Is music a numbers game, or is it catered for the long ranger. Some may say that music is at its best when it is being exhibited by one class, uber talented and hugely popular artists. Others may argue that music sounds much better when it resonates in the form of an orchestral harmony. Musical group versus solo artist debate has been ongoing for years. When a track is performed by a single artist, then he or she is able to give it his or her all into the track. There are no disruptions, no interferences or external influences. It is a display of a person’s sheer brilliance. On the other hand, when bands or musical group put up a collective performance, we get to taste a completely different flavour of music. In here, the music that we get is a combination of the strengths of the individual artists. Their collaborative effort hides their weaknesses and filters out only the best that they have to offer. As a result, the final product sounds flawless, harmonious and synchronized. At the end of the day, it depends on the preference of the listener. A song performed by Michael Jackson, may not sound the same if it is performed by Backstreet Boys. A song performed by Rolling Stones, will sound pretty mediocre if it is performed by Justin Beiber. This is in no way to disrespect any of the artists mentioned here. The point that I am trying to put forward is that essence of music changes with the number of people involved in creating it.
Introducing the Bag Raiders
What about the number 2? Some may say that this is the perfect number when it comes to music. When an artist delivers a solo performance, his weaknesses may seem blatant. When a brand puts on a collective display, they become disorganized and end up creating a mess. However, when two people perform on stage or in the studio, seldom do they stumble and stutter. Especially in the field of Electronic music. I believe, this is a genre that is tailor made for duos. It’s where they can shine and bring out the very best in themselves and the genre as a whole. One such dance pop duo that we will be talking about today is the Bag Raiders. The Bag Raiders are from down under i.e Australia. They came into existence in the year 2006, and hence are relatively new to the international electronic music scene. The duo consists of Jack Glass and Chris Stacey. They are basically from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Their genres of concentration include Nu-disco, alternative dance, funky house, synthpop, funktronica and indietronica. They even have their own frequently visited website by the name of www.bagraiders.com. Australian electronic artists aren’t exactly as popular as some of the more mainstream European artists. With that being said, one must realize that in the last decade, Australian musicians have put in a great effort to take the quality of electronic music in Australia to the next level. The Bag Raiders have been pretty much at the forefront of this mission to spread the harmony of electronic music in Australia. They are also playing a huge role in popularizing and publicizing the disco culture in Australia, which is quite evidently not as strong as it is in the United States or in Europe. They have been rolling for 9 years, and by the looks of it, Jack Glass and Chris Stacey still have plenty more years ahead of them. But what makes this duo tick? What makes them the popular band that they are? Let’s briefly take a look at their history.
Formation and the Early Career of the Bag Raiders
Typically, one could describe the Bag Raiders as an electro house duo. The formation of the Bag Raiders officially took place in the year 2006, but Stacey and Glass go a long way back. It was in the 1990s when they met each other in the orchestra practice room. Glass was working on his piano and cello skills. Stacey on the other hand was busy with the violin and carinet. Fast forward to 2005, and the duo re-connected, only this time they dreamed of taking their skills to the world of professional music. They began by creating blends of hip-hop tracks and rock numbers from the 1970s. Earth, Wind & Fire, The Brothers Johnson, 808 State and Orbital are the artists that influenced the creation of the Bag Raiders and their subsequent style of music. By profession, Stacey and Glass were both DJs whose primary work revolved around creating exclusive and uplifting remixes of other artists’ work, especially tracks of the yester years.
EP, Album and Hit Singles
In the August of 2007, the band or duo (whatever fits your bill) decided to release the EP “Fun Punch”. This was released under the umbrella of Modular Records. Success gradually crawled their way following the release of the “Fun Punch” EP. In the year 2009, the strenuous endeavours of the duo were somewhat rewarded when Bag Raiders found itself at number 11 on the inthemix poll of Australia’s top 50 DJs. In addition to that, “Shooting Stars”, their specially crafted track, crept up the rankings and placed itself at number 18 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2009. In the year that followed, another one of their tracks called “Way Back Home” cemented a place in the 46th spot in the rankings.
2009 was actually their breakthrough year. The “Shooting Stars” song was so well received that the band decided to release it as a single. What followed next was unprecedented success for the electro musicians from Sydney. The single shot up to number 62 on the ARIA Singles Chart and reached number 43 on the ARIA End of Year Top 50 Australian Art Singles. The song won the hearts of the supporters of the A-League team Adelaide United. It’s played in their home turf, and each time the track is on, the supporters are seen singing along and dancing along to the tune of the Bag Raiders. In the single, there is a remix by Kris Menace which was the number one hit in the ARIA Hitseekers singles chart. The success of the “Shooting Stars” continued long after 2009 was done and dusted. It made a return to the ARIA Singles Chart, as it reached the top 50 at number 44.
The year 2010 was the year of their self-titled studio album, “The Bag Raiders”. Surprisingly for the duo, the album secured the number 7 spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. The success of the album was further defined by the single “Way Back Home”. This made an entry at number 77 on the ARIA Charts on August of 2010. By now, the Bag Raiders had become regular habitants in the ARIA charts. People were exposed to their music and were truly in love with it. Rising up the charts was only a part of the success that Bag Raiders had achieved. They received raving reviews from fans and critics alike. This was a monumental achievement for a musical duo that had started out only 4 years ago (at that time) with little to no resources and support in hand. The only thing that propelled them to the top was their passion for music and their commitment to work on in times of adversity. It reached an even more impressive number (38) in the German Singles Charts in 2011 after being used during a Vodafone TV commercial. The rise didn’t stop there. It reached number 19 in the charts, which was an all time high for the Bag Raiders.
There was another single that was released to Australian Radio from the album “The Bag Raiders”. The name of this single was “Sunlight” and it featured the well known artist Dan Black. In February of 2011, the single reached its peak at number 84 in the ARIA Top 100. Their singles attained widespread popularity not only in Australia but elsewhere as well. Besides being aesthetically beautiful, the songs were commercially successful as well. “Shooting Stars” was used in a McDonald’s commercial in 2009 and 2010. In the extremely popular game, Grand Theft Auto IV, their remix of B.T.T.T.T.R.Y was featured. “Shooting Stars” was also used as a soundtrack (credits) for an episode of the HBO series, “How to Make it in America”. Channel 9’s world renowned programming “Australia’s Got Talent” also had use for The Bag Raiders’ “Shooting Stars”. This is the reason why the song catapulted to the top 40, 4 years after its original release. People went ballistic about downloading this repackaged hit song.
Given how much success they have acquired in a short time, the blistering show stealers known as the Bag Riders have a long ride ahead of them. The electronic and dance music scene in Australia is still in its developmental phases. Once it is big enough to rival those of the European Nations and America, we can say for certainty that the Bag Raiders would be a part of that expansion.