Afghan Raiders are dangerous enough to make you dance. Mikey describes their enigmatic style best. “Our sound is a very unique blend of a few different genres,” he says. “There are elements of dance music, but there’s a sense of classic song structure. You can feel the rock and indie influences on the hooks.” Those hooks are what make tracks like “Solid Gold” so infectious.
It’s easy to hum along with every buoyant groove. Beans adds, “Our music is upbeat and energetic, but it’s still dark. The songs are typically about overcoming something challenging. There’s an antagonist that needs to be conquered, but there’s always a positive, uplifting ending—then everyone just dances to the end result.” Friends since high school, Mikey and Beans began making music as Afghan Raiders in late 2007.
After the demise of their thrash band, Golden Ax, they retreated into an aural world all their own. Blending elements of electronic, grunge, pop, dance, and new wave, they began compulsively creating. In February 2008, they released their first song, “Solid Gold,” on MySpace to massive fan response, following it with “Future Thinkers” a few months later. The songs came together on Future Thinkers/Solid Gold EP released on iTunes via Afghan Raiders’ very own Badical Beats in June 2008.
With an EP out to the masses, they made their live debut opening for Broken Spindles, fronted by The Faint bassist Joel Peterson. Afghan Raiders’ first gig was nothing short of incendiary, and Peterson was so blown away that he asked the band to remix “Mirror Error” for The Faint. The remix gained the attention of Spin.com and countless fans that downloaded it. Remixing soon became the second big gun in Afghan Raiders’ arsenal. Their Black Lips remix, “The Drop I Hold (Featuring GZA of Wu-Tang Clan)” [Afghan Raiders House Party Remix], won Filter’s monthly remix contest, personally selected by The Black Lips.
Mikey comments, “We approach every remix a little bit differently. For Black Lips, we wanted a party feel, whereas for The Faint, we wanted to do something darker and riff-y. You can always tell it’s an Afghan Raiders remix though.” Between remixing and releasing music on their own, Mikey and Beans keep entrancing crowds all over the West Coast. They’ve rocked the stage with everyone from Muse to Metronomy and dazzled audiences at the hottest tastemaker parties for electronic music—Dim Mak Tuesday in Los Angeles and the famous Blow Up SF in the Bay Area.
Branching out further, they put on stunning shows at CMJ and SXSW. Beans goes on, “People can let loose at our shows. We try to recreate that environment of a great dance party with sing-a-long hooks and pop songs that you get sucked in by. We want fans to leave the show wanting to come back for more.” Listeners will no doubt be back for more.
Drawing their name from a line in Amelie, there’s a lot going on under the surface for Afghan Raiders. Mikey concludes, “We want to have a connection with the audience. If you’re behind turntables and in this box, you can have a great time but you’re not really connected to the crowd. We get in people’s faces, and they have a blast.
We’re about to invade your party” Watch the dance floor burn when Afghan Raiders roll through. Electronica may never be the same.—Rick Florino (Author of Dolor & Do the Devil’s Work for Him) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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