Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Armistice (RAC Remix)

It’s going to be a good week. Want to know why? RAC (Remix Artists Collective), who as far as I’m concerned are some of the top—if not the top—remixers in the game, have released their second compilation of remixes, Volume 2, completely for free. Are there any of you out there who have yet to experience the golden touch of the Remix Artist Collective? I hope not. Their dogma is simple, and yet far too novel in today’s landscape of run-of-the-mill, formulaic, and oft ostentatious reinterpretations. To quote the RAC don, Andre Anjos himself,

“One of the main reasons I started RAC was out of frustration with the current remix scene...I strive to create remixes for music lovers who want to hear the song re-invented, not just re-interpreted and chopped up. I hope people experience the original songs in a different way that not only complements the original, but takes them somewhere else.

It is that, and that sentiment alone that makes RAC one of the artists (or rather, collective) I most respect. Not to mention that RAC tends to produce exactly what I want to hear. I have yet to hear an RAC reworking I fail to connect with it, and I doubt I will ever see the day when that happens. You see, these guys get it. It’s evident in the way Anjos talks about music, and it’s evident in the way he creates it. This is a man—and by extension a collective—who practices what he preaches, and his consistently impeccable remixes are the ultimate testament to that fact. Usually press releases are laughably bad, but the mission statement on RAC’s website actually sums it all up better than I ever could:

"We provide re-interpretations/remixes of individual songs for artists/labels. Above all, we strive for excellence and good taste regardless of genre. We aim to maintain a style of remixing that strays from the “club mix” archetype, creating new incarnations of songs that stem from the original structure, but expand on their genre and musical arrangement."

I spoke on Sunday of the perfect indie-electro fusion in remixing. RAC completely embodies that ideal. Too often, remixes of instrumental tracks stray too far from the original mold. That is, rather than enhancing a song, they completely reinvent the wheel. In my opinion—which is clearly the opinion of RAC as well—a remix should do justice to the original by capitalizing on its potential rather than seeking to erase all traces of its former self. This particular notion is most readily seen in remixes of instrumental (indie rock) tracks, which if put into the wrong hands can easily become gaudy club bangers with none of the original mood or sentiments, or even tonal center retained. RAC’s indie rock remixes are nothing of the sort. Instead, they take original components of the song’s instrumental and vocal lines, polish them up, add a bit here and there, and roll out with something so fresh yet familiar that it sounds akin to how that first spring breeze feels. RAC does it again here with Phoenix’s indispensible Armistice. Is the remix better than the original? No—it’s an extension of it. And it's so perfect because that’s exactly what it should be.

Armistice (RAC Remix)--Phoenix

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YAY! said...


dbattersby said...

Stellar post! I love it.

BJ Enright said...

One of the best Phoenix remixes I've heard.

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