RAC with Alastair, Typefunk @ Urban Lounge 05.08

Posted May 10, 2013 in

RAC got all the drunk girls stumbling over each other to shake their booties. Photo Courtesy Cherrytree/Interscope Records

The last four weeks had given me the opportunity to see the best and worst of DJing. I saw C2C perform at the Depot about a month ago, who are true turntabilists and know how to entertain their fans. I also saw Faulty Dl, a New York–based DJ/producer, open for James Blake, and he gave a poor performance, displaying how little DJs can do live, onstage. So, I was excited to see Andre Anjos and Karl Kling of RAC live, mixing some of the most feel-good dance music out there. You have The Hood Internet and Girl Talk, who do superb remixes and mashups, but I don’t believe anyone does as clean of a job remixing songs as RAC. 

Alastair and Typefunk, who are a part of the DJ music collective Nightfreq, opened the show for RAC. The background projector showed the collective’s taste for cheesy ’80s vibes with nighttime car-chase scenes. Alastair did a nice job of warming up the crowd. His stage presence wasn’t inspiring by any means, but he enjoyed his own set enough to make me feel comfortable enjoying it as well. He seemed to be sticking to house beats with a small dose of disco flair. It was nice to bob your head to, but not so danceable. Eventually, some drunk girls filed on to the empty dance floor and Alastair’s music increased with various synths and more danceable patterns. 
Typefunk took the stage to a full dance floor of moving bodies. His music had funk to it, naturally, but was really bass heavy, like house music. I kept thinking to myself, “I need more than bass to get my hips moving.” I needed something to groove to. Everyone seemed so full of liquor that they hardly noticed the lack of buildups or repetitive beats. He did scratch at least once that I noticed during a song. I’ve come to learn that most producers are better at making beats than they are at scratching and mixing live. Live scratchers and mixers are true DJs, in my opinion. 
It was nearly midnight before RAC took the stage. My girlfriend and I were annoyed enough to actually try and reach out via social media during the show to encourage them to take the stage already. Apparently, they were having technical difficulties. In fact, there were enough technical difficulties that they almost didn’t perform that evening. I started to get a hunch they might not take the stage and Andre Anjos, frontman of RAC, later confirmed via Twitter that the show almost didn’t happen. They of course did take the stage and it was another new, live DJ experience.
RAC opened with a remix of a MNDR song, “Feed me Diamonds,” and it changed the whole atmosphere of the show. I even thought the room smelled better, like bubblegum. Granted, this had been the happiest crowd I had ever seen at Urban Lounge, possibly the most intoxicated as well. There were many drunk stumbles on the dance floor and even a fight broke out, but when that first song came on, the cheers were louder and the bodies moved more freely than they had all night. Yes, it could be said that it was the best of times and the worst of times at Urban Lounge when RAC performed. They paid no attention to the fight. They just kept mixing and extending certain sections of remixes that most of us knew so well. It seemed that they really enjoyed teasing the crowd with the buildup of a song because right when you though the beat was going to drop, they held the bass just a bit longer. 
I was thrilled to hear a remix of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence toward the end of their set. Another definite highlight was when they did what I imagine no one expected them to do and they spun Daft Punk’s new single, “Get Lucky,” which features Pharell, another famous producer. I don’t know if it was an official RAC remix of the song but I did notice some added reverb on a snippet they played of Pharell’s lyrics and it sounded great. They also extended Daft Punk’s electronic bridge on the song, which is my favorite part of the song. These are the kind of feel-good songs that RAC will snatch up and make them even more rhythmic and danceable. Out of nowhere, I spotted a happening dance circle on the middle of the floor before the last song. The group was putting their hands in the middle and shaking them and throwing them up to the music as it played. I had stepped out back to relieve my ears from the high volume for a minute, but it felt like a different world to walk back in and see a group of people so absorbed in one joyous moment. For the last song of the set, they played a remix that I had heard about but had never listened to. It was a remix of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The memorable whistles of that song had a nice synth touch added to them, and it was a fine enough way to end the evening that it gave me goosebumps. The truth is everyone at the show, who were strangers and danced for four hours together, probably felt a little closer to one another by the end of the show. I certainly felt like I knew a few strangers better by the end of the night. The sentiment of “Home” was a well-executed way to close such a cheerful show. Even the two guys who fought each other hugged at the end of the evening! If you love dancing to good music and you missed this show then you really blew it. Then again, getting home at 2 a.m. before a workday isn’t so thrilling. Thanks for everything, Urban Lounge.
RAC got all the drunk girls stumbling over each other to shake their booties. Photo Courtesy Cherrytree/Interscope Records