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David Black / davidblackphotography.com
Matt Sayles / Invision/AP
If you go
When: 8 p.m. tonight
Where: Glenn Miller Ballroom, 1669 Euclid Ave., Boulder
More info: programcouncil.com
The name Remix Artist Collective doesn’t make much sense anymore. Only group leader André Allen Anjos remains, and his latest record is full of original music. Still, he continues to perform and record as RAC, and he’s playing the Glenn Miller Ballroom Thursday night.
We caught up with Anjos to talk about remixing and how he shifted gears to original music.
You’re primarily known for your remixes, and the collective, but lately you’ve been working solo on original music.
I’ve been doing remixes for so long. Things got a little stagnant for me. It’s obviously still exciting. It’s a great job to have, but, you know, creatively, I was getting kind of bored with it.
The opportunity came up, [I thought] maybe I’ll sort of write a couple songs and I’ll have the other artists and people I’ve worked with in the past, and have them come back and sing over the track. It was a little bit of, “Why didn’t I do this before?”
This was maybe 2010 or ’11. I started working from there. At first I was thinking pretty low key. I think the idea, at first, was to do a couple little dance singles, you know, something to release on vinyl. As I started writing material, it started turning into this, I don’t know, this pop project, which is completely different than what I was intending it to be. But that’s music for you.
How much do you work with the guest artists? What’s the process?
It’s a little bit different for everybody. For the most part, it was all done through the internet, and it was sending files back and forth. That’s why the record is called Strangers. To this day, I don’t really know them. We’ve obviously talked, but we haven’t actually met. There’s a couple artists like that. I’ll write a demo — a two-minute demo or idea or something like that — and send it through, and the artists come back with the vocal. There were a couple cases, like with Peter Bjorn and John, where he send back some percussion. Most of the time it’s just vocals. That’s all I really ask for.
Are you still doing remixes?
I’m obviously still focusing on Strangers, but I’m still doing remixes. It’s still something that I really enjoy, especially now that … the creatively-stagnant side of things isn’t really there anymore, because I had an opportunity with the originals to go for it and try something new. Because of that, I’m really refreshed with the remixes. Eight years later, it’s still fun.
I’m curious what you listen to. What do you have on heavy rotation right now?
Right now, a lot of Tame Impala. Let me pull up Spotify… The new Todd Terje. This record came out and it’s more like a jazz record, and it’s pretty fascinating. The new Beck record is my most-listened-to album recently, and it’s just amazing. Sea Change is probably my favorite Beck record and this is sort of a return to that sound.
There are still people who would argue against remixing as an art form. What do you say to that criticism?
Well, it’s an art form regardless of what people think. It is for me and, ultimately, if it’s enough of an art for me, nobody can really argue with that. Of course, I’ve seen my fair share of criticism, and I never really felt the brunt of that because I felt that I’ve always tried to be creative and do something out of the norm. So maybe I’ve avoided some backlash. Every once in a while, I still experience that.
I did a remix of Bob Marley and, I don’t know, I guess Bob Marley fans, they’re not very accepting of remixes. I think the majority of people like this, but there’s a vocal minority. It’s not that they don’t like the remix. They don’t like the concept, like someone is taking precious material and molding it into something else.
It’s like “Star Wars.” George Lucas went back and changed things in “Star Wars” and changed the original version. If that was happening, like we were editing Bob Marley’s album, OK, but this is a side thing that maybe three percent of Bob Marley fans have heard. It’s harmless. I’m sure there’s some financial incentive to so this thing, but for me, it’s just a great opportunity.
Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109. On Twitter: @AshaleyJill.