Pitchfork darlings RAC (a.k.a. RemixArtistsCollective) dropped their hyped album debut this week*, complete with an hour-long continuous mix. RAC has a knack for taming the wild wailings of indie favorites into smooth, imaginative electronic dance music. With a novel repertoire, smooth tempo, subtle analog details, and animated MIDI sequencing, fans know a RAC song when they hear it. With this album, they probably have, as most of these mixes have been freely available for some time.
The album’s single, “Hollywood,” is a collaboration with Chris Glover of Penguin Prison. It pleasingly melds a funky bassline with a warbled staccato-piano punch, and the expressive restraint in post-production adds an instrumental quality to the knob-turning and bar-sliding of RAC’s signature style. The ability to distill a gentle pop song into something equally engaging but altogether new is a defining characteristic of RAC remixes. It’s a perfect party album.
The consistent percussion which sustains the remix of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s “Home” is met with sophisticated drone and pulsing depth. Also included is the catchy remix of “Sleeping Lessons,” which initially earned RAC attention in 2007. It was a bold yet reverent debut; as far as its parent genre is concerned, re-mixing The Shins is dancing courageously on sacred ground.
This is a killer collection of remixes, spontaneously deep without ever losing focus of the feel-good vibes necessary for kinetic appreciation. Driven by the trio’s hardworking producer André Anjos, RAC never loses focus at creating an imaginative dance tune. RAC has tread carefully, always awaiting the artist’s blessing before wooing the winning blogs to gain an audience. The album’s title, Chapter One, suggests the past five years have been just the beginning of a promising career.
* for a week, that one, I was using this as a writing sample to try to score freelance work
- Somebody Set Us Up The Bomb
- Groove in the Imperative