The Art of the Remix
By Jasen T. Davis
André Allen Anjos is the mastermind behind Remix Artist Collective (RAC), a cadre of artists (including Andrew Maury out of New York and Karl Kling of Portland) who compose brilliant, dance worthy remixes from bands across the musical spectrum, including Tokyo Police Club, Bloc Party, Kings of Leon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and more.
Anjos didn’t plan to create songs to end up everywhere cool, from nightclubs in Germany to the silver screen to HBO’s Entourage. “I never thought I would be doing it,” he says. “I kind of fell into making music and really like it. I think I just got very lucky.”
Music had always been a hobby to Anjos, but with college coming to an end he knew he had to find a real job, soon. “I was just two years away from graduation; I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
With the recession still raging, nobody was hiring, and the student loans weren’t going to pay for themselves. “The terror of the real world started to seep in, and I had no other options. I got into a stable financial situation by the time I was graduating, so the timing was perfect.”
The jolt of adrenaline proved to be a bolt of inspiration, and years later the young composer credits technology and the Internet for making it possible, mostly from contacts he made through email and social networking.
“Technology completely enabled me to do what I did . . . to make this whole thing happen. It just fell into place. I could just work and go to school in a small town, instead of a big city like L.A.”
Producing a successful track out of someone else’s song takes talent and technology. What’s essential for imagineering a successful club hit?
“For a proper remix, the most important thing is to not change the basic song structure. It’s vital to stick with it. After that, you can do what you want. Mess around with different sounds, chords, drumbeats, and go from there. It’s really a case-by-case thing.”
Having created more platinum-worthy tracks than he can shake two laptops at, what’s next?
“We’re getting into productions, film, TV . . . that’s really exciting because it keeps things fresh.” No matter how glamorous the music business can be, it can really drain you, but new projects energize the muse. “That’s the hard part . . . keeping ourselves entertained. If you are not having fun, it can be pretty draining,” Anjos says.
Lately the group has found inspiration in composing songs for critically acclaimed cable television dramas and motion pictures, including Holy Rollers with Jesse Eisenburg.
“I did some television stuff for Entourage, and another show called How to Make it in America. I think that’s going to be the trend for us, for a while.”
Those big bites of success has given the group a taste for film, so maybe fans will get a complete soundtrack sometime in 2012. Anjos is looking forward to it. “I’d be personally more interested in doing a full score for our next project.”
Remix Artists Collective at UCR’s The Barn, 900 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 827-2276; rside.ucr.edu/barnseries; www.rac.fm. Wed, Feb. 1. 8:30PM. $5 students, $12 non-student.