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Remix Artistic Collective mix and mash

Connor O'Keefe

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In this day and age, remixes have generally become known as danceable, electronic, repetitive beats meant for nightclubs and parties. André Allen Anjos, the founder of the Remix Artistic Collective (RAC), strives to do something different.

RAC’s remixes of artists from a variety of genres and styles aims to improve upon the original piece while emphasizing interesting and unique arrangements. He does this with a mix and mash of live instruments and electronic synths, each working off the other to create a unique take on a pre-existing song. He released his first original album, “Strangers,” in 2014. Since then, he’s done a combination of original music and his own twist on other artists’ songs, adding synths and poppy twists to a variety of different works.

RAC during the opening song. (Connor O’Keefe/The DePaulia)

He continued this electronic style with his newest album, “EGO.” It continues with the collaborations he’s become known for, bringing in the likes of St. Lucia, Rivers Cumo and K. Flay. In total, it boasts 13 different singers throughout, causing the musical tone to ebb and flow as Anjos manages to maintain a consistent enough style from start to finish to make it feel like one cohesive piece.

The album is unapologetically pop, but with the various musicians involved it manages to combine electronic synths and rock instruments. Weezer and K. Flay’s collaborations stand out particularly in this way. “I Still Wanna Know” and “Heartbreak Summer” utilize harder guitars and more rock melodies, cutting into his smoother electronic sounds.   

This transfers over incredibly well to live performances. With electronic music, and particularly remixes such as Anjos’, there’s always a question as to how that sound will be presented on stage. On Friday, Oct. 13 he took to the Metro with bandmates Troupe Gammage, Karl Kling and Liz Anjos to answer that question. Especially for those who appreciated his unique arrangements, there was little to no disappointment. The band carried the gusto and uniqueness that came with RAC’s style through a full set band and a small keyboard synth.

They leaned on the rock’ n’ roll flavor of the newest “EGO” album, featuring a predominantly live-instrument performance. Each of the musicians’ beyond Anjos himself, were incredibly versatile. They moved with ease from vocals to instrumental to backup vocals throughout the show, providing each set of songs with its own rhythm and pace. Gammage opened the show with high energy and switched almost seamlessly to Anjos, who provided a more soothing, calm and atmospheric performance. Both were accompanied by Kling and other band members on vocals.

Troupe Gammage from SPEAK joins RAC and sings remixed songs to the crowd.
(Connor O’Keefe/The DePaulia)

The lack of one single frontrunner or lead to the band gave the group a wholeness that complemented the collaborative process that went in the writing of the songs they performed. All of it points back to Anjos’ original mission: changing peoples’ beliefs about what a remix could be. The parts of the whole working together on stage made the performance more about the work that went into the melodies and rhythms and the process of executing them live. It wasn’t about just dancing, but appreciating the multiple sets of talent that brought these pieces to the recording booth and then the stage. This combination of moving and shifting performers really brought to light a new meaning behind the purpose of RAC.

The night as a whole opened with Lizzy Plapinger’s solo project known as LPX, a pantone punk/alternative rock band. Plapinger recently announced taking a break from her electro pop duo MS MR for the more guitar driven pumping music of LPX. Although the majority of the crowd arrived near the end of her set or after for the headliner RAC, those who came early were left wanting more. With a relatively short set, each piece was an absolute jam, and she left the stage with a roaring and energetic crowd, ready for the headliner to come on stage and give them a new experience.

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Remix Artistic Collective mix and mash