Karpos Mix 5: Electronic Music Reimagined with RAC and CRWN

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Karpos Live, Karpos Multimedia’s regular concert series where they pair two artists together, has never failed to give Filipino music fans a damn good time. Having just wrapped up its 5th instalment, Karpos Live recently paired off local electronic music icon CRWN with grammy-award winning DJ/Producer, RAC

Electronic musicians don’t always get the appreciation they deserve when it comes to live performances. They’re often mistaken as performers who just press play, twist a few knobs here and there, and  jump around with their hands in the air. But if the most recent Karpos Live has taught us anything, it’s that CRWN and RAC are here to push the live electronic music experience forward.

Indie Hip-Hop and R&B duo Tomcat opened Karpos Live Mix 5 (photo by Marty Floro)

After an opening set by local electronic R&B duo Tomcat (Asch & Jaren), everyone was warmed up and ready for the first headliner of the night, CRWN. As soon as the lights went back on, everyone in the crowd was treated to a not-so-familiar familiar sight: CRWN on stage with a setup of samplers, midi controllers, and a laptop; but this time, with an electric guitar in hand. 

But if the most recent Karpos Live has taught us anything, it’s that CRWN and RAC are here to push the live electronic music experience forward.

Starting his exclusive “all originals” set with several tracks off Orchid (his most recent beat tape), we were treated to a very unique live experience; one that not only had CRWN  triggering clips from his computer on the fly, but had him playing electric guitar live as well. After working up the crowd with crowd favorites from How I Love (his 2015 EP with Jess Connelly), CRWN announced that he had a special guest joining him for the remainder of his set: August Wahh.

It was at this point in the night that CRWN showed how he was pushing electronic music forward: a performance setup that demanded a lot more from the artist than a standard CDJ setup would, live instruments, live vocals, and curated visuals; nothing about this was “typical.” The result was a highly engaged crowd, one that was singing and dancing along to songs from Labyrinth (his latest EP with August Wahh) up until he closed his set out with Blue Dreams.

Karpos Live Mix 5 is Producer King Puentespina a.k.a CRWN’s first headlining show (photo by Marty Floro)

Leaving the crowd on an extremely high note, everyone was eager and ready to see RAC. Considering that his last time in the Philippines was for a DJ set at Wanderland 2015, there was a lot to look forward to. Since his last show here, André Allen Anjos (RAC) has released a second full length album, a ton of original singles & remixes, won a grammy for best remix, and even came out with a ballet-music inspired EP (which you can listen to here). To top it all off, RAC had also completely revamped his electronic live set. Suffice to say, it didn’t disappoint.

Opening the set with a special live remix of his own remix of Feed Me Diamonds (MNDR), RAC immediately showed what this new live set up (which he goes into great detail here) was capable of. By taking apart different samples and sounds from his wide repertoire of songs, RAC is able to put them back together in a way that is not only extremely creative, but extremely unique as well. The result is a live sound that is truly unique, one that varies from show to show depending on what he feels like playing; every song is different from its recorded version. This was electronic music reimaged and truly being played live.

Grammy-winning Producer RAC made a glorious Manila comeback last Sunday for Karpos Live Mix 5 (photo by Marty Floro)

Whether it be through his remixes of indie classics like Sweet Disposition (The Temper Trap) and Something Good Can Work (Two Door Cinema Club), through his own songs Hollywood and Cheap Sunglasses (which were crowd favorites), or through the careful marriage of iconic dance music tracks like Sea of Voices (Porter Robinson) and Say My Name (ODESZA), RAC made sure to not only showcase this his extremely unique electronic live set, but he also made sure that everyone inside the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent was enjoying themselves.

The result is a live sound that is truly unique, one that varies from show to show depending on what he feels like playing; every song is different from its recorded version. This was electronic music reimaged and truly being played live.

As he closed his set out with a special live version of his iconic single Let Go (which incorporated the hook of his other song, Johnny Cash), André Allen Anjos thanked the crowd and joked about how his next time here would hopefully not be in another five years. Suffice to say, I’m sure that everyone who was there shared the same sentiment as RAC. 

Nothing about mix five of Karpos Live was typical. Not only was it a great showcase of how engaging and creative live electronic music could be, but it was also a damn good time.

Missed the set? Having withdrawals? Relive the night with Indie Manila’s specially curated Karpos Live: Mix 5 playlist. 

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