix Artist Collective and was started by André Allen Anjos, a talented musician from Portugal. Josh Roth, who manages KCRW favorites Ra Ra Riot, calls Andre “one of the most talented people I have ever met.”
Here is an email interview with André where I find out more.
Who/ What is RAC?
RAC is essentially a group of people doing all kinds of different things under one name. I started this group in 2007 while I was still a sophomore in college. It’s been an interesting ride and it’s sort of morphed into something I didn’t expect it to. In the beginning we were very much focused on remixing, but that has opened up many doors to other outlets.
What is your remix philosophy?
First and foremost, I see myself as a songwriter. Whether people acknowledge that in remixing isn’t really a concern, but it’s the mentality to which I approach remixing.
If you’re not adding to a song, don’t touch it.
I don’t mean that in a literal sense of just adding some synths, I mean changing the feel and mood of a song. If it makes sense to make it dancey, sure, but don’t ask me to make Edward Sharpe danceable.
I wouldn’t call it a philosophy, it’s more like using common sense. It’s not about imposing your personal style upon an existing song, it’s about making the song better.
Do you seek out artists or do they find you?
I had to really work hard in the beginning to get those first remix jobs, but it has a snowball effect. My first remix job was The Shins and after you get that on your resume, people start to pay attention. These days sometimes I’ll reach out to artists I really like, but it’s mostly people reaching out to us.
Are there any “dream” artists you’d like to remix?
I have to admit that I’m a sucker for anything DFA puts out. I was lucky to work with them on Holy Ghost!, but I love everything they put out. Hot Chip is another one. I’ve been way into some newer disco stuff like Poolside, Nile Delta, Midnight Magic, Moullinex, Hemingway, Cyclist and Rimer London.
I’ve already had the opportunity to remix a lot of my favorite artists, so at this point I’m more inclined to work on newer up-and-coming stuff.
Hear more RAC remixes on Soundcloud here, including this one by another member of the RAC crew, Andrew Maury.
And one more just for fun: