RAC

Manic Productions and Premier Concerts Present:

RAC

The Knocks, SPEAK, Norrin (DJ)

Mon, October 27, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Toad's Place

New Haven, CT

$18.00 - $20.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is all ages

Sponsored by WYBC Yale Radio

RAC
RAC
For his full-length debut Strangers, composer/remixer/producer RAC called on more than a dozen guest musicians to bring to life his lush and dreamy hybrid of indie-pop and electro. The mastermind behind much-acclaimed reimaginations of tracks by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lana Del Rey, and Bastille, the multi-instrumentalist born André Allen Anjos co-wrote and produced each of the album’s 16 songs without ever meeting most of his collaborators (a lineup that includes Golden Globe-winning composer Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Tegan & Sara, Tokyo Police Club, Katie Herzig, and Cherrytree recording artist Matthew Koma). But while its title nods to the lack of literal companionship between Anjos and his guest artists, Strangers emerges as an intensely warm and intimate album fueled by RAC’s gift for fusing breezy melody with fresh, forward-pushing sound.

A Portland, Oregon-based musician born and raised in Portugal, Anjos has created more than 200 remixes since 2007 and seen those endlessly inventive tracks reach number-one on Hype Machine 30 times. Released by Cherrytree Records in two parts—and as one complete collection on CD and vinyl—Strangers includes RAC’s first-ever solo recording: “Hollywood” (featuring Penguin Prison), which hit the top slot on all four Hype Machine charts at once upon its initial release in 2012. Also a number-one track on Hype Machine’s Artist and Popular charts, Strangers’ lead single “Let Go” (featuring Bloc Party’s Kele and rising electro-pop star MNDR) earned RAC many breathless accolades last year, with Entertainment Weekly praising the song as “a dreamy end-of-summer pop concoction that will have you grooving well into fall.”

That summery spirit infuses much of Strangers, an album powered by RAC’s pioneering use of organic instrumentation in building shimmering, dance-music-inspired soundscapes. “In some ways it’s strange for me to be considered part of the electronic world, because a lot of the time I’m working with actual, physical instruments,” notes Anjos, who plays guitar, piano, bass, and drums. One of the first remixers to draw heavily from the realm of indie rock—starting with his inaugural track, a widely adored take on “Sleeping Lessons” by The Shins—Anjos attributes his favoring of live instrumentation to a musical upbringing that included becoming obsessed with Nirvana in early adolescence and then playing in a series of metal bands throughout his teen years.

Naming the kaleidoscopic pop/rock of artists like Fleetwood Mac and Paul Simon as key influences on his songwriting, Anjos instills all of Strangers with a delicate yet deeply fun blend of sparkling melodies, super-smooth grooves, crisp beats, and often-wistful lyrics. From sweetly playful tracks like “Cheap Sunglasses” (featuring Matthew Koma) and “Ello Ello” (featuring Body Language) to more brooding and moody numbers like “Tourist” (featuring Tokyo Police Club) and the beautifully woozy “Hollywood,” Strangers continually offsets its bright and bubbly sound with a melancholic sensibility. On “Seventeen,” for instance, the chanteuse-like vocals of Pink Feathers make an unlikely lament out of the refrain “Everything I’ve wanted has been handed to me,” while “405” (featuring YACHT) laces spaced-out synth through its own starry-eyed lyrics. And with the stark but sprawling “We Belong” (featuring Katie Herzig), RAC merges quietly powerful vocals, tender strings and piano, and hypnotic beats to gorgeous effect. Woven throughout Strangers are a series of ethereal instrumental interludes, which Anjos composed as part of the yearlong process of sequencing the album’s tracks. “I wanted to create an album that takes you somewhere when you listen all the way through,” he explains. “I know it’s a bit of a dying art but it’s important to me, since it’s something I love about a lot of the records I grew up on.”

Although Anjos started playing piano when he was six, he considers learning guitar at age 12 as his first major step toward making music. Quickly graduating from playing Nirvana covers on his acoustic to forming his first metal band at age 14, Anjos began experimenting with recording after finding a promotional CD for a music production program inside a cereal box when he was 15. After high school he enrolled in the music program at Greenville College in Illinois, where he stepped up his studying of production and started devoting himself to the art of remixing. “Originally I gravitated toward remixing because I didn’t sing,” says Anjos. “Pretty soon I realized that I really enjoyed the process of taking out everything but the vocals and then recreating the track with my own music.” While at Greenville, Anjos initially launched RAC as a company that would produce remixes for hire. “That idea never came to fruition,” he says. “But the first remix I got was for The Shins, and after that it just snowballed and helped me get to where I am now.”

With remixes for artists ranging from Phoenix to U2 to Foster the People to Peter Bjorn and John to Theophilus London now under his belt, Anjos notes that he finds remixing just as creatively fulfilling as coming up with his own material. “I’ve written original songs almost my whole life, but getting into recording was what helped me really figure out how to structure a song,” he says. “I know remixing is perceived differently, but because I’m usually building an entirely new song underneath a vocal, I do feel some sense of ownership over a remix—even if it’s technically not my song,” Anjos adds.

To create Strangers, Anjos sought out each of the other artists to carefully craft the tracks which feature a guest musician. That process mainly entailed writing a demo, passing it off to his collaborator to contribute the lyrics and vocals (and, in some cases, instrumentation), then getting the track back to refine and rework until the song became fully realized. While Anjos acknowledges that the back-and-forth made for a somewhat prolonged period of writing, recording, and production on Strangers, he’s also passionate about giving his collaborators the space and freedom to push his songs into new directions. “I like it when someone can spend some time with a song, and take as long as they need to feel it out and write what they want to write,” he says. “For me, that’s the kind of approach that makes for the best and strongest kind of songwriting.”
The Knocks
The Knocks
When it comes to origin stories, The Knocks have a good one. After meeting at The New School in New York City, Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson both found themselves in need of a place to live. The two moved in together, and quickly set about making their neighbors hate them. "Our apartment was this small, shitty Avenue C apartment with paper thin walls. We both had studio set-ups in our rooms," explains B-Roc. "It would be loud as hell, and the neighbors hated it. They'd knock on the walls and bang on the ceiling. We would go into each other's rooms and say 'I just got the knocks.'"

Declared by the NME as one of the "20 hottest producers in music" as "cred-pop's answer to the Neptunes" by The Guardian - they are now one of the most buzzed-about duos on the electronic circuit. JPatt's background in soul and funk and B-Roc's years spent immersed in trip-hop and hip-hop beats has allowed them to quickly ascend the production ranks. Initially gaining recognition for their remixes for artists including Haim, Santigold, Foster the People, Two Door Cinema, Ellie Goulding, Chiddy Bang,Passion Pit and The 1975, they eventually found themselves experimenting with sounds of their own.

 B-Roc and JPatt didn't think much would come of a nearly five-minute track they had been building, all tense beats and tingling synths. "It kind of started out as a joke," says B-Roc. "But people were liking that more than the stuff we produced for other people," says B-Roc. "It felt right." The duo quickly discovered a newfound freedom in creating their own songs. "It's better because it's ours, and we can do whatever we want with it," explains JPatt.  

When The Knocks realized the chord they'd struck, they opened their own custom-built studio Heavy Roc Music on the Lower East Side in New York City. Over the past three years, the duo has been jet-setting around the globe for DJ gigs, sharing stages with Grouplove, M.I.A., Two Door Cinema Club, Dragonette, Sleigh Bells, Chromeo and chrome… all while releasing infectious singles that have turned The Knocks into blog darlings. After releasing "Dancing with the DJ" in 2010 via Heavy Roc , the song shot to #1 on Hype Machine and hit #1 on Japan's Electronic Songs Chart, with heavy rotation at JJJ. Their Magic EP showed a more mature side, continuing that progression on singles 'Modern Hearts' featuring St Lucia, and the new EP Comfortable - out on Neon Gold Feb 17th. Be prepared, because The Knocks will be knocking at your door and stereo very soon.
SPEAK
SPEAK
Forever questing for innovation, SPEAK invoke timeless melodies in energetic, synth-laden anthems.

Frontman Troupe Gammage has been recording music since age 11. Mesmerized by the compositions in his favorite video games, he started creating his own using rudimentary computer software. Developing his sound through his study of electronic music and observation of his musician parents (Ernie Gammage and Christine Albert) and the Motown collection at home, Troupe released his first EP at age 16. He went on to release two more albums online garnering over 25,000 downloads to date. Gammage spent a year in University of Southern California's music composition program before moving to Austin to pursue video game composition and voice acting.

After co-founding his own production company and gaining solid footing in the business through work on games for Playstation, XBox, Wii, and PC, Troupe has shifted his focus to pop powerhouse SPEAK. The band met through mutual friends in 2008, rising from the remnants of electro-pop band Jupiter-4. With Gammage join University of Texas students Nick Hurt (guitar) Joey Delahoussaye (bass) and Jake Stewart (drums). Hurt and Delahoussaye are guitar performance majors.

Since then, SPEAK has signed to Playing in Traffic Records and recorded their debut EP with producer Chris "Frenchie" Smith (JET, Dandy Warhols). Through Smith, Troupe landed a gig recording keys for JET's new album Shaka Rock.

The band's debut album EP, "Hear Here" has garnered serious attention, receiving highest 4-star honors from the Austin Chronicle, and great reviews across the board. Recently SPEAK was named Best New Band by the Austin Music Awards.
Norrin (DJ)
The never ending quest for the ultimate groove has led Norrin from the bedroom to the dance floor and everywhere in between. The mission is to bring you funk on a whole new level. Norrin takes on a versatile role in the music scene whether it was his time with Business Casual Disco, working with Gathering Of The Vibes and it's beachside Silent Disco or founding Velvet Crush Records to name a few. Along the way Norrin has shared the bill with artists such as James Murphy, Aeroplane, !!!, Gigamesh, Budos Band, Goldroom, The B-52's, Party Supplies and the list continues to grow.
Venue Information:
Toad's Place
300 York St.
New Haven, CT, 06511
http://www.toadsplace.com/