“What’s Going On (Right Now)?”, the opening track of indie electro pop/R&B group Agency’s newest album opens with a speech from Dr. Martin Luther King followed by sirens before it launches into the group’s signature lighter-than-air beats. This is clearly meant to set the tone for Resist, in case that album title isn’t enough. The album, while expertly produced and EDM-laced, does not pull any punches about its political message.
Resist seeks to explore the current racial tensions in the U.S. and look at how this country got here by examining the history of racial turmoil. The album is also likely meant to be a reminder of why specifically African Americans are still angry and not trusting of police, and why many of them see the scales tipped legally and otherwise towards the white race.
While many of the tracks on Resist are either straight R&B or hip hop beats, others straddle the line between R&B and EDM. “Backwards” is one such track, which the group recently decided to remix for a number of other EDM genres. The original “Backwards” is a jumpy straight-up house track, where the five remixes span a larger section of EDM.
The group recruited some well-known and some unknown producers for the remixes. The Nathan D’Allen remix is a mix of funky house and some R&B and disco. Zerp’s remix is a little experimental, it would seem, with some weird synths in the middle. Dan Thomas did the predictably pop-heavy Ibiza-style radio mix, while Bad Space Monkey did a strange, eerie bass house mix. Rounding out the EP is the ravey Noel Sanger club mix, which seems a bit of a fun throwback to 90s acid house.
With vocals this heavy and involved, EDM may not necessarily come to mind when one is listening to Agency’s newest albumor this remix album, but it shows how versatile EDM can truly be.